Direct-drive hinged extruder for E3D/J-Head hot-end (Prusa i3)

by ffleurey, published

Direct-drive hinged extruder for E3D/J-Head hot-end (Prusa i3) by ffleurey Sep 7, 2013


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Here is my attempt at designing an extruder for my Prusa i3.

I took some inspiration from different designs to try to make an extruder which is easy to print, compact, easy to clean and has tight guides for the filament (to be able to use flexible materials).

I made a couple of test prints with it and it seems to work fine so far. I haven't tested any challenging materials yet, just PLA.

Here are the components:

  • E3D all metal hot end for 1.75mm filament. It mounts like a J-Head so a J-Head should fit as well.
  • NEMA17 stepper motor. I am using a 40mm motor but any NEMA17 should work. The back of the motor is mounted on the X carriage and all the extruder parts are mounted to the front of the motor.
  • Mk8 Drive Gear. The Idler and filament guide are very tight around the Mk8 gear so other gears will probably not fit without modifications.
  • EDIT: The design is now for a 5x10x4 ball bearing and not the initial Yoyo ball bearing (It is a 5x11x5 bearing grooved to 10mm in the center) The groove helps guide the filament but it should also work with a flat 5x10x4, 5x10x5 or 5x11x5 bearing.
  • 50mm centrifugal fan (5015S 12V 50x15mm)
  • A Spring. I am using one from an IKEA PRESSA clothespin.
  • Some M3 and M4 screws and nuts.

EDIT - Version 1.1:
After a bit of testing, the grooved bearing worked fine with PLA and Nylon but not with Flexibel PolyEster so I switched to a flat 5x10x4 bearing. I improved a bit the "idler arm" to make it able to squeeze the filament a bit further and also made it slightly stronger. I was able to make a nice flexible print with this new setup. Stay tuned :-)

EDIT - Version 1.2:
Here is a new version. This is now designed specifically for a 5x10x4 (or 5x10x5) ball bearing and it includes an even tighter filament guide. I had some issues printing flexible polyester with the previous version, this one works better. I have also tested with PLA, Nylon and PET without problems so far.

Here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80q71dtGmuk

I have also uploaded the sources made with LibreCAD and OpenSCAD so you can customize it to your needs. Make sure you upload the remixes! :-)

EDIT - Better fan duct:
Here is a slightly more advanced fan duct which help distribute some airflow around the nozzle: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:151555

EDIT - Two can fit on a 80mm carriage!
Here is a video of my dual extrusion system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca-XfL2IUWs


Just drop a comment if you need me to provide some instructions on how to assemble :-)

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I've printed this extruder and, using a remix, mounted it to my Makerfarm Prusa i3v with an E3D-v6. It pushes plastic into the hotend just fine, but when it does the nozzle moves towards the inside of the printer (away from you if you were standing in front of the printer). Surely the movement would cause issues with prints. It's almost as if the opening on the extruder base is too large for the top of the E3D-v6, thus it's not holding it still and allowing it to wobble when plastic is pushed down into the nozzle.

Any ideas?

Work it in Anet A8?

what did you use to attach the stepper to the carriage??

Apr 29, 2017 - Modified May 4, 2017

Hi, I designed x-carriage witch have better belt mounts and give you little bit of Z axis space :) http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2282934

Better Direct Drive Prusa i3 X-carriage

What kind of linear bearings are you using for the x axis rods and are they attached with zip-ties? LM8UU linear bearings?

Belt mounting solution on carriage isn't that great- it's realy sensitive to print quality. In my case belt was slipping, so I had to secure it with zip ties.

What are the specific screw lengths for this conversion?

Do you have a link for the bearing and drive gear? I'm converting an Anet A6 printer, and thought the extruder from that had the right pieces but it turns out they're slightly too large so I'll have to buy some. I can't print a modified part to suit the bits I have because the printer is in bits right now!

Hello, i've printed it and looks good, i'm trying to modify the bearing hole, because i do have some bearings with 13 mm external diametr.

I can see the part in MyExtruder_v1.2.scad
// Support for the bearing
translate([x_idler,0,0]) {
cylinder(r=2.32, h=6, $fn=64);
//cylinder(r=2.32, h=9, $fn=64) /
//cylinder(r=3.5, h=2.2, $fn=64);
cylinder(r=3.5, h=2.8, $fn=64);
so i have adjusted the internal diametr and added a hole for srcrew, but can't find the place to adjust the external diametr of bearing hole in that script

Could you throw me a bone how to do that, i'm not a 3D modeling person IRL :) more like embeded programmer :)

Thanx mate, that's really good design.
I will make additional holder for this to adopt to standard prusa design and post it, but for now i need to modify the hole for bearing, to fit there a bearing with 13 mm diametr

Any use bed autolevel with this extruder?
I like to use autolevel, but i dont good 3d designer XD

how to join car engine and x?
NEMA two screws through 17? I can´t find it so long screws

this 45-50mm screws. on ebay or shop

Thx, finnaly i use Gewindestange

Throw some pictures up of how you attach the belt, I think mine is too short to actually get it to stay in place. Order a new belt. Im guessing you slide the belt into the teethed grooves then loop it up and re attach it to itself with a zip tie? If any of that makes sense lol

great work! but how do you put the extruder in the carriage? y can see no support.

