MakerFarm Prusa i3 Magma cooling system remix

by papergeek, published

MakerFarm Prusa i3 Magma cooling system remix by papergeek Oct 5, 2013
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This is a remix of the original cooling system by thiagokunz, which is a must-have for anyone with the Prusa i3 from MakerFarm with the Magma hot end. The differences here from the original:

  1. Allowed slightly more fit tolerance between pieces
  2. Added retainer clip for wedge (back) piece
  3. Added bolt through-holes for easier removal
  4. Added the new fan cover as-is with a 90 degree rotation for printing

The main feature is the bolt through-holes, which allow you to remove the entire hot end with the cooling system attached (after removing the bolts holding the extruder in place).

This will definitely slightly reduce the airflow but should keep to the original design's intention of directing airflow away from the nozzle. The cooling fan for the all-metal Magma hot end is a must, but having air blow on it makes it much harder to reach temperature and interferes with the deposition of material.

Use this if you have a need for frequent changing of your extruder head (e.g. if you are swapping it for a CNC router or laser cutter head).

v14 (7 Oct 2013) - closed small gap in bolt hole shoulders on main duct shroud
10 Oct 2013 - Added fan cover (verbatim by thiagokunz, just rotated)


All three stl files can be printed on a 6" bed.

Use a fine resolution (0.2mm layer height or less) for best results. Infill shouldn't matter much but can be slightly denser than normal.

The main tray-shaped piece goes under the aluminum cooling block on the hot end. If you have accumulated a large blob of plastic due to leakage, this may prevent inserting it and you will need to heat up your hot end then remove it.

The wedge piece fits under the small guide clips and should stay in place while putting the extruder assembly back in place. The bolts should go through the bolt pockets. After securing the extruder you can mount the fan to the fan guide. The original M3 bolts won't be long enough - you can use #4-32 1.5" machine screws (available at Lowe's or Home Depot in the US). The fan and fan guide should mount to the extruder holes and you should feel air coming up from the small holes on the front.

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I dont know how or if this improves airflow, but it does wonders for protecting my fingers and the blades of my fan. Ive gone through 3 fans from carelessness with my fingers! Note: I am useing only the exterior bubble stl.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is the fan set up to suck air from the extruder head instead of blowing on it?

I have it set up to blow on the extruder - that's the original configuration and seems to make sense so I've stuck with it. With this setup it could go either way but I haven't tried it yet. Without ducting only blowing would work.

Hi, why not print whitout the fan? i'm doing it (ABS) and havent had a single jam :)

With ABS it may be possible to avoid jamming. Going to smaller layer heights (0.1mm) and printing with PETT (T-glase) is trickier. The likelihood of jamming may be less if the diameter of your 3mm filament is less (it's usually less than 3mm, how much less may vary). For me, getting my Magma to print without jamming has required getting the right settings, and most definitely printing without the fan (which I haven't tried much, but enough to convince me it's needed) has greatly increased my jamming. The most common jam is the hobbed bolt starts eating a crescent into the filament and I have to back everything out, clean out the hobbed bolt, and re-feed the filament.

I also suspect the Magma nozzles may vary slightly from one batch to the next.

Of course, I still want to print with PLA and whenever I feel masochistic I load that up and give it a try...

My understanding of the Magma's PLA issues are that the heat creeps up the PLA itself... and that cladding the stainless tube in foil/keratherm etc so it contacts the sink all the way up should help. I don't have any PLA yet to try it...

That's also my understanding - much of the swelling is caused by heat travelling up the filament itself. The PLA conducts heat, and even more so when it has absorbed moisture (unlike ABS, PLA is hygroscopic). I'm setting up a container with reusable silica gel bags to keep my PLA in and will give it a try in another week or so.

Still, cooling the aluminum block makes sense. Part of the design philosophy behind Magma is that stainless steel tubing is a poor conductor of heat, so wrapping it in a more heat-conducting material like aluminum or copper foil could actually make things worse.

The idea is that any heat which makes it up the thin-walled stainless steel tubing should be absorbed by the aluminum heat block, and the fan blowing on the heat block cools it by a few degrees. That small gradient is all that's needed to bleed off whatever heat makes it up the tubing. Unfortunately it doesn't help much with heat that has travelled up the filament itself, but I'm hoping that keeping the filament dry (using desiccant) will reduce the ability of PLA to conduct heat.

Do you have a picture of this mounted? Already have the parts printed, but would love to see how its mounted while i wait for the Makerfarm i3. :)

I should probably also update the build instructions for someone putting this together for a new kit. You'll need longer screws to mount the whole thing to the extruder. The kit from MakerFarm comes with (I think) M4x16mm socket-head screws for this purpose. You will need something longer, at least 25-50mm (1 to 2 inches, I need to check the size I used). In the US you can get metric sizes in longer screw lengths from your local industrial supply house or get #4-40 machine screws from Lowe's or Home Depot (Lowe's may have a slightly better variety of the #4 pan head machine screws in little plastic bags). #4 machine screws fit quite well in the holes on the extruder base (snug without deforming anything).

I've added a couple of pictures which should help. Unfortunately I didn't want to dismount it to show how it fits together but when you're assembling the hot end to the X carriage it should be fairly obvious how it fits together, and next time I swap out the head I'll take a picture.

Here is the fan part. What do you think about it? Thanks


makerfarm prusa i3 6 inches fan cover

Sweet! I like the combination of form and function. I'm printing one out. I was thinking that it will help to have a fan blade guard since I keep hitting the fan with my fingers when I'm occasionally scraping the bed down. This looks like it should help get airflow around the stepper motor and keep the incoming airflow away from the bed. Very nice!

This is very nice. Good to know this is useful to other people, and it's being perfected.
I've found that the wind pulled by the fan is an issue too. I've made a part to ad to this assembly. I'll post and notify you.

It's extremely useful and a very elegant design. I tried modifying it in Fusion 360 but couldn't quite figure out the basics so far and ended up just adding parts in FreeCAD. Your design replaced a very ugly hack made of aluminum sheet stock. I just needed to be able to quickly change heads. This is something that really should be included with the basic kit with the Magma nozzle, it's absolutely essential. Thank you so much for contributing this!

I made the original, but couldn't get the air block piece installed, so I had to use black tape to close it up. It has helped with the lifting SO much on this printer. The fan on this printer is the cause of the lifts/warps due to it blowing onto the heat bed. I'm now about to fire up my printer and begin printing your version. I love how you've done ThroughHole with the main shroud! That will come in very handy! I'll post pics when I get it printed!

Any suggestions on infill?

I would use default infill - there won't be much since this is so light. My current default infill is 0.3 rather than the default infill of 0.4. Actually using a higher setting for this might make sense but I was a bit lazy in printing it.

The weakest part with this design is the small inset for the through holes, which is an overhang and usually comes out a bit weak. But you don't really need the structural strength against the shroud. The design fits tightly enough in the space that once you have it around the Magma stainless steel tubing it should hold in place pretty well. Also the Magma seems doomed to leak plastic where the stainless steel tubing joins the brass nozzle and that actually also helps hold it in place. Some people have used teflon thread sealer tape to reduce leakage but I have avoided that so far...

Amazing! Thank you! I did just that, and everthing fit very nicely into place! Quite snug even without the screws, but even better now, knowing that it won't pop off during a print. I now have NO air hitting my heated bed, and prints are no longer lifting! This definitely did the trick! Thanks for the remix!
I actually thought about the Teflon tape idea, but I ordered a J-Head for mine. Now having this shroud on the MakerFarm printer, I might just put the J-Head on the Prusa i3 Rework that I'm building. You've given this magma a new breath of life!