Kryten's Head #2

by JediJeremy, published

Kryten's Head #2 by JediJeremy Jan 29, 2017
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Kryten's Head #2 by JediJeremy is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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This is a complete set of parts to convert a Malyan M150 / Cocoon Create / Wanhao Duplicator i3 printer from the original MK10 Extruder to a new print head with E3D V6 hotend and Remote Bowden extruder. There is also room for an inductive bed probe.

The combination should give a dramatic increase in print quality and speed, as well as being able to print higher temperatures and do bed mesh leveling. (if you also update the firmware) Also, complete V6 hotends are easier to find these days than MK10 parts.

It's not quite as good as a real Prusa i3, but significantly closes the gap.


  • Full Hotend conversion for E3D V6 (or clone) Universal 1.75mm bowden kit
  • Remote Bowden adapter for original extruder.
  • Mounting points for 5015 Squirrel cage cooling fan (and duct)
  • Inductive probe mount for bed leveling
  • Bearing blocks and cable chain remain in place for fast swap.
  • Hotend Nozzle remains within 1-2mm of original position.
  • Slight (5-10mm) increase in Z-axis build volume. (no loss)
  • Significant head-weight decrease. (300 grams! About 50%)
  • Solves Belt Rubbing on Wanhao and Cocoon.

Hardware needed:

M4 Hardware :

  • 6-12x 8mm M4 Bolt (use the existing bearing block bolts)

M3 Hardware :

  • 6x 20mm M3 Bolt
  • 1x 40mm M3 Bolt (anything from 32mm to 40mm)
  • 7x M3 Nut
  • 2x 5-18mm M3 Bolt (for extruder. can use old spool holder bolts)


  • 2-6x Nylon Zip Ties
  • Stepper Motor cable


  • 18mm diameter (8mm distance) Inductive Probe
  • Remote Bowden Extruder Kit (right-hand lever)
  • Extra NEMA17 Stepper motor


  • socket-head bolts preferred.

This is my first customizer, and not all custom tolerances are working across-the-board. There will likely be updates/fixes over time, as it's a pretty large project file with literally a lot of moving parts.

Printing Parts

There are three "common" parts that are the same on all printers:

  • Hotend Block
  • Front Block
  • Fan Duct

And there are three parts specific to either the Malyan or Wanhao/Cocoon variants:

  • Upper Deck
  • Lower Block
  • Belt Block

All tolerances on the STL parts have been set so things print well using the old, crappy MK10 print head. Hopefully the customizer works well enough for small variations, and you can always download and edit the OpenSCAD.

The "E3D Hotend" STL file is used by the assembly and animation views as a reference to correctly layout the parts, it's not for printing.

Assembly Overview

See the assembly animation GIF in the download. (Thingiverse doesn't animate GIFs, sorry)

The conversion solves the belt-rubbing issue on the Wanhao / Cocoon by rotating the bearing blocks sideways. Because that makes it impossible to bolt everything into a single plate (the holes for one get hidden by another) a different method is used where the bearings on each rail are bolted to their own block, and these are then clamped together into a sandwich with the remaining parts.

Assembly is slightly tricky, as you need to get the blocks fairly well aligned so there are no twisting or lateral forces on the bearings when they are finally clamped together (or they will bind up on the rods, or even "grind" them) but some patient trial-and-error will get you there.

The space available between the bearing blocks is dependent on how tall the blocks are. And it turns out they're different between the Wanhao/Cocoon and the Malyan. (The Malyan blocks are 1mm taller but thinner, which prevents the belt rubbing.) Switching between the "malyan" and "wanhao" modes will cause the upper and lower blocks to adapt to this change (22mm vs 20mm total available height), but not alter the position of the hotend nozzle.

