E3D Hotend mount for Ultimaker

by am001, published

E3D Hotend mount for Ultimaker by am001 May 27, 2013
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Replacement head for Ultimaker to allow the use of the E3D hotend.
This allows jam free printing at elevated temperatures for PLA, ABS and PC. It can also go phenominally fast. ABS at >150mm/s is no problem, as you can run it at 265deg. This also gives very strong parts with superb surface finish.
It has mounting points that replicate the lower Ultimaker plate, so as you can attach your favorite cooling fan. The E3D head is held in with a single screw and captive nut.
YouTube link of my first version printing here http://youtu.be/5YNZmCaw0O4. Apologies for the poor camera work!
With thanks to Sanjay at E3D for his support!

Please see the fanduct optimised for this head


Print both parts top and bottom in ABS, no supports needed, and stick them together with acetone or superglue or print the whole thing at once with supports if you prefer.
If (like me) your printer can't do ABS with the V2 hotend, then make one in PLA, and it will last long enough to make one in ABS that should last.

Depending on how well calibrated your Ultimaker is, you may need to clean out the 12mm diameter holes for the linear bearings with a reamer, or it actually works quite well just to paint them with acetone to soften the inner surface before you push the bearings in. The ABS then sets around the bearings.

All parts are assembled with M3 screws. The Ultimaker thermocouple board screws directly on top. The wires from the fan, heater and thermocouple go up the tube on the head to keep them neat.

This works well in a heated chamber up to about 45degC, above that the cold end of the head can't be kept cold enough. This is normally warm enough to stop ABS from warping though, so shouldn't be a problem.

You will need to adjust your endstop switches slightly, the size of the head means you lose about 2mm of X and Y area. Z height is the same as the V2 ultimkaker head.

Any questions just message me or post on here.

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I have a BL-Touch sensor, just wondering where will I installed it on this setup.

Very thoughtful design. What slides/bearings are needed for this part?

Aug 20, 2015 - Modified Aug 20, 2015

Got it printed and installed with a cooling fan for the heat sink. No cooling fan yet for the print. I was able to successfully load some PLA. It loaded and extruded fine. I adjusted one end stop (the one that sits against the back of the UM2) by putting a little pad on the black housing of the cross bar that touches it and it appears to work fine. I am using heater cable and sensor cable that came with the E3D hot end that I purchased. When I try to print the little Ultimaker Robot, the print head moves to front left as normal and begins to heat up, but part way through the heat up process the UM2 reboots itself. Have tried multiple times with same results. I am able to go into Advanced maintenance and heat up the print bed and the nozzle manually, but as soon as I use the print functionality, it auto reboots. Any ideas on what is wrong?

Just printed it for a bowden v6 but it doesn't seem to fit right at all. The height of the full diameter cooling fins on my extruder is 26mm and the diameter is 22mm.

I've added a make so you can see the issues.

Would this work with the Ultimaker 2?

Hi, which version of the hot end does this fit?

Everything up to and including v5 is OK, V6 is untested, I haven't looked into it.

The v6 seems to fit ok. Do you know what size fan that mounts for the print. Not the fan that mounts for the extruder, the other fan? Thanks.

Pleased to hear that!. The cooling fan is the standard Ultimaker one, 50x50x10.

I have decided to upgrade my ultimaker; however it is currently out of action. Would anyone be interested in printing one and selling it to me on ebay?

I don't have heated bed and I print only with PLA. Do You think that it's going to work fine, if I print this with PLA and later I would use this only for PLA (on 205-220 C)?

It seems that keeping the bottom most fins cool will prevent the heat from creeping up the stainless steel heat break. Other E3D mounts have the fan as far down as possible relative to those fins. Your design is by far the most solid and stable but I believe that I'm having issues with PLA sticking/jamming because it is getting hot too far up the heat break. Would you consider making the whole assembly taller and shifting the fan mounting holes down to cool the bottom fins? Thanks for all your hard work.

Hi, The fan position is based on the position of the fan on E3D's own duct. It has the bottom of the fan level with the lowest heatsink fin, so it is hard to see it going any lower, without getting too close to the hot parts. You don't want the fan air to escape below the heatsink and cool the heater block.
The data is posted in STEP format, which most CAD systems can use, so please feel free to mod and report mack if you can get an improvement.

I am not using this hotend anymore, I built a watercooled system so I can use a hotter heated chamber, so I can't develop this any further. Sorry.

How did you connect the pneumatic fitting to the hot end? Do you have an URL for that fitting?

You are looking for the bowden version, this is threaded for the fitting.

<http: e3d-online.com="" index.php?route="product/product&amp;product_id=50"></http:>

I have designed a fanduct, and posted it as http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:131647http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... Please have a go with it and let me know what you think.

Initial tests suggest a big improvement. It certainly doesn't cool the head any more which the Daid type one did.

Fanduct for E3D Ultimaker head
by am001

That was quick. I'll print it this evening.

I see in your video that you do not have a print cooling fan mounted. Do you never use a fan?
The design does, I think, need a fan cowl designed especially for it. The Daid designed cowl ends well short of the print nozzle - about 20mm shy of it.
Or can you recommend an existing design that would be a better match to your (otherwise wonderful) hot end mount?

I normally use a fan at 20-50% power in a heated chamber with ABS or at 100% with PLA and no chamber.