Probably way too late for this but - you just take 2 screws out from the back of your motor and then use longer screws (or a threaded rod - still working on that myself) and thread those through the carriage (and M3 nuts if you're using threaded rod instead) and into the motor. It's actually an interesting design, but I'm curious to find out if this will be an issue with my bulkier 48mm motors (I suspect not, but I won't know until I try!).


  • O.K.

To note: You said "I'm using a 40mm motor but any NEMA17 should work".
You may not know but NEMA refers to an American size convention. All motors with a face of 43*43 are NEMA17. The torque is independent (to the extent of physical laws).

Any NEMA17 will work in terms of mounting the extruder to it, that is because all NEMA17 have the same front "footprint". As far as which will have enough torque, I cannot say anything, shorter motors will typically tend to have less torque than longer ones but a longer one is going to be heavier (which is not good). A way to control the torque is also to adjust the current for the motor. More current will give more torque but that will make the motor heat up more (which is not good)... All I can say is that the 40mm one I linked works fine and remains cold to the touch even after hours of printing. Cheers, Franck.

I currently am running an MK8 extruder on my wombot and it has a Z-axis probe. Is there a spot to mount this on the model or not?

Hi, where can i find this:

  • E3D all metal hot end for 1.75mm filament
  • NEMA17 stepper motor


Is compatible with budas hotend?

Hello! I am printing this thing right now! It looks pretty good and small! But i have a question. Do i have to chandge something in the firmware(for example the step/mm for the extruder and x carriage?)? Thanks

Hello! You have to adjust the step/mm for the extruder (unless your previous extruder was using the same gear). There is no changes anything for the x carriage as long as you are using the same pulleys and belts. Good luck! Franck.

Thanks. Is there a way to calculate the right steps/mm for the extruder, or i have to go through the "empirical" way?

There is a way to calculate a stating point value (from the diameter of the Mk8 gear and the number of steps of your extruder motor) but it does not replace an experimental calibration (i.e actually measuring how much filament really goes through). Cheers!

Ok, i will take the empirical way so!XD Thank you again =P I have ordered the fan and the bearings. Hope to finish this soon =P

Comments deleted.

Where can i get the bearing for this? I've been unable to find the pretty specific size needed. Even just what the bearing is called would help to locate one.


Can some one help redesign this for the e3d cyclops?

how do you guys fasten the belt?

Dec 26, 2015 - Modified Dec 26, 2015

This Extruder is not compatible with E3D V6:


This was made for the V4.1 (which is the one I have). I believe it works with the V5 but not the V6. Someone has made a "remix" for the V6 which should work. Cheers! Franck.

I have this working on V6... only modifications being I had a smaller bearing to use from my original mk8 so had to trim the mount for the bearing slightly. V6 needed the black collet removing and a small 5cm piece of 4mm teflon tubing inserting. Seems good so far. I'll post back once I have done some real testing.


Dec 26, 2015 - Modified Dec 26, 2015
DeathmannX - in reply to ffleurey

I found the failure:

The 7mm Part is bigger because it is a bowden Hotend.
Maybe some one can change it. (The Extruder for this Hotend) :)

What software did you use to design this thing?

I used LibreCAD for 2D shapes and OpenSCAD for extruding them to 3D. Cheers, Franck.

Very good your work. I like a lot. You could do to put a self leveling ? thank you!!!

Hey guys! Is there a compatible inductive sensor holder for this design? I am using the LJ12A3-4-Z/BY inductive sensor. Thanks in advance for your replies.

Hey ffleurey I just wanted to say thanks for the design here. Iv'e based most of my designs off of it at least somewhat. I use the curvy part under the drive gear and the basic profile mostly. It's a great design.

Check out the top left assembly on my things page. (Amadon's Cyclops and Chimera Direct Drive Version 2)
You will be able to see the basics of it in the design. http://www.thingiverse.com/Amadon/designs

So again. Nice work and thank you.

Nice! Thanks for sharing!

My e3d v6 doesn't fit the extruder.

Hi! Someone made a remix for the V6. Cheers, Franck.

And guys, it is not very good for p3steel. Even for 2,5 which is slightly bigger: you lose about 4 cm (the length of a motor) on Y axis. Problem can be probably solved by mounting the whole construction wise-versa, but it cannot be done without modification...

