gMax 1.0 custom mod to 1.5/XL (am I crazy?)

So after being a little envious of the build height on the gMax 1.5 and 1.5XL I pondered converting my gMax 1.0, but with also using the extra small pieces of extruded aluminum from it to get extra height.

I started by pulling STL files from the 1.0 and 1.5 builds into SketchUp and came up with what I have so far in the attached photos. The extra supports I added are to try and stack the aluminum frame pieces (17" and 8") together and keep them vertical and stable, which I may have gone overboard on. I plan on using aluminum angle brackets on the front of each vertical section instead of the front, and kept the Z-Axis mounts and parts because it seems like I can get more print area in the X-Axis that way.

Anyhow, I realize I missing parts on my cad drawing so far, but I'm curious if people think this is an interesting and worthwhile idea/build, or if there are inherent flaws in my logic that would prevent this from working out. Any thoughts are welcome. :)
Thanks for the idea and link Kyle that sounds like a great way to go!

My goal for all of this was to make it as quick and cheap as possible, but while still making it stable with the extra height. So far I think I can do most of it (except for longer wires & new connectors) for about $60.

I get to order the parts in the next couple weeks and and will begin printing parts later this week, hopefully using the 0.8mm Volcano hot-end for strong parts. =]
Finally after lots planning and a couple blocks of time, I have a success mod of my gMax 1.0 to well... sort of a gMax 1.5XL. The pictures below will give you an idea of how it turned out, although I'm not quite done tweaking. I still have my own print bed upgrade I made that needs to be added, but I'm thrilled about the gain in build height (~19" now)! Especially after loosing an inch or two due to the E3D hot-ends.

I will post updates later as to quality and accuracy, especially with tall prints.
BTW I didn't clarify that this mod uses the 17" and 8" pieces of 1.5" aluminum rail from the gMax 1.0 and butts them end-to-end with supports to make two 25" lengths of aluminum for height. So far it seems plenty rigid and stable.

If anyone is interested in the parts I printed or bought to perform the modifications just reply back here and I'll get them to you.

Next modifications will be:
- "Beefier" customized print bed for hot swapping bed materials
- X-Axis carriage add-on for Discov3ry Paste Extruder
- X-Axis complete mod to the gMax 1.5+ style, with removable print head
- Z-Axis mod to remove smooth rod and use wheels long vertical frame (like gMax 1.5+)
Hello! Im new in the 3d printing world and I just read your comment about adapting the Discov3ry paste extruder to your upgraded printer so I was wondering how easy it would be to adapt one myself to a gMax 1.5 XT, the Structur3d page posted a few questions to find out if it can be easily adaptable but since Im still learning and this would be a good reason to get my gMax 1.5 XT Im hoping you can answer this for me pleeeeease :mrgreen:

1) Are your electronics based off the RAMPs architecture? Are they accessible?
2) Does your printer work with open-sourced software?
3) Is the extruder motor a NEMA17 stepper motor?
4) Is the nozzle chassis easy to access in order add or change extruder tips?

PS: sounds like an amazing idea what youre doing!Let us know how it went
Hi Caleb, I have a Gmax 1.0 and I would definitely be interested in the files and the parts required to make the upgrade. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks - Mike
Hi Mike,

Apologies for my super-delayed reply, I haven't been on the forum in quite a while. I'd be happy to share my Sketchup and STL files for the mod I did, and I sent you a forum message with my email address that you can reach me at to send you the files.

Also to lorenb-id, a quick answer to all of your questions is actually 'Yes'. I have a RAMPS 1.4 board that's fairly accessible, it's on the Marlin firmware, uses a NEMA17 style motor, and the nozzle chassis is easy to access, or at least if you design it that way it will be.
After a few recent upgrades to my old gMax 1.0 it is now a bit of a Frankenstein's monster version of a gMax 1.5+ and I thought I'd share a photo:

gMax 1.x Custom.jpg

The spool holder at the top is my design for have the least amount of pull resistance when extruding extremely flexible filaments and I have not yet put it online, but it works really well for me.

All of the 40-series extrusion joints are now using magnesium corner connectors from that I'm an big fan of so far:

I have a complete re-work of the X/Z axis setup in progress that's closer to the 1.5+, but hope to finish my personal design for a magnetic mount for changing out different "print heads" depending on the build/project.

If anyone is interested in parts or has questions let me know about what I've done let me know.
@CalebC that's pretty cool! I found this thread bc I was thinking of modding my 1.5 XT+ to get a few more inches of print space. Is it just a matter of extending the frame (horiz and vert), getting a longer belt, longer rods and a bigger bed? Is there software modding that needs to happen, other than in the slicing app? Curious how difficult this would be..
@mluschek Thanks! I'm not totally sure the modifications I did to mine will work quite the same for the 1.5XT+ as the 1.0, but overall you have the right idea about the frame, belt, and rods, as well as a bigger bed. You can pick up the 15-series T-Slot extruded aluminum framing several places and either have the pieces cut for you or do that yourself if you have the equipment. I would just make sure you can make proper 90 degree cuts. Also I think the 1.5XT+ frame is drilled and threaded to be bolted together so if you plan on joining the aluminum extrusion that way you'd need a tap set and the right hardware. The threaded rod and timing belt are both also pretty simple to find online, just make sure it's the same diameter and pitch (8mm and 2mm I believe). The most difficult part to increase size on for a 1.5XT+ would be the bed since that is custom made for gCreate. I never had one of the newer aluminum beds so I ended up creating my own out of 10-series V-Slot aluminum extrusion with 90 degree brackets, printed parts, and hardware. I can put up my design for the bed and parts if you'd like; it's an 18" x 18" surface.
Thanks for the info! I have already replaced my original bed w a piece of glass so that's no big deal. I can have a bigger piece cut easily. I literally just taped it down with flex seal tape. lol that stuff is really strong! Anyway, yeah, I"ll have to do some research into finding the parts but it should be easy enough to find, as ppl are always building printers