As a community, we need to care more about the rigidity of the belts positioning our printers. As you’re probably aware, one of the most effective methods to increase the stiffness of a belt is to increase its size and width. It’s for this reason, that we at E3D are offering belts in greater sizes than the puny 6mm standard used as the current market standard across 3D printers.

If you just want to go ahead and buy them then click here, if you fancy finding out some more then carry on reading!

Because who doesn’t like it stiffer, wider and longer?..

 

Product Title

Size

Internal Diameters

Pitch Circle Diameter

Belts

Gates 2GT Belt 6mm x 100mm n/a n/a
Gates 2GT Belt 9mm x 100mm n/a n/a
Gates 2GT Belt 12mm x 100mm n/a n/a

Pulleys

Gates Pulley with 16 Teeth 6mm 5mm 10.19mm
Gates Pulley with 18 Teeth 6mm 5mm 11.46mm
Gates Pulley with 20 Teeth 6mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Pulley with 20 Teeth 9mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Pulley with 20 Teeth 12mm 5mm 12.73mm

Idlers

*all idlers are 20-tooth equivalent
Gates Toothed Idler 6mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Toothed Idler 9mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Toothed Idler 12mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Smoothed Idler 6mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Smoothed Idler 9mm 5mm 12.73mm
Gates Smoothed Idler 12mm 5mm 12.73mm

Product variations available for purchase

 

Even if you don't opt for a wider belt, these genuine Gates belts offer significant benefits over other no-name belts.

Enhanced stiffness and damping

Genuine Gates 2GT belts have notably better stiffness than clone belts on the market. This is due to the inclusion of a generous helping of glass-fibre reinforcement, which carries the tensile or stretching loads of the belt. More reinforcement, more stiffness. Additionally the construction of these belts results in better damping, meaning that despite being stiff they are also less prone to ringing as vibrations settle quickly. Overall this results in less overshoot at corners and reduced ringing or ‘ghosting’.

Stiffer, wider, longer.

We’re happy to be offering our belts in the very common 6mm width as a direct drop-in for most machines out there. However for the more enthusiast machine designer or modder we’re also carrying these in 9mm and 12mm widths. These extra wide belts means more fibreglass, more tooth engaged with the pulley and therefore a much more impressive stiffness. We expect these wider belts to be very beneficial to those designing machines that operate at higher speeds, carry heavier loads, or need to traverse longer distances.

We’re also carrying pulleys and idlers to match, (see below).

A truly superior grip

These bad boys are fitted with a nylon fabric tooth facing, giving them their distinctive red teeth. This tooth facing material protects the tooth from wear, eliminating that classic black dust that builds up at pulleys. An additional benefit is that the tooth facing increases the stiffness of the tooth, increasing the overall stiffness and control authority of your linear motion. The facing also results in smoother running with less friction and noise.

Perfectly profiled teeth

Gates are the inventors and experts in GT tooth profiled belts, their tooth profile having undergone multiple subtle iterations improving grip and registration over the years.

The convex profile is purposely designed to engage the grooves on the pulley with a firm grip that eliminates backlash. This is achieved by making the teeth ever so slightly longer than the pulley’s groove they fit into. The design is intentional: the belt’s tooth actively deforms into and fills the pulley’s tooth-groove locking it into place with a perfect interference fit which markedly reduces unsavoury backlash which would otherwise sully your prints.

Design improvements

Pulleys & Idlers

But for this system to work properly the Gates belts need to be paired with Gates pulleys and idlers which are precisely machined to fit with these teeth. Using ill-matched belts and pulleys can introduce error which can, in turn, introduce backlash or cause tooth deformation and wear of the belts.

Pulleys

These come in standard 5mm bore, with dual grub-screw holes. Suitable for attaching to most NEMA17 motors with a 5mm shaft.

Toothed Idlers

It’s fairly common practice to simply use bearings instead of toothed idlers. No wonder: they’re difficult to find online. But this should not be the case. Quite simply put, the tension of the belt when combined with the flat surface of a bearing crushes the teeth of your belt! This reduces registration accuracy and significantly shortens the life of the belt. Whereas, a toothed idler allows the belt to glide freely and gently cups its teeth as it traverses around the curve.

Smooth Idlers

Smooth idlers complete our offering by providing idlers with precisely and carefully matched diameters that coincide with the belt's pitch circle diameter, allowing for easy design of parallel belt paths. This ensures that the tension of the belt remains constant throughout the stroke of the belt. Refer to Gates' Design Guide for more info. 

Not only this, but Gates’ smoothed idlers have correct flanges, clearance and are super concentric, meaning the diameter and positioning of the centreline is precisely aligned to keep the belt straight and true.

 

We Needed These Belts in Our Life

We're sure you’ve heard of our recent endeavours into the magical world of ‘ToolChanging’. Well, when considering which belts (and pulleys) to use in the E3D Tool-Changer all of our engineers were in unanimous agreement that the tool changer needs to have genuine Gates Belts. These belts are widely known to be the finest belts out there- running smoother, and with more accuracy than any other belt on the market. It was then that one of the team jestingly pointed out that we don’t even sell these belts to our customers. Well why the hell don’t we!?

Verdict

We at E3D are both delighted and proud to be stocking Genuine Gates belts for our customers at long last. The effort that goes into their production and quality control really pays off. Gates offer a standard other belt providers just can’t reach. If you’re interested in purchasing official Gates Powergrip® belts please click here.