Hi does anybody know how to modify marlin to except dual extrusion as i would like to use this design on my graber i3 printer please many thanks.

hello, how did you put the extruder in the x carriage?

unscrew 2 back screws of the motor then replace it with longer ones, and screw the motor to the cartrige with this longer screws. screw is a keyword here +)). preety unexpected. took me a wjile to figure it out.

How long do you need these screws to be? I've printed the extruder and 80mm carriage and it looks like I need a 65mm M3 screw. I can't find it anywhere here in Brazil...

Hello! Not sure the exact length but what I did is just to buy a 1m M3 threaded rod and cut it to length. It is easier to find (and probably cheaper) than long M3 screws. Cheers, Franck.

Hello ffleurey! Nice work on the extruder. I'm switching from a geared style to yours because it's much lighter and compact :)

This is a little late for a reply to Ifagundes' question - but I took the advice you gave (buying a threaded M3 rod) and now that I've printed out the carriage parts, I'm a bit confused on how this will work.

The carriage holes at the back are shaped (hexagon channel) to accept a M3 nut. If I run a M3 threaded rod through the nut and into the back of the motor - that's fine, but since the nut is now inside the channel you'd have no way of snugging it up because the nut itself can't turn inside the trap / channel. The motor does run up flat against the carriage but it doesn't seem as tight as it could be if I could snug the nut up - is that OK / by design?

Stupid question maybe, but how did you tighten yours /w the M3 rod? Did you just use some pliers or cut a slot or something in the rod to turn it?

Last - sorry for the questions btw - someone also asked about the inductive sensor (mine's 12mm I believe). I haven't been able to find a mount myself yet - outside of a remix of the entire extruder (which I didn't want to do - I like your original design better!) - has anyone designed one that you're aware of for your extruder yet?

Hello! This is a great extruder. I've been using it on my little Prusa since its "birth." I have a question that I've been meaning to ask about your printer in particular: where did you get the glass on your bed? It's very nice looking.

Hey mate, any chance I could get the parts list for assembly?ie screw sizes etc...
Thank you!

Carriage is not strong enough

Why not just use the usual 624 bearing? MR105 is difficult to find. Is it worse it?

I can't find the mount for the fan on the J-head. Can anyone link it??

is it possible to make this work with a mendel90?

What stepper motors are you using Nema17 or Nema14?

It is easy to modify to mk7 drive gear? Has anyone used it with BAL?

Did you Print in ABS or PLA

Any pics of the new parts assembled with the end-stops added?

Is it possible to mount the 80 carriage on a Prusa i3 Rework?

How does it all mount to the X Carrige?

have thinking the same. I think not every stepper is good for it. It should be have mounting holes in back.

Hello! Can you suggest firmware parameters for this extruder (EXT0_STEPS_PER_MM EXT0_MAX_FEEDRATE)?


Anyone got a fan duct for this that works with the shorter V6?

I'm also looking for this.

hey I like your Extruder design. Everything fits very nice and tight.
I just had to re-drill the holes for the screws, maybe add a bit more clearance there.
The bolt on the MK8 screw was colliding with the filament guide (take a look at my make to see what I mean) because my motor had no flatened axis and the bolt wouldn't get in far enough.

First, Great Job! This is a great looking part! Cant wait to make it.

Will the model V1.2 work with the 5X11X5 Bearing?
I have some and would rather not buy more if it will work.

I'm after the same thing Papaitatis. Any news>?

Hi there,

Is there another version of this extruder for 3mm PLA filament?


Hi papaiatis. I did a 3mm version. Are you still interested in ?

Hi! I'm about to change from 3mm to 1.75mm, but sure I'm still interested :) Still have a lot 3mm filament left.

Feb 8, 2015 - Modified Feb 8, 2015

Why not use a 4 linear bearing carriage instead 3?

Hi there

I'm trying to build this and I'm struggling to see how the stepper attaches to the X carriage? If you put an m3x60mm cap head through the back of the X carriage then through the bottom holes of the stepper it uses up the holes that the front plate screw into and the holes that the screw the idler pivots around screws into? I don't get it?

Is there a way to mount this to "rework" version of x carriage? It uses 4 bearings....

This is just a suggestion, but don't you think mounting the centrifugal fan the other way would be better because it would be bringing in cooler air, rather than the hot air radiating from the hotend? This is a really nice design though btw.

hey this looks good, where did you get the chunk for the fan on the extruder heatsink?

That part comes with the extruder, failing that you can print one. Just search thingiverse!

Has anyone put a zprobe servo on this? How did you do it?

Do you have a list of bots sizes you used?

Can this extruder handle Ninjaflex?

Hello. Your Printer is amazing.

Can you explain how to assemble the two extruders? You had to improve the firmware?


