Tevo Tarantula Display Mount


Print Details

Thing
Part/Model:Tevo Tarantula display clamps / LCD bracket
Designer:Jordi Boere
Source:Thingiverse
Print
Printer:Tevo Tarantula
Slicer:Simplify3D 4.1
Layer Height:0.2
Infill:20% (Hexagonal)
Speed:60mm/s
Extruder Temp:240°C
Supports:No
Notes:Blue tape for bed adhesion;
Material
Type:PETG
Brand:3Dfillies
Size:1.75mm
Colour:Grey
Link:PETG Filament 1.75mm
Summary
Print Time (approx):2.5hrs Each
Material Used:100g (approx.)
Final Thoughts:Printed well;
Designed for easy printing requiring no supports;
Design Score:8/10
Print Score:7/10
Final Mark:8/10

Intro

Tevo Tarantula 3D printer and LCD display seperate on the workbench
Tevo Tarantula and LCD display seperate on the workbench

It’s a puzzling thing really, why oh why didn’t Tevo, in all their wisdom, mount the LCD display to something, anything?! It’s understandable that in order to offer a stupidly cheap 3D printer, as the Tevo Tarantula is, they had to make some cutbacks, but having the screen just dangling about in no-mans-land is just dumb. Even the dirt quality Anet A8 had a location with-in the frame but instead on the Tarantula, its just sort-of along for the ride, tethered to it like a naughty child on a leash.

Being a separate component, the display is attached to the printer by a foot or so of ribbon cable. The housing of the display is clear acrylic, front and back, and then held together with elongated hex nuts (AKA stand-offs) at each corner. This housing for the display is fine, what isn’t fine is the fact there’s nowhere really for it.

What a pain

The frustrations that this caused was obvious. In fact, it was ruining my experience of using the Tevo Tarantula, so much so I’d go out of my way not to use it purely because of the associated stuffing around that went along when trying to get anything printed. It was a constant battle, moving the display here and there, back and forth and so on, just so it wasn’t in the way. But somehow it always seemed to be exactly where it shouldn’t be, finding a way for get caught on some moving part of the printer and being knocked off the workbench.

What was needed was a way of a fixing to the frame. Given its aluminium extrusion design, it wouldn’t be hard to find a suitable spot for it to belong on the printer somewhere. Luckily as with anything in life there is always a solution to problems and sure enough that solutions came in the form of a nicely designed LCD display mounting bracket system from the Thingiverse by designer BOERE.

Design

Render of Tevo Tarantula LCD display mounting bracket (image credit: Thingiverse, 27.06.2016, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1642871)
Render of LCD display mounting bracket (image credit: Thingiverse, 27.06.2016, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1642871)

With the indented positioning for the screen on top of the Tevo Tarantulas frame, this mounting system was just what the doctor ordered, simple, well thought out and utilising the existing hardware on the printer. Being placed top and centre on the printer really helps focus attention onto the most important information being displayed during a print. Rather than having the screen mounted further down towards the base of the printer, like most other printers do, having to constantly look down at a screen, instead all readouts along with the selection dial is placed in a convenient position.

Preview of Tevo Tarantula LCD display mounting bracket (image credit: Thingiverse, 27.06.2016, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1642871)
Preview of LCD display mounting bracket (image credit: Thingiverse, 27.06.2016, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1642871)

The display brackets were printed in grey PETG for no other reason other than that’s what the spool of filament already loaded on the printer. In fact, the grey being an understated colour, goes well with the rest of the look of the printer. If I wasn’t being so lazy it would have been preferred to do these mounts in black, grey however is the next best thing and fits in nicely to the already dull and boring colour scheme the Tarantula is adorning.

Installing the brackets

Tevo Tarantula 3D printer with LCD display mounted to top of aluminium 2020 frame
LCD display mounted to top of frame

Attaching the brackets to the screen require the display assembly to be partly unassembled, taking the back piece of clear acrylic off, inserted in between the hexagonal stand-off and the backing and then all screwing everything back together. By directly bolting the mounts to the display assembly it made the whole structure significantly more solid and sturdy than if it were to be simply clipped in place and not being held on by any additional fixings.

I ended up attaching the brackets prior to mounting onto the frame, as it was going to be a lot easier to have the display disassembled on the bench, rather than trying to do it while balancing bits of acrylic on the printer frame. Realistically it could be done either way, but I found it easier to do it prior.

Tevo Tarantula LCD mounting bracket detail. Detail of how the LCD mounting bracket is mounted onto the display assembly
Detail of how the LCD mounting bracket is mounted onto the display assembly

The installation itself was easy as pie as well, just slide the brackets over the end of the aluminium extrusion and there you go, it doesn’t even require any t-slot nuts, bolts or any other fixings to be held in place with no flex or movement. 

On the first attempt to get the display installed, I tried clipping it directly over the extrusion from the top rather than the end but found that the design of the brackets did not allow for this approach. The legs that get wrapped around the frame can’t open wide enough for the aluminium profile to be slotted in, in which case, the only the means to get the brackets on is to slide them on from the end. 

This on a normal Tarantula, with a single Z-axis screw, it’s not an issue but as my Tarantula has dual Z-axis motors and a stonking aluminium mounting plate at the top of the frame directly in the way, it made sliding the mounts onto the frame a chore. In order to get them over the end of the 2020 profile, I first had to disassemble one of the stepper motors, and one of the frame corner pieces, slide on the mounting brackets and then refit everything. While this is not a huge task, still it’s one more step than I was really wanting to undertake.

More pain

While the display is now in a prime location, the only issue that arises is directly due to crappiness of the Tevo Tarantula itself. You see, when using the selection rotary dial to either scroll through the menu or pressing down to make a selection, it moves the Z-axis uprights of the printer. On most other machines, these uprights are solid enough that they can handle a little bit of force applied to the top of the frame, but not the Tarantula. Its frame isn’t solid at all and by moving the display to this spot, while visually ideal, directly impacts on print quality. The rule I’ve had to learn to adopt is don’t touch the screen or selector switch while the printer is doing its thing, otherwise expect some funky print quality.

Conclusion

Tevo Tarantula 3D printer with LCD display mounted to top of aluminium 2020 frame
Tevo Tarantula with LCD display mounted to top of frame

Without a doubt this is the best location for the display to be on the printer. It’s right there when needed, and no longer constantly getting in the way as it was. I like the way the display is mounted and the simplicity of the design itself, but I don’t like how cheap and crappy the Tevo Tarantula is and by mounting the LCD where it is it just accentuates the flaws in the machines design.

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