Kryten's Head #2
by JediJeremy, published
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This is a complete set of parts to convert a Malyan M150 / Cocoon Create / Wanhao Duplicator i3 printer from the original MK10 Extruder to a new print head with E3D V6 hotend and Remote Bowden extruder. There is also room for an inductive bed probe.
The combination should give a dramatic increase in print quality and speed, as well as being able to print higher temperatures and do bed mesh leveling. (if you also update the firmware) Also, complete V6 hotends are easier to find these days than MK10 parts.
It's not quite as good as a real Prusa i3, but significantly closes the gap.
- Full Hotend conversion for E3D V6 (or clone) Universal 1.75mm bowden kit
- Remote Bowden adapter for original extruder.
- Mounting points for 5015 Squirrel cage cooling fan (and duct)
- Inductive probe mount for bed leveling
- Bearing blocks and cable chain remain in place for fast swap.
- Hotend Nozzle remains within 1-2mm of original position.
- Slight (5-10mm) increase in Z-axis build volume. (no loss)
- Significant head-weight decrease. (300 grams! About 50%)
- Solves Belt Rubbing on Wanhao and Cocoon.
M4 Hardware :
- 6-12x 8mm M4 Bolt (use the existing bearing block bolts)
M3 Hardware :
- 6x 20mm M3 Bolt
- 1x 40mm M3 Bolt (anything from 32mm to 40mm)
- 7x M3 Nut
- 2x 5-18mm M3 Bolt (for extruder. can use old spool holder bolts)
- 2-6x Nylon Zip Ties
- Stepper Motor cable
- 18mm diameter (8mm distance) Inductive Probe
- Remote Bowden Extruder Kit (right-hand lever)
- Extra NEMA17 Stepper motor
- socket-head bolts preferred.
This is my first customizer, and not all custom tolerances are working across-the-board. There will likely be updates/fixes over time, as it's a pretty large project file with literally a lot of moving parts.
There are three "common" parts that are the same on all printers:
- Hotend Block
- Front Block
- Fan Duct
And there are three parts specific to either the Malyan or Wanhao/Cocoon variants:
- Upper Deck
- Lower Block
- Belt Block
All tolerances on the STL parts have been set so things print well using the old, crappy MK10 print head. Hopefully the customizer works well enough for small variations, and you can always download and edit the OpenSCAD.
The "E3D Hotend" STL file is used by the assembly and animation views as a reference to correctly layout the parts, it's not for printing.
The conversion solves the belt-rubbing issue on the Wanhao / Cocoon by rotating the bearing blocks sideways. Because that makes it impossible to bolt everything into a single plate (the holes for one get hidden by another) a different method is used where the bearings on each rail are bolted to their own block, and these are then clamped together into a sandwich with the remaining parts.
Assembly is slightly tricky, as you need to get the blocks fairly well aligned so there are no twisting or lateral forces on the bearings when they are finally clamped together (or they will bind up on the rods, or even "grind" them) but some patient trial-and-error will get you there.
The space available between the bearing blocks is dependent on how tall the blocks are. And it turns out they're different between the Wanhao/Cocoon and the Malyan. (The Malyan blocks are 1mm taller but thinner, which prevents the belt rubbing.) Switching between the "malyan" and "wanhao" modes will cause the upper and lower blocks to adapt to this change (22mm vs 20mm total available height), but not alter the position of the hotend nozzle.
Remove the old extruder head:
- Reduce tension in the X-carriage belt. (move the carriage up until you can get at the bolt through the little slot)
- Unplug all the connectors you can, unbolt the tractor chain
- Unbolt the extruder from the metal "L" bracket and remove the whole assembly.
- Unbolt the "L" bracket from the bearings.
- Snip the zip-ties holding the belt onto the bracket bolts and remove the "L" bracket. (don't let the belt slip out of the pulleys, it's a pain to thread it back)
- Remove the "belt tensioner" springs from both belts.
Install the new parts:
The "Upper", "Lower" parts are bolted onto their respective bearing blocks. Get them well aligned so they easily slide through each other before tightening down the bolts. If your upper deck didn't print flat, getting the two upper blocks aligned perfectly can be problematic. You want everything to be silky smooth.