This dose not work with Peek J-head only metal J-head. Version 1.2 look like it had a 4mm space at the top while the peek j-head have a 5.25mm spacing (at least mine does).

I've did the modification for my J-Head (peek) with 5.25mm spacing :

Peek J-head version with 5.25 mm spacing
by sbaron

en fait j'ai réussi a monter la E3D V6 sans souci bizarre non? Par contre aurais tu la valeur que tu as mis dans MARLIN pour la ligne #define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT {80,80,2133.33,145.51}. Comme tu peux voir je tombe sur la valeur 145.51 step/mm d'après mes calculs. Aurais tu des infos concernant ta valeur? Merci

Any possibility to modify this to work with 3mm filament?

You probably wouldn't have enough torque using direct drive for 3mm.

Yes I hope so, because I will enjoy it to :D

But I thinks we can modify the file for it, I will take a try too, and keep you inform.

Anyway nice job ! look great

Comments deleted.

So here we are, the modified X carriage for the Prusa i3v from makerfarm:

This is a carriage that was designed (with my help) by Simonious. I was able to print and build a dual extruder system with the rest of the parts here.
In addition to, or replaced with the hardware listed in the info:
I used two E3Dv6 hotends(1.75), direct drive.
I also purchased and used 3 eccentric spacers, as well as 1 regular spacer. I used 4 idlers instead of the standard 3 for the i3v.
I also purchased some springs from makerfarm(they only have one size) and i cut them with wire cutters for the hinge.
As far as screws I used:
6 x m3 6mm
8 x m3 40mm
4 x m5 35mm
2 x m4 25mm
2 x m3 20mm
4 x m3 16mm
and appropriate nuts

I found it was much easier to get both heads to be level with each other, by putting 3 eccentric spacers on the carriage, two on bottom, one on top. with the top corner closes to the X-0, being a normal spacer.
I then adjust the eccentric spacers as needed to make the carriage tilt one way or the other to get perfectly even.

In slic3r I set these to be 50mm x offset, and this works perfectly even.
If you have any questions about this please let me know.

Dual I3V extruder carriage

Hi Guys,

I hope that somebody can help me. I'm struggeling about a half year with my 3D printer. Bought it by RepRapUniverse. It was a Prusa i3 bowden extruder e3d. But sinds the system didn't want to work with other filament brands and leaked. I desigded to alternate the Prusa i3.
And now the prints are very badly. Just because it isn't calibrated anymore, i think... Can anyone help me what i should do, i want to work with this extruder (but then the dual extruder version) My slic3r is now at multiplier 2.5, it can print but sometimes with gabs.

  • How do I calbrate the extruder ?
  • I think there is also a problem with the carraige tight up to the belt, how do i mount it to the belt ?

I hope that anyone, can help. i've spend over 1500 euro's for a printer that doesn't work anymore... :(

Kind Regards

How to calibrate your extruder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUPfBJz3I6Y
I don't understand your second question. You might check this as well: http://reprap.org/wiki/Problems

May 24, 2015 - Modified May 24, 2015
punkrockseb - in reply to Nilz

If you have built this, you will know. The belt needs to go through a lug/loop at the x-carriage. This is hard to describe but with the ripples that should hold the blet in place and the covered loop/whatsoever it is physically impossible to loop the belt.

In other words you need to manipulate on some higher dimensions, of which I don't have the tools yet nor the Fusion Reactor that is needed to power these tools.

Well I just took a plier and removed the bridge between the two belt holders.

Well I just took a plier and removed the bridge between the two belt holders.

Which E3D hot-end does this work for? You mention the 1.75mm version, and I see someone else mention that this is only made for E3Dv5, however it appears that only the E3Dv6 is 1.75mm....

Hello! It was designed for the E3Dv5 1.75mm but it seems that it is now out of production. The remix 446424 is an update which should to work for the E3Dv6 1.75mm. Cheers! Franck


I've some problems, i've printed this all fine. But somethimes the filament keeps slipping. Then the hobbed bolt grinds into the filament.
What could I do to stop this ?

Hello! There could be many reasons for this. It could be the a problem with the hot-end getting "jammed" either because the temperature is too low and makes the filament hard to extrude or because there is some "burned filament" left in the hot-end (temperature too hot or low quality filament). Typically with the E3D hot end and decent filament there is not much issues. You can test it by extruding filament manually and checking that it is not too hard to push and that the extrusion is clean. The other possible cause is that the tension of the spring needs to be adjusted. Too much are too little tension can cause the gear to slip and grind into the filament. Especially it you are using high printing speeds and/or high retract speed. Also check that the hinge/spring action is smooth, it is also important so that the pressure on the filament is consistent. Good luck! Franck

Hi, I've been trying to find the cooling fan you use with this (5015S 12V 50x15mm), and so far I haven't had any luck, well not for the 12vdc version anyways, I would rather have the same type setup you have here, but trying to source something compatible is proving to be a real pain

Oct 12, 2014 - Modified Oct 12, 2014
ffleurey - in reply to charleybot

Hello! I got mine on ebay and they seem to still have them. Search ebay for 5015S and you should find some. They do not cost very much as well. Cheers! Franck

Thanks, I finally found them..

