Making a Continuous Belt.
This page details how to build a continuous loop conveyor belt from a flat sheet of material. It will enable you to test out any material on your PrintShift or other belt-based printer, and is widely applicable for joining strips of material.
- Belt Joining Tape. What sort of tape!? Three things to consider are:
- Tape Material
- Tape Thickness
- Tape Adhesive
- Belt. Again, what sort?
- You need a strip ~20mm longer than your final loop size, cut to the correct width.
- Painter’s Tape
- This is used to hold the belt in place while assembling, and discarded afterwards. 1” wide is fine; pictured below use 2” wide.
- Block of wood to cut on.
- If your printer can’t slide a continuous belt on, a thin piece of HDPE or similar (cutting mat) is recommended to protect your bed.
- Sharp knife capable of cutting your belt.
- Light. Do not attempt in darkness.
- Place belt outside-down on your work surface.
- Place block of wood on top.
- Form the belt into an overlapping loop - lining up the straightest edge with itself.
- Tape the belt into a loop
- Thoroughly tape the belt to the wood cutting block on either side of the joining tape line.
- Cut through BOTH layers of the belt.
- cutting at a slight angle will help maintain belt tension over the seam.
- Remove the ends of the belt carefully - the goal is not to disturb the joint.
- Join the belt ends with your Belt Joining Tape.
- Woo it’s a belt! Carefully remove the blue tape and install it on your printer.