How do you call the mechanism that allows linear motion along the Z-axis in a Cartesian 3D Printer?

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I know what the individual parts are; it is a lead screw, a smooth rod ... but how do you call the mechanism that allows this linear motion?

Mechanism is defined as: an assembly of moving parts performing a complete functional motion, often being part of a large machine

So I guess, it has to have a name, doesn't? .. but I am unable to find it

  • $\begingroup$ I would go with "z-axis mechanism". Not everything has one word for its name. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to analyze it .. I think it is possible to do that with Kinematics .. But I am not sure where do I start .. Maybe in the Math or Physics Stack Overflow, but first I would like to have an idea of what to do .. $\endgroup$
    – Nau
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 20:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would suggest "z-axis assembly" to refer to the collection of all the parts that contribute to z-axis motion/stability. $\endgroup$
    – p.s.w.g
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ So, I would go the same with the "x-axis assembly" and "y-axis assembly" .. I don't know .. $\endgroup$
    – Nau
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


Linear actuator would be the proper name for the mechanism driving the movement along a single axis. There are 2 linear actuators driving the X-axis platform (for a Prusa i3 Cartesian printer, or the build platform for a raising bed Cartesian printer like a CoreXY, H-bot, etc.), the collection of parts could be named the Z-axis assembly.

  • $\begingroup$ and, How is it called for the X and Y axis? $\endgroup$
    – Nau
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ X-axis is ofren caled X-axis assembly or portal/cantilever ; Y-axis is usually the Y-axis assembly or Bed-movement ; This does not work for a CoreXY, where X and Y are called the "Horizontal" and Z the Bed-movement. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 12:04

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