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V slot Wheels VS Linear Rails, Which one is a better option

I guess most people especially beginners don’t have a clue about what is the differences between the 3d printer v-slot wheel and linear guide, which one would be perform better on 3d printer? And what about the model precision. Today let’s figure it out more deeply.

Before you select a FDM 3d printer, what you must do is to learn what are the components included on a 3d printer, which including the mainboard, power supply, extruder( Bowden extruder kit or direct extruder kit), printer display, hot end, cool fan, and printing bed. But the most important part is about the x-axis moving system, which can be the one with a V slot or linear rail guide. This can partially tell whether the movement track is smooth enough to make sure the model comes out perfect with the series layer.

What is a 3D Printer V slot wheel?

Most people might be more familiar with the V slot wheel 3D printer motion mode, General 3D printing can ensure the basic printing quality with this kind of structure.

v-slot wheel

Most of the 3d printers in the market currently are come with this V-wheel, Saying that the V-wheels system vibrates more than linear rails, takes more play, and as changes in geometry in time, that it needs to be verified and tightened more often.

The traditional V-slot is fine for the x/y axis on just about any FDM printer with a practical XY build location. The issue (especially with the d-bot/c-bot variations) is its usage for the cantilevered z-axis. There is just excessive play in between the wheels, plates, and also extrusion to utilize v-slot on large/heavy cantilevered setup. Also, a lot of the time the wheel will get used after use for a long time.

What is 3D Printer Linear Rail?

Linear rails, likewise referred to as straight movement overviews and linear slides, are common motion elements used to attain smooth gliding movements. They can be found in 3D printers, CNC mills, waterjet cutters, and the like. ... This allows a smooth moving movement as the balls roll between the surface areas.

linear rail 3d printer
Linear rails can be secured along with their complete size, as opposed to at their extremes, hence increasing the precision of their positioning, their rigidity, and also their bearing capacity.

Linear rails can be machined while pre-loaded, thus achieving optimum accuracy when in use, as opposed to when coming out of the factory.

The bearings on Linear rails just enable one level of motion. There need to be two poles with linear bearings/bushes to achieve the very same result.

I’d said when it comes to the details application of consumer-grade FDM 3D printers, it appears that none of the above is very appropriate, nor provides any kind of actual advantage to the printer in regards to the top quality of the last print:

  • the mechanical stress and anxieties associated with 3D printing are extremely tiny,
  • the movements all occur along straight lines,


the majority of the axis can not be anchored to a big, inflexible body
On the other hand, the style with poles + direct-bearings is cheap, reliable, less complex, and lightweight, all characteristics that are very desirable in a 3D printer.

Do we need higher precision in the 3D printer axis? Sure we can have quality assurance boards that make up to some extent nevertheless the technicians of the maker are of utmost vital before you select the high quality of board and software. Why set up a $300 motion control on a low-cost linear rod printer if you're not visiting the full benefits?

So sure, your rod directed printer jobs. Nevertheless, it will certainly never work in addition to my linear rail directed printer with ballscrews as well as servos. You can have your layered unclear prints. I will maintain my smooth completed injection molded-looking components that are made from materials a typical desktop can not also print. So to suggest it's not needed is suggesting that top quality isn't accepted in a reduced rate point market.

Which Kind of movement system is best for you?

However, people might back off after seeing the prices when they are considering trying the linear rail guide, any decent linear rail will easily cost several times more than a comparable combination of linear rod and bearing. The premium precision, stiffness, and smooth motion come at an equally premium price.

Now in the market, the linear rail 3d printer cost around $1000 even more as it comes with industry printing precision. if you don't have enough budget for it, you can actually try the V-slot wheel.

I checked on reddit forums saying mostly are linear rail works perfectly than the V-slot wheel because the traditional V-slot wheel was easier to get wear and need to be replaced very frequently.

reddit review 01

3d printer reddit review

There’s a review on Reddit from troy_proffitt says that he finds out that linear rail is absolutely smoother than V-wheels and after running his printer for 2 years using Delrin wheels, they started to fall apart. Hope that it won’t happen with the linear rail.

As the price so height, we find that most of the linear rail 3d printers are quite high, and some people can not even get a choice to try them. there comes Kywoo Tycoon, a linear rail 3d printer with a direct drive that can better print with PLA/PETG/TPU filament, it’s the price is about $400-$600, most customer especially the beginners can get a better option than the V-slot version.

In a word the V-slot wheel 3d printer is a kind of traditional design for most FDM 3d printer in the market, will Linear rail  be the next stream in 3d printing market as the higher printing precision, we will see that.

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