When considering the MPCNC tool holder you have some great options.At the end of the day, you need to be able to attach tools to your Mostly Printed CNC. These tools can include things like a rotary tool, a router or a proper spindle. Other tools include a cutting knife, a laser, or even a pen. Many people also attach a heated extruder and use their machine as a large 3D printer!
Holding these tools firmly and vertically is the job of the MPCNC tool holder. It attaches to the vertical pipes (Z-axis) using four bolts – two on each pipe – spaced three inches apart. Ryan Zellars ingenious design was to 3D print some semi-circular nut holders that fit inside the pipe. These nut holders are shown on the right. The locking nut fits snugly into the holder. The you use a 6-32 machine screw to attach the MPCNC tool holder to the pipes.
I found that it helps to work the screw through the nut holder’s hole before final assembly, jut to make sure that the screw fits nicely and runs true as you screw it in to the locking nut.
Universal MPCNC tool holder provides easy tool changes
The Universal MPCNC tool holder, shown above, as a community enhancement available on Thingiverse. It is really a universal mount that can accommodate a variety of large and small tool holders. This plastic part has a slot down the front which lets you slide tool holders in and out. It also has provision for using up to four M3 screws and nuts to tighten everything down.
The mounting unit is around 4” tall, so make sure that the bottom layers of your 3D print are really well attached to the print bed. The first time I tried to print one of these it worked loose about 90% through the print, and that ruined the whole thing.
If you look on Thingiverse you will find a whole bunch of tool holders that will fit into this mount. The first one I am going to print is a “mini mount” that can be used to hold a pen. I figure that when I get the machine running, I will spend some time learning to control it by drawing on paper, before I move on to more serious work.