Solidoodle 40mm fan repair

by kj6epl, published

Solidoodle 40mm fan repair by kj6epl Nov 30, 2012
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Does the fan on your extruder heatsink have a broken blade? You can fix it without having to buy a new one. Using the instructions below, you can print a new blade. Although the blade is designed for this specific fan, it may also work for any 40x40x10mm fan as well. Happy printing!


  1. Before you start taking apart the damaged fan, print the new blade. You might be wise to print a 2nd copy in case you screw up the first time.

  2. Remove the damaged fan or move it to a workable position.

  3. Option 1: Using pliers, gently wiggle the damaged fan blade while pulling backward until it comes off. (see picture)

  4. Option 2: Puncture the label on the front of the fan with a push pin or small screwdriver, and push out damaged blade.

  5. Pry out magnet using a small slotted screwdriver or pick. (see picture)

  6. Remove bearing and axle with pliers. It will most likely break off; if it does, remove any remaining plastic fragments from the axle. (see picture)

  7. Install magnet into new blade dark side up/silver side down by laying the blade on a hard surface and pressing it in. If you have an arbor press at your disposal, use it.

  8. Re-drill axle hole using a 5/64" bit. Do not drill through the back of the blade. (see picture)

  9. Install the axle/bearing assembly to the new blade. Make sure you press it in square. (see picture)

  10. Grab the bearing with needle nose pliers and spin the blade. Adjust the axle until it doesn't wobble.

  11. Install the finished blade into the fan. You're done!

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Is this fan even necessary for printing PLA?

Worked fine but I needed to scale it to 100.20% There was no way the ring magnet would fit in place. Thanks for posting as you've saved a me a trip to Fry's.

Worked perfect. Thank you much!

Great. Thank you.

I've ordered a new fan which won't be here for days so I'm gonna give this a go so I can keep printing temporarily. I was feeling dumb when I broke my fan. Now... I'm starting to think I'm not the only dumb one. :D Thanks for the awesome design!

After taking off the old fan and putting the new (printed) one in, the fan stopped working. Is it salvageable or do I need to order a new fan?

1) Verify there is no binding between the new fan blade and the case. This could be caused by blobs, y-axis backlash, and other such common print quality issues. Just file down any high spots.
2) Verify that the bearing is installed correctly into the new fan blade. The shaft should be straight and should not wobble.
3) Verify that the magnet is installed correctly to the new fan blade. Orientation is critical; look at my how-to pics and double check your work.

It worked wonderfully until it melted! I guess ABS isn't the best material to use for a fan blade for the extruders!

I use an ABS cooling duct on my extruder, and after melting the first one, I found that it works fine as long as you continuously circulate a small amount of air. In my case, I "idle" the fan at a PWM value of 38 (M106 S38) during warm up and the first layer. After that, as long as it comes on for a few seconds each layer, it will be fine. Since the fan won't spin up at a duty cycle that low, I briefly give it full power to get it going, then idle it. Here's the first part of my startup script:

M190 S70 ;Wait for bed to heat up
M140 S80 ;Finish bed warm up while hot end is heating
M106 S255 ;Start fan
G4 P500 ;Pause 500 ms for fan to start
M106 S38 ;Idle fan
M109 S200 ;heat hot end and wait

If you use a heated bed temp >100C, you may need to start the fan before turning on the bed heater. Also, you may have to experimentally determine what "idle" pwm value works best for your setup; 38 is just what works for me.

Also, if you (or anyone else reading this) need a driver for your fan so you can use PWM control, see http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:22202 for a good driver circuit.

Cooling Fan MOSFET Driver

see only thing is, my extruder fan came as a 30mm not 40mm

Just scale it by .75 and it works for 30mm.

i wish i would have found this a week ago. Nice