I agree the fan position is not ideal, it cools the head too much. I will have a go at making a new fan design. give me couple of days.


Received my eagerly awaited E3D a short time ago and have installed it in your excellent mount which I made in one piece in PLA.

Did need to use a 12mm reamer.

Disappointed that E3D's pipe fitting is too big to use - I know that you warned of this in another thread. So am waiting for a fitting...

Should you ever update this design may I suggest moving away from the 'hinged' clamp? I found it absolutely nerve racking opening the clamp far enough to manoeuvre the hot end into position.

I've fitted the cooling fan with the cowl designed by Daid (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:34603)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

I did try to use that designed by jwags55 (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:77107)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... but that interfered with the Moon Cactus/Nick Foley XY blocks and would have required a loss of x travel to avoid this clash.

I've followed your lead and re-used the Ultimaker Aluminium block, heater and thermocouple.

Ultimaker Adjustable Fan Duct
by jwags55

could you maybe upload a print where you retract a lot? I would be very interested...

Most of what I print is confidential work done for clients, so I can't share. If you have something suitable I can download on here I will print it and post a pic. I certainly haven't had any issues with retraction so far.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19104http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... would be a nice print for sure, with heaps of retraction.

Cellular Lamp

Please see the pic I added above.

I finally got some time to try this. It really is a nasty model to make. The overhangs are quite extreme, and the thin beams when unsupported tend to get broken off by the head. The only way I could do it (without support) was to have a 0.5mm Z lift on every retraction so as to prevent this damage.

The retraction is fine in ABS. I used 0.08mm layers, 100mm/s 4mm retraction, 255 degC.

I also tried in PLA, and I couldn't get it to build more than about an inch tall before it jammed.
I think this is mainly due to the temperature here at the moment. My workshop is about 38degreesC in the day! Particularly when you add in the heat from the hot bed, this means that the cold part of the hotend is probably at or near the glass transition point of the PLA making it sticky.
I even tried to do a PID autotune (M303) on the head to remove any fluctuations, and it wouldn't let me because the temperature was so high!
Watercooling is the next step for me!

2 things:
1)this + directdrive = win?


1) Yes I have direct drive. The biggest improvement is the fact it just works and not having to worry about how loose the short belts are every few days. There is not a noticable difference in quality between tight short belts and direct drive - it just always stays at this level.
2) I havn't weighed it but any difference is pretty tiny. If anything this is lighter than the plywood. The actual aluminium part is very light, and actually they are now supplying a new version that is even lighter than the one in the pics.

Definitely win.

wow, i'll really have to look into this more....by this i mean go to wife ask if i may spend the money to buy yet another thing for the 3d printer...may have to break something around the house first :P

Nice work am001.

Are you using the 12V 40W heater cartridge that comes with the E3D?

If so, how are you connecting it to the Ultimaker? Have you had any issues with it? Have you got any idea of what the heater cardridge life is?

am001 - in reply to VGer

Hello VGer
I have used the existing Ultimaker aluminium block and heater, so I can't comment on the E3D one. I wouldn't anticipate any problems with it though, it looks robust enough, and as long as it is under control i.e. your thermocouple and processor are preventing thermal runaway, it should handle the extra volts OK.

VGer - in reply to am001

Thanks for the reply.
I thought you were using the 20W 12V block from the E3D nozzle.

This looks great! I cant wait to start working on printing it. I believe I will have to go the PLA first and then print it in ABS.

question - what temp and speed are you printing the nylon with?

I wanted to share some thoughts about dual head rig. What do you think about a bigger fan (50 mm) mounted on the side and then a fan duct split into 4 nozzles. 2 to go down and cool the area under the 2 nozzles and then 2 to cool the dual head shafts?

Also, to reduce backlash, what about a 2nd bowden tube to handle air with the fan in the back / side blowing into the tube?

Sorry for slow response, I have been away for a few days...
The nylon is very much like ABS, except I am using 280deg. The difficulty is getting it to stick to the bed. This either has to be very hot, or have some tape or other rough surface for the nylon to grip to. I need to do more experiments with it still.
The tiny fan that E3D supply is actually very light yet very potent, to the point where one fan could do both heads no problem. I think this is a much better solution that almost anything else as it can be kept running at all times, and will give much less problems than attaching another bowden tube and some sort of compressor to push the air down the tube.
Good luck with yours, let us know how you get on!

Hi David,

Sanjay from E3D - (Designed the hotend in question)

From a cooling perspective I am quite certain that a split duct and 50mm fan would work wonderfully.

However I think it would be troublesome to use the same fan for cooling the print and the hotend. The hotend needs constant cooling but the print only wants to be cooled at certain points in time.

Don't know much about the way this mount works as I don't have an ultimaker so can't help you on the rest of your questions. Sorry!

I was wondering what kind of benefits and any issues if any you had with this extruder versus the original. Looks like a more solid extruder mount from the alignment point of view.

Benefits are: No clogs/jams/plugs of any sort. Faster extrusion. Better control at very thin layers. Use any filament (I am experimenting with cheap nylon strimmer line at 15GBP per kg)

Only issue is loss of about 3mm of y motion.
It has done hundreds of hours now and hasn't missed a beat.

looks great, wondering where you hooked the second fan up to?

I took it to the 12v out on the UM PCB. This ensures it is running all the time.