Is there anyway you could modify this carriage to fit on an i3v prusa(makerfarm) it has the v-cut aluminum extrusions, instead of the metal bars.

Just installed this and I'm loving it! One question though. If I mount the stepper motor to the carriage using the motors top holes I lose a LOT of print height, but if I use the bottom holes on the motor it wants to hang at an angle due to the lack of support. Do you have any advice to deal with this? I plan on doing the dual version and I'm betting the weight will make the tilt quite pronounced. I'm debating editing the carriage and adding an extension to the top part that adds two more holes for the top motor holes if I use the bottom holes on the motor in the existing holes in the carriage for added support. But then that will run into the bottom of the top holders for my smooth rods... Maybe I will just extend the center for the inner two screw holes on the dual motors. Hmm... Going to have to give this some thought.

That is a good point. This was not a problem for me because my printer is higher than what I need. Let us know how your carriage (497661) works. Cheers! Franck

Working great so far. I have not received my second stepper motor yet so we will see if the extra weight matters then. It's not an extreme tilt, especially with 4 mounting holes for each motor, but it's there.

Again, love your design. And thanks!

where is the 40 mm fan mount stl

Sep 23, 2014 - Modified Sep 27, 2014

What is the name connector that you use with the hotend resistor wires, or where did you buy it? Because I want to use it in my printer so I can remove the whole extruder easily, and I can't find that kind of connector in ebay (maybe I don't know the name, english is not my native language).
Thanks in advance !

Hello, I have used some JST connectors for the fans but I do not have a connector on the hotend wires. I had a plan to add a connectors and was planning to use MPX connectors. The MPX connector should have enough connections for the heating element, the thermistor and the FAN. By using several pins for the heating element it should support the high current without problems. Just an idea, I haven't tested it yet :-) Cheers!

Sep 29, 2014 - Modified Sep 29, 2014
Makarov_sl - in reply to ffleurey

Thank you, that really helped :)
Nice extruder design by the way, I'm printing it right now.

EDIT: I've looked up the JST connectors and the manufacturer says they're not suposed to be used with more than 2A, but some people use them up to 10A or more (not recomended at all), so I think they should work more than fine with the hotend wires that work with 2.5A

Visiblement la e3d V5 ne se fait plus pour du filament de 1.75. Est ce que la v6 peut se monter?

Je crois que quelqu'un a fait in "remix" pour la V6, Apparement il y avait besoin de petit ajustements.

Do you have any images of your ramps board? I have everything except the fans hooked up, can't seem to figure out where to hook them in, seems like most the pins are used. Thanks!

d8 or the 12 input terminal block into the ramos

Good question :-) if you want to be able to control the fans individually, there are not enough connections on the RAMPS board. I have used an expansion module. Search for "Ramps fan expansion module" and you will find it, it only costs a few dollars. Cheers!

They usually go connected to the power supply directly. The layer fan can be controled if you hook it as a second extruder (33 option in Marlin: Ramps with one bed, one extruder and one fan).

super extruder que j'aimerais réaliser. Cependant une chose me pose problème... Comment est fixé le moteur sur le x carriage?

Le moteur est fixé via 2 vis sur le x-carriage. En fait, il faut enlever 2 vis de l'arrière du moteur et le remplacer par des vis plus longues qui permetter de traverser le x carriage. Si on a pas de vis de la bonne longueur, le plus simple est d'utiliser 2 morceaux de tige filleté et 2 écrous. Bonne chance! Franck

Super merci je vais pouvoir l'utiliser pour ma nouvelle imprimante.

Aug 2, 2014 - Modified Aug 2, 2014

Some people are saying its to heavy, I want to make this with an dual extruder. It looks like a very good concept.

Is it strong enough with only 2 screws for each steppermotor ?

Should I print it in PLA or ABS ?

Hello, I have been using 2 on the large x-carriage without problems. I think that the two screws for the motor are enough because they are used to "press" the back of the motor to the flat surface of the x-carriage. ABS should work but I have been using PLA for this extruder so I recommend using PLA. Cheers! Franck

jawofglass I tried to use it with a 3mm filament with no luck, the motor keeps skipping steps because of the change in the torque, the mk8 can be use for both filaments but again the problem is the driver gets to hot and also the motor and after a few layers the filament stops coming out of the nozzle. My advice is to stick with the greg extruder.

Comments deleted.

Has anyone had success using 3mm filament? Can 3mm filament be used with the mk8? I was planning to modify the scad files but wanted to make sure others were not having problems due to tight tolerances as described in the info.