Remove the old extruder head:

  • Reduce tension in the X-carriage belt. (move the carriage up until you can get at the bolt through the little slot)
  • Unplug all the connectors you can, unbolt the tractor chain
  • Unbolt the extruder from the metal "L" bracket and remove the whole assembly.
  • Unbolt the "L" bracket from the bearings.
  • Snip the zip-ties holding the belt onto the bracket bolts and remove the "L" bracket. (don't let the belt slip out of the pulleys, it's a pain to thread it back)
  • Remove the "belt tensioner" springs from both belts.

Install the new parts:

  • The "Upper", "Lower" parts are bolted onto their respective bearing blocks. Get them well aligned so they easily slide through each other before tightening down the bolts. If your upper deck didn't print flat, getting the two upper blocks aligned perfectly can be problematic. You want everything to be silky smooth.

  • Loop the Belt ends and push them sideways into the Belt block. Check you can get enough tension, but then leave it slack. (once everything is assembled, put zip-ties around the ends of the block to hold the belt in)

  • Put nuts into the nut traps. Two into the lower block (from the sides, so they're always accessible) and two into the back of the upper deck where the hotend bolts go.

  • Bolt the belt block into the lower block through the upper deck "fin" using 20mm bolts. Use tweezers or pliers to hold/jam the nuts from the side if you need to. Again, make sure the bearings haven't been "bound up" by lateral forces once done.

  • Add the small "hotend block" into the recess at the front of the upper deck. Put the 40mm "core bolt" through the entire head assembly. Optional but recommended, this bolt will really clamp all the parts together.

  • Move the limit switch from the old "L" plate to the upper deck. It should just screw in to the holes provided.

  • Upgrade your heater connector to one that won't melt. (XT-30 connectors for preference) and install correct connectors for the new fans.

  • Install the hot-end. You want the "big side" of the heater block at the back or it will touch and melt the fan duct. Bolt the front block through the hotend block into the upper deck using two 20mm bolts. This will clamp the hotend in place.

  • Bolt the Cable chain to the back of the upper deck. Connect up fans and switches.

  • Zip-tie hotend and thermistor wires to the "wire post" just under the cable chain exit to stop them flopping around. Plug all connectors back in.

  • If you didn't get a whole new remote extruder, Add the "bowden adaptor" block to the old extruder. Strip it down so you just have the stepper motor and "guidler" (remove the heatsink, hot-end and fan) and then bolt the adaptor block where the old hotend was. The bowden connector screws into the adaptor, and you can zip-tie the new extruder to the top of the frame through the empty spool-holder bolt-holes.

  • Install the cooling fan and duct. Put some double-sided tape around the "chimney" at the top of the cooling duct part, pop open the fan clips, insert the duct (careful you don't touch the fan blades!) and close the fan up again. Bolt the fan to the front block.

Cable and Connectors

Note that you will need an extra stepper cable to run from the remote extruder into the control box,. There's no way you're getting the old cable out of the tractor chain, and you can re-use it later. (for wiring the bed probe)

If you have a Malyan M150, you will also need to replace the connector for the hotend heater cartridge. I used XT-30 connectors. If your old molex connector hasn't melted already, then you probably had it tucked into the airflow of the MK10 extruder fan, and that's gone now.

If you've got a Cocoon Create, then for goodness sake at least put some heatshrink tubing over the thermistor "connectors", if not replace them entirely. Those things are nightmarish. The thermal exhaust ports on the Death Star were safer.

Bed Probe

I've made space for the biggest of the inductive bed probes (18mm diameter) but you have a much different one (like the Pinda probe) you can can either adjust it's size/position in the customizer, or make your own little "adaptor" so it fits in the universal-sized hole.

The probe is situated "up and to the right" so that at "home" position it sits over the bed.

Next Steps

This is an intermediate step on the road to Full Conversion, (and potentially multi-material) which will eventually remove the bulky, heavy, randomly sized bearing blocks and use the Prusa method of bare LM8UU bearings held into a printed part with zip ties. This will mean all our printers can finally be the same.

Unfortunately, that requires disassembling the entire X-carriage (including rods) to get the old bearing/blocks off the rails, which is a right pain. Especially re-aligning the rods afterwards. There's no going back at that point.