Loop the Belt ends and push them sideways into the Belt block. Check you can get enough tension, but then leave it slack. (once everything is assembled, put zip-ties around the ends of the block to hold the belt in)
Put nuts into the nut traps. Two into the lower block (from the sides, so they're always accessible) and two into the back of the upper deck where the hotend bolts go.
Bolt the belt block into the lower block through the upper deck "fin" using 20mm bolts. Use tweezers or pliers to hold/jam the nuts from the side if you need to. Again, make sure the bearings haven't been "bound up" by lateral forces once done.
Add the small "hotend block" into the recess at the front of the upper deck. Put the 40mm "core bolt" through the entire head assembly. Optional but recommended, this bolt will really clamp all the parts together.
Move the limit switch from the old "L" plate to the upper deck. It should just screw in to the holes provided.
Upgrade your heater connector to one that won't melt. (XT-30 connectors for preference) and install correct connectors for the new fans.
Install the hot-end. You want the "big side" of the heater block at the back or it will touch and melt the fan duct. Bolt the front block through the hotend block into the upper deck using two 20mm bolts. This will clamp the hotend in place.
Bolt the Cable chain to the back of the upper deck. Connect up fans and switches.
Zip-tie hotend and thermistor wires to the "wire post" just under the cable chain exit to stop them flopping around. Plug all connectors back in.
If you didn't get a whole new remote extruder, Add the "bowden adaptor" block to the old extruder. Strip it down so you just have the stepper motor and "guidler" (remove the heatsink, hot-end and fan) and then bolt the adaptor block where the old hotend was. The bowden connector screws into the adaptor, and you can zip-tie the new extruder to the top of the frame through the empty spool-holder bolt-holes.
- Install the cooling fan and duct. Put some double-sided tape around the "chimney" at the top of the cooling duct part, pop open the fan clips, insert the duct (careful you don't touch the fan blades!) and close the fan up again. Bolt the fan to the front block.
Cable and Connectors
Note that you will need an extra stepper cable to run from the remote extruder into the control box,. There's no way you're getting the old cable out of the tractor chain, and you can re-use it later. (for wiring the bed probe)
If you have a Malyan M150, you will also need to replace the connector for the hotend heater cartridge. I used XT-30 connectors. If your old molex connector hasn't melted already, then you probably had it tucked into the airflow of the MK10 extruder fan, and that's gone now.
If you've got a Cocoon Create, then for goodness sake at least put some heatshrink tubing over the thermistor "connectors", if not replace them entirely. Those things are nightmarish. The thermal exhaust ports on the Death Star were safer.
I've made space for the biggest of the inductive bed probes (18mm diameter) but you have a much different one (like the Pinda probe) you can can either adjust it's size/position in the customizer, or make your own little "adaptor" so it fits in the universal-sized hole.
The probe is situated "up and to the right" so that at "home" position it sits over the bed.
This is an intermediate step on the road to Full Conversion, (and potentially multi-material) which will eventually remove the bulky, heavy, randomly sized bearing blocks and use the Prusa method of bare LM8UU bearings held into a printed part with zip ties. This will mean all our printers can finally be the same.
Unfortunately, that requires disassembling the entire X-carriage (including rods) to get the old bearing/blocks off the rails, which is a right pain. Especially re-aligning the rods afterwards. There's no going back at that point.
This way you can test all the improved hardware, such as the V6 hotend, cooling fan and bed probe (and get most of the benefit) yet there's still an easy path back to the old MK10 extruder if something goes horribly wrong.
Trust me, even a cheap clone of the E3D V6 is going to put the old Mk10 to shame. And once you have the head rebuilt and working, it's a trivial matter to drop in a genuine E3D.
The Malyan/Wanhao/Cocoon is actually a fairly well-made machine (all that metal construction makes it very rigid and stable) let down by a terrible hot-end and some really horrifying connector choices.
But the nice thing about 3D printers is their ability to upgrade themselves, with some care and thought.
A big thanks to Tessa @SparkyFace5, who supplied encouragement and measurements from her Cocoon Create, allowing me to adapt the design for a wider range of printers. Also to Angus @MakersMuse and Tom @Toms3DP for their reviews which convinced me to buy my Malyan M150 in the first place: A printer described as "so ghetto it will burn your house down", but one that contains the bones of a good machine, so long as you give it some much needed love.
Share and Enjoy. Peace and long pliers.
Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2
Recommend using PETG
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Kryten's Head #2 by JediJeremy is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.
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