Hi, any chance you could mod it for the new E3D V6 Universal? http://e3d-online.com/E3D-v6/v6-Full-Kit/v6-1.75mm-Universalhttp://e3d-online.com/E3D-v6/v... as you can see the PTFE tube and the "lock" that keeps the tube in place wont fit, im sure i can just drill a bigger hole but if you could release a new version aswell that would be awesome !

Hi all, can anyone help me mod the extruder to use 608 bearing please, still learning the software used for this design and have no clue yet.

Hello, it not completely straight forward to make a 608 bearing version because the whole thing is designed with very tight tolerances. You might have a look at this one: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:183982http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... I have not tried it myself but it seems that quite some people are using it. Cheers!

Extruder-X universal -1.75/3mm, direct drive extruder, Nema 17/23

Thanks ffleurey, I see understanble. It's a shame :-( I'm so impressed with the design the fan, size everything looked like everything I wanted. Thanks for the link

Is it possible for you to make a j-head version?
I know you don't have j-heads but it would be great if you can make a version based on measurements! Since I know nothing on scad, I can't make any modification to fit it.
I don't know if I will have luck so you could make this but here are the measurements, even if i think you already have them. Top of j-head diameter: 16mm
smaller parts that locks the j-head into frame: diameter of 12mm
all plastic body height: 40mm
I really love your extruder so I wish you can do this version on spare time!
otherwise thanks anyway!

-=( jhead/Aluhotend version )=- Direct-drive hinged extruder for E3D/J-Head hot-end (Prusa i3) - remix

thank you so much!!!! :)

Hello! I could try but I wont have time before the end of the summer and there is a good chance that several attempts will be needed to get a good fit... cheers!

will this work without issue with v6 of the e3d?

Hello, I believe it should work but I have not tested so I cannot tell for sure. Cheers!

Do you have the scad file of the carriage?

I have a question about the motor. I just bought the same motor in appearance. What are the specs on it and have you had any problems with it skipping steps? The motor I bought is a nema 17 with holding torque of http://2.6Kg.cm2.6Kg.cm with 1.8 degree stepping.

Very nice! I'm thinking about modifying it to have dual extrusion on a makerfarm prusa i3v or at least try

Did you do this yet?

Why not make this to use more common 608 bearing?

Hello! I wanted to make it as compact as possible to fit 2 extruders next to each other so I went for the smallest bearing I had... It should be possible to make a version for 608 bearings but it is tricky to make it as compact (at least with the design of this extruder). Cheers!

How much has this restricted your build volume?

Hello, in terms of X and Y there has been no restriction at all, even with 2 heads (the Prusa i3 is quite big). On the Z axis the E3D is maybe a bit longer other hot ends but I have not measured how much. Cheers!

Awesome. I think this is going to end up being a summer project. Thanks!

very nice design . i made it but it's not fit whit j-head hot end . have any j-hea version ?

Hello! Sorry I do not have a J-Head version because I do not have a J-Head to test it. I thought that the E3D was the same but it might not be. Cheers!

any problems using a mk7 drive gear with this extruder?

It is probably possible to modify for an mk7 gear but as it is the mk7 gear won't fit. The design is made to guide the filament thightly around the mk8 gear so there is not much tolerance. Cheers!

I see, thanks.

hello,... i'm building my first printer and i've chosen this as my extruder,... i ordered this,.. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/251105814701?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649http://www.ebay.ca/itm/2511058... off of ebay,.. and it did not fit,... any suggestions?

i am literally "one baring away" from my first test print.

ok,.. i took the idler stl. into "lightwave modeler" and increased the
baring spindle width to 111%, i also added a little bit more room to the
filament guide and it seems to be working great with the baring that i
i'm printing my
parts on a 2nd gen cubify printer,.. which i don't recomend due to
filament prices,.. but it seems to print to an accurate scale.

slick design by the way.

Hello, if the bearing you have got are really 5x10x4 they should fit (or at least it should be close), have you checked their dimensions?
Where is the problem, is it the inner hole of the bearing which is too small or the outer diameter that does not fit? If the bearing is the right size you should be able to sand the parts of the extuder to make it fit.

Looks great, before printing it I have a few questions:

  • How fast can you print with this?
  • What is the distance between two noozles with dual extrusion?


Great design (and several cool ideas). I never though of using a centrifugal fan before.
one thing that i'm confused about is the bearing. Does the current design uses the 5x10x4 or the 5x10x5 bearing? There's two different "edits" that refer to each size.

Sorry about the confusion, I have now fixed the description, I am using 5x10x4 bearings. The 5x10x5 was the grooved one which did not turn out to work so good with flexible materials. Cheers!

Looks great but if I might ask what is the distance between your nozzles?

