Easy moving portal mod for Creality printers

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Additional information


CR-10, Ender 3


Because I want to print large things out of difficult materials like ABS or Nylon I need an enclosure. I’ve built some enclosures and they are relatively big for its build size due to the Cartesian printer type. Especially with this huge machine I want to reduce its size by making it a moving portal machine. The standard coreXY systems have a cage in which the core is moved in, as the name suggests, the X and Y direction. This is done with a belt driving mechanism and I looked at several options, but I think that my approach would be the simplest. I don’t think it will reach the famous speeds a coreXY printer can reach, but it definitely doesn’t have to move as much weight as a Cartesian style printer has to do.

It uses mostly 3D printed parts and reused parts from the bed so risks and costs are low 🙂

The video I’ve made about this is this one:

I recently did some tests how well it performed and updated the current version because of a design flaw which I show in that video too

Print Settings

Printer: Creality Ender 3 pro and CR-10
Rafts: Yes
Supports: Yes
Resolution: 0.2
Infill: 30%
Filament: Polycarbonate


I’ve used polycarbonate because it’s very strong and stiff. This material is definitely not easy to print and other materials like ABS or PETG (maybe PLA even) would work. You probably will not reach the same stiffness, but I recon it would be good enough.

Mounting instructions

The parts you’ll need besides the printed parts and what’s already shipped with the printer:

  • 8mm plain unhardened rod.
  • Bearing OD22mm ID8mm (608ZZ)
  • Motor coupler 8mm to 5mm (similar to Z motor coupler)
  • 2× GT2 pulley 20 teeth 9mm belt*, 8mm ID.
  • 2× GT2 pulley with bearing 20 teeth 9mm belt*, 5mm ID.
  • Extra belt, length varies of the printer type (I had one extra in the value added package of my S5).
  • 6× cable tie (4× for mounting the belt and 2× for strain relief of the Z axes).
  • M5 threaded rod (cut to length of 6× 70mm) A 70mm bolt would do too.
  • 6× or 12× M5 (acorn) nut depending on using a bolt or rod (above point).
  • 12× M5 spring washer.
  • 23× M5 washer.
  • 4× M4×30 bolt for mounting the belt to the base.
  • 4× M4 insert (use nuts on each side of the bolt if you don’t have inserts or tap M5 thread in it and use M5)
  • 4× M4 nut to secure it.
  • 2× M5×35 for the belt tensioners.
  • 2× M5 lock nut for the belt tensioners.
  • 2× M5×20 flat head bolts and replace the bolts at the back which stick out a bit colliding with the motor and bearing bracket.
  • 22× M5×10 bolts
  • 22× M5 t-slot nuts
  • 6× M5×20 bolts for mounting the bed (or shorten or just use the ones already used for the bed)
  • 8× M5×45 or longer for the new bed leveling system
  • 16× M5 nut

Looking at it, this looks like a long list, but it’s mostly standard nuts and bolts. Please let me know of you have questions or if I have forgotten something! The YouTube video shows briefly how this thing is put together and it should be pretty straight forward.

The only way to connect everything without cable extensions is by placing the control box at the back of the printer as I show in the video. I am going to make a whole enclosure so the wiring as I’m going to do it would be completely different. Keep in mind that you have to find a way to get this working for your specific situation!

10 reviews for Easy moving portal mod for Creality printers

  1. Edward Park (verified owner)

    It’s a very interesting task.
    It’s a structure that only you can create.
    It’s much more innovative than the Creality.

    I hope you can develop parts that can respond to fast output.
    Also, please make a large version of S5 (1M or higher).

  2. Parminder Ubhi


  3. Scott Girdwood (verified owner)

    looks fantastic! i cant wait to print this one, many thanks for you great designs

  4. Beppe

    great idea, please more mods on CR-10. The world is full of CR10!!!!

  5. Colten Edwards (verified owner)

    Have you thought about doing a dual Y setup. I realize that your board might not have an extra driver available, but using a splitter would work as well.

    • Jón

      Yes, I have. I think in order to do this you cannot simply split the wire because of the extra current drawn. I don’t have experience with it, but I recon a second stepper driver is needed which shares the same stepper signals as the original one. I first want to improve it mechanically 🙂

  6. Florian Rabe

    Love your design. BTW you actually can split the wires and let the steppers run on one driver. Thats precisely how the first creality upgrade kits were shipped before dual z became standard. You might maybe have to adjust the current on the driver a tad but thats it.

  7. Guilherme

    What a brilliant idea!
    I was thinking about doing something like that to my Ender 3 but havent figured out how until now, since our project inpired me to some ideas… Instead of the tall moving portal I’m considering to make the printing bed go up and down like in the actual COREXY printers, but still using your moving gantry idea. That shall bring down the moving masses close to the COREXY standard, alowing for more speed and still save some space.

  8. Sergio Williams (verified owner)

    Great thinking here for this design. I have found that this mod wont work as is for Ender 3/Pro or silimar printers. This is because of the placement of the 4040 rails and their arrangment. I am almost done with reworking the design to fit an Ender 3. Contact me if you would like to participate in the design rework.

  9. Vash

    It’s a nice looking variant, yet there is a reason if no printer has been done this way : it WILL eventually wobble more and more as print height increases (basic physics). One solution might be to add profiles to secure the whole thing all around, which leads to … CoreXY with XY gantry moving up, which is like a Voron.
    Not saying the “portal” is useless, it’s just not a that good compromise between direct cartesian and coreXY.

  10. bill (verified owner)

    i know you have thought of this.

    a linear rail

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