Ultimaker Adjustable Fan Duct

by jwags55, published

Ultimaker Adjustable Fan Duct by jwags55 Apr 20, 2013


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Derived from Owen's fan duct design. I liked the clip-on design, but after a few high-speed prints, it started moving around. I added "ears" that allows screws to be added to securely clamp the duct to the threaded rods as well as allow you to adjust the height.

I added a rib to the interior of the duct to increase rigidity where it was a little weak due to the how it is printed. I also added some "flats" to hold the hex nuts in position to make assembly easier. I also removed a bit of material "here and there" to lighten it up a bit.

Owen published his source Autodesk Inventor CAD file which is a great design - Thanks! The modified Inventor and STEP files are included as well.



0.4 wall, 100% fill.

I printed at 75 mm/s, 0.1 mm layer height.

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It is soooo good~ Thx a lot!

I just printed one (quite elegant) and it looks like it will do a very nice job. Well done!

Some observations based on the print and assembly:

  • The lip of the duct that prints on the bottom (the one without the reinforcing spar) printed with a few blemishes at the very tip of the overhang. It might print better if the lip was a bit thicker, so the overhang is a smaller % of each layer.

  • The attachment tightening screw holes have the nut-catching hexagons on the outside of each post. They would probably work better on the inside (or both), since it is much easier to fasten the bolts using a screwdriver from the outside (I used cap screws left over from my ultimaker build).

  • The nut-catchers seem to be a little tight for the standard ultimaker nuts. You might want to consider expanding them by 0.5mm.

  • I couldn't fit nuts into the fan-attach nut-catchers, which made that part of the assembly a bit tricky. You may want to consider making these half-catcher with only 3 facets, so you can just slide a nut in from the outside.

This last one I'm not sure of, but it might be interesting to try. Currently, the airflow is not symmetric around the extruder, since it is off-center in the hot-end. Perhaps making the duct do a curve so that the end of the duct is centered on the extruder might give some marginal improvement.

MadOverloard - Thanks for the feedback. I've been considering modifying the airflow design for a while now. I didn't change any of the airflow design from Owen's layout - I only added a few tweaks to the how it is attached.

  • The hex nuts for attaching the fan are tight. That was by design, so I didn't actually have to hold the nuts in place while inserting the screw. I just used a needle-nosed pliers to press them into the hex retainers.
  • The non-reinforced side of the duct is a bit thin, but printed out very well on my print. I could be some variations in our slicer settings. I could look at that for a Version 2.
  • I liked the ability to access both screws from the front of the UM, so I that's why the nut-retainers are designed as such. I do like the idea of placing the nut-retainers on both sides to give the users an option.
  • Airflow to the right side is a problem for me as well for some prints. I've been considering a few different options. In the end, it is important (for me) that the design is as light as possible.

I see your point about being able to access the two screws from the front. As for the tight nut-catchers, I'll try that again when I next get a chance, though as long as the nut is in rough position, a finger holds it in place easily while you start threading the bolt.

WRT the duct outlet, I was thinking about this myself and it occurred to me that making the outlet modular might be an interesting thing to try.

In other words, have the outlet end in a rectangular, horizontal duct, perhaps with a detent hole on the bottom surface about 1cm from the lip of the duct.

Then you could print different nozzles that slide into the duct and have a little bump that goes into the detent hole and latches the part solidly into place (though TBH, the friction fit will probably be fine). Another way to do it would be small holes in both parts that let you use a small screw.

This would allow people to print and test all sorts of different outlet designs, and simply hot-swap them without removing the fan mounting.

Thanks Owen. You had already done all the layout work to get everything to fit properly and the airflow worked well for me. No need duplicate all that work.

Hi jwags55
I only just noticed this. You're right about mine slipping after a while. I recently made the holes a bit tighter, but I really like how you've done it here. I'm surprised you used my source files. They were a bit untidy. Well done.

Actually I used your fan duct for months (see last picture on http://www.tridimake.com/2013/04/3D-printing-with-cheap-trimmer-line.htmlhttp://www.tridimake.com/2013/... ) But I printed it in nylon, and the material itself adds a small unwanted warping that makes it work so well in the end that I need no nut at all to secure it, and it never slipped!
Now I like the ears of this derivative, b/c it is probably faster to put in place (I just hate those 4 huge screws!)

It looks like it still needed a bit more tweaking. I moved the "ears" in closer to the threaded rod axis and added back in some material to the mounting bore to improve stability. It was moving slightly on X-moves.