I just wanted to post a heads up that printing it as is did NOT work for me. The slot for the jhead or e3d was too tight and I couldn't even come close to fitting the hot end in. Maybe it's a tolerance issue on my printer but I took the model into sketchup and opened up the slot about .7mm and now it slips in snuggly without being a total pain. Other than that the only issues I've had from this is seemingly a jamming problem. It's definitely not this design though, I believe it's my hot end.

I was wondering about how the motor attaches to the X-carriage. You mentioned that:

"The carriage is attached to the back of the motor with 2 long M3 screws (which go into the motor and replace 2 of the motor screws)."

What length M3 screws did you use? I have some M3x40, and they still do not seem long enough! I don't think I have seen anything longer either...

Hello, the one I am using are probably longer than 40mm. It is not common but possible to find. One alternative I used in the beginning is to use a piece of M3 threaded rod. It is inexpensive and you can cut it to the size you need. just screw it in the motor and than put a nut behind the x carriage. Cheers, Franck

What holds the belt to the carriage? Will the 5x10x4 bearing work with the new design?

Hello! I typically use some zip-ties to secure the belt to the carriage. Yes 5x10x4 bearing will work, that is what I am actually using. Cheers! Franck

Hi, i love this design however when i print the extruder v1.2 all the holes sizes / nut traps come out to small, i can get round this by drilling however the inset for the j-head also prints to small and doesnt fit, have you had similar issues? i tried to edit the settings using openscad but it only exports the idler and doesnt show the extruder itself, and suggestions?

Hello, I have not had that problem but the callibration of you printer is probably different than mine, you could try to scale up the whole part if all the dimensions are too small. If only the "holes" are too small you could try calibrating your extrusion, it typically means that too much material is being extruded. If you want to export the different parts from the source, there are different modules in the openscad script, you have to uncomment the ones you want to export at the bottom of the file. Cheers! Franck

are you using the external thermocouple for your hotends?

no, I have only used the stock thermistor which came with my E3D hot-ends. Cheers!

Is there any possibility of you also publishing this design with standard J-Head mount? Or could you post the source files or export as .stp ?

Hello, I think that the E3D hot-end uses has a "standard" J-Head mount. I haven't tried but normally a J-Head should fit. The source are available in OpenSCAD and DXF if you need to do some modifications. I am using LibreCAD and OpenSCAD which are both free and open-source tools. Cheers!

What changes did you have to make to your firmware settings to use direct drive? I assume the gear ration would affect some configuration.h setting somewhere. I run Merlin v1 and the Prusa i3 Greggs extruder.

Hello, I am using Repetier-firmware and I had to change the extruder "step per mm" in order to match the Mk8 gear. I did it by trial and error by extruding and measuring some filament (normal extruder calibration procedure). Cheers, Franck

How do I go about attaching the carriage to the frame or will it be obvious once I've printed it? None of the images you have show how it attaches so I'm a little concerned I'll get it printed out then be stuck.

Hello, it is not designed to work with 3mm filament. It might work but it will probably not be 100% reliable.

The carriage is attached to the back of the motor with 2 long M3 screws (which go into the motor and replace 2 of the motor screws). The carriage is mounted on the frame with two LM8UU linear bearings (standard Prusa i3).

I hope this clarifies. Cheers!


I found your 3mm remix. I am going to give that a try since I still have two spools of 3mm filament to get through before I buy some 1.75mm heads to swap in so I guess I will be a guinea pig!
Also, are the files included for that fan you have mounted on the front of the hotend? I am also curious as to what fan that is?

If you try the 3mm version, make sure to leave a comment on it to tell us if it works. I suspect that some other people have tried it but I haven't got any feedback.

The fan mount I am using is this one: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:71073http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

I only have limited experience but I think that running a j-head without a fan can be fine with ABS but not with PLA. I had a J-head before but always ran it to print PLA and with a fan.



I broke the 3rd idler, the plastic shaft that holds the bearing is breaking off. I'm thinking about making one with a bolt instead of the plastic. Has anyone else had this happen?

Hi! Sorry about that, this has not happened with my PLA extruders but from the design I suspected that it was a weak point. If this would happend I had thought about using a bolt instead of the plastic shaft but I also had another idea which was to keep the plastic shaft and add a "cap" on top of the idler in order to support the shaft and keep the bearing in the right place. I have not yet implemented that solution because I did not have any ploblems so far... Are you parts printed in PLA or ABS? I suspect that PLA is a bit better for the idler. Cheers!

I'm using abs. At what maximum temperature can you print without melting the pla? I have installed the e3d hotend just because of the increased maximum temperature I can print at.

By the way, i drilled a small hole at the spot where the plastic broke off. I used a 2mm bolt and 2 F682ZZ bearings inside the normal bearing used in your design and this works good.

I never has any problem with melting the PLA, the cooling of the E3D hot-end is very good. I have replaced the stock fan by a 40mm fan which runs much quieter but I did not have any cooling issue before that.

The fan on the e3d should keep the PLA on the extruder from melting, even at extreme temperatures. I've comfortably held the top of mine while running the nozzle at 300C. You should be fine.

Do you have files for the hot end cooler on your machine

Looks fantastic, I mainly print PLA using a bowden, but that has issues... what speed can you get upto? I'm looking to get 100mm/s is that possible with this setup? Would really appreciate your advice. :-)

do you remove the almunium cover???do i have to remove it if i want to place dual extruder???

Hello, what aluminium cover are you referring to? What printer do you have? Cheers, Franck

I think he is talking about the aluminum cover on the back of the motor itself

can u help me...i made it but cannot make it work....i do not know how to calibrate dual extruder...please help me...

Hello, you have to be more specific, I am not an expert but it very much depends on what controller board and firmware you are using. You should find the information you need in the documentation of your firmware. I use Repetier firmware and the callibration basically consist of setting the X and Y offset between the extruders. Cheers!

This looks to be a very elegant solution to direct drive extrusion, but was curious about the mounting of the nem17 motor to the carriage. Since you are only using 2 screws to mount to the carriage and they are on the same axis (both top screws) do you have any issues with the motor wanting to flip up from the bottom edge or not? It seems that the weight of the assembly would put a lot of stress on those top 2 screws.

I agree with exploded view being helpful, and would also like to know if the motors have any motion to them only being held on with two of the four possible screws.

Hello Franck,

Where might I find an 80mm Carriage? I have searched high and low and cannot find anything.

Hello, the 80mm carriage is one of the options when generating the STL files for the Prusa i3 from the OpenSCAD sources. I have uploaded my STL file here so you can get it easily. Cheers!

can you post a link for the 80mm carriage? I cant find it in the list of your models on thingiverse.


Hi! I did not use any specific x-ends for the 80mm carriage, just the Prusa i3 "standard" x-ends. Cheers!

I downloaded the source files both in DXF and Scad and all I am finding when I open the files is the Idler Arm. Am I doing something wrong or are these files not the complete source?

Additionally, I posted on reprap forums, but will ask here as well.

5x10x5 and 5x11x5 are not common bearings, at least in the US.

I have found several 5x10x4, do you think I could raise the infill below the bearing at the inner race .5 or .6 mm to account for the smaller width of the bearing?

I tried raising it by a full millimeter, but it looks like the bearing would not be centered on the filament base on looking at the filament hole.


The source should be complete but you might have to uncomment the part(s) you want to build at the bottom of the OpenSCAD file.

I will check you post on the forum but for the bearing, I measured mine and it turns out that it is only 4mm wide... Sorry about that :-) I'll will change the description. I think that my yo-yo bearing was 5mm wide so I got confused. The bottom line is that no changes should be needed for a 5x10x4 bearing.



The extruder looks great! I've been looking for something like this for a while to take advantage of some of the mk8 Drive gears we have left from a workshop.

In what program did you model it? I'm looking to make a 3mm filament version.

Hello! I modelled it with a messy combination of FreeCAD and OpenSCAD (I am a beginner). I will try to post the source after I do some clean-up. In the mean time I uploaded a remix which should work for 3mm filament. All the parts are slightly different to be well aligned with the 3mm filament. I have not tested it because I do not have any 3mm filament or hot-end. Cheers!

For a beginner you are crazy talented! I will try it out and share it our hackerspace! I bet there are quite a few who would like to try this badboy out! Such a minimalistic and elegant design!

Cheers! Looking forward to the source!

Thanks! I have now uploaded a new version together withe the source. Cheers!

Nice work! But what is a operation should be used for setting up the distance of the filament?

Hello, I am not sure what you mean by setting up the distance of the filament.If you are thinking about calibration, I have used typical procedures and ended up with 168 steps per mm. Cheers!

Looks great, I think I will use this in you i3 build. Which NEMA 17 motor are you using and where did you get the bearing, are there any specs for it?

Hi! Thanks, I added some more details in the description and some links to the components I am using. Cheers!

Thank You for the links, that is perfect. One last question, what X-Carriage are you using?

I am using the small 30mm Prusa i3 X carriage. It has two 3mm holes which are 30mm apart which matches the screws on the back of the NEMA17 motor. I removed the 2 bottom screws at the back of the motor and used longer screw which go through the X carriage and in the motor.

you don't by any chance happen to have a link to the one you used?

I built the Prusa i3 parts from source repository on github, I have now uploaded the "x_carriage_30.stl" so you can have a look at it. It fits my Prusa i3 which uses LM8UU bearings. Cheers!

Thanks, I'm printing the parts from the Prusa i3 Vanilla branch and will be using Igus DryLin RJM-01-08 bearings