This way you can test all the improved hardware, such as the V6 hotend, cooling fan and bed probe (and get most of the benefit) yet there's still an easy path back to the old MK10 extruder if something goes horribly wrong.

Trust me, even a cheap clone of the E3D V6 is going to put the old Mk10 to shame. And once you have the head rebuilt and working, it's a trivial matter to drop in a genuine E3D.

The Malyan/Wanhao/Cocoon is actually a fairly well-made machine (all that metal construction makes it very rigid and stable) let down by a terrible hot-end and some really horrifying connector choices.

But the nice thing about 3D printers is their ability to upgrade themselves, with some care and thought.


A big thanks to Tessa @SparkyFace5, who supplied encouragement and measurements from her Cocoon Create, allowing me to adapt the design for a wider range of printers. Also to Angus @MakersMuse and Tom @Toms3DP for their reviews which convinced me to buy my Malyan M150 in the first place: A printer described as "so ghetto it will burn your house down", but one that contains the bones of a good machine, so long as you give it some much needed love.

Share and Enjoy. Peace and long pliers.


Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2










Recommend using PETG

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Does this setup work with the bearing blocks that come on the duplicator i3 or do the bearings and the blocks have to be changed out. I dont see any bearing blocks in the file.

Has anyone printed with tpu with this setup? Also what material are you printing the parts in.

Not yet. I've been looking into flexible filaments, and there's a good chance it would work if (a) the TPU isn't too "rubbery", and (b) your bowden extruder controls the filament path (usually with another segment of 'whittled' teflon tube) to prevent kinks. It won't be easy, but it's possible.

I printed all my parts in black PETG - most of my experience has been with that material. I think it's ideal for this case - good heat resistance, mechanical resilience, and non-flammable.

Hey guys, i've build this upgrade but i don't really like the fanduct design.
Im running a 50x 20 fan and offcourse this wont fit is.
I've been searching for a long time to get a fan working on this upgrade.
Any suggestions?

No-one really likes the Fan-duct design. :-) (Well, apart from the "HOT!" on the front, I'm slightly proud of that...) It gets in the way, makes the head hard to see, and mine got a little melted around the nozzles when I was pushing the hotend up to 300deg.

Alas, it's hard to know where else to put it. I really just copied the Prusia i3 placement. I will probably try to shift it to the back in the next design, but that has problems too. There's a lot of other cool fan shrouds that could be adapted (the ring ones are interesting) I kind of expected people to swap mine with others, so I probably didn't put as much effort in as I should.

The squirrel-cage fans are actually better for pushing air through pipes and holes, and they only cost a few dollars online. I recommend them, regardless of which shroud you use.

Which bearing blocks are these?


If you mean, which blocks do I have on my printer? I have no idea. They don't have any kind of stamp or code. I just call them "Malyan Blocks"

I do know they are 1.5mm taller (and a little thinner) than the Wanhao "stanadard" LM8UU block dimensions, probably chosen specially to fix the belt rubbing issues. That little fact wasn't published anywhere else I could find, and is the main reason the design has the two variants. (to account for the different block heights, since that dimension becomes critical when you turn them.)

This design is amazing. I will soon post my make of this, but had to comment right now because I am soon thrilled with it.

I did it on malyan m150 and it fit great.

I used drylin iguus but they didnt work with this...couldnt get tension right. I switched to LM8LUU and it worked great. Also I only used two LM8LUU! One top, one bottom rail, works great.

Also switched bearing block to printed ones, weight difference is huge.

On malyan homing switch didnt fit on this design. I had to desolder switch and rotate it by 180.

Everything else great :)

Only thing...I am not sure if inductive probe holder is maybe too far right, seems like it will lower print area by 1 centimeter...didnt check yet.

I will post Make soon, with full instructions and suggestions for malyan users, and others.

Thank you!

No worries.

Out of curiosity, how hard was it to get new bearings on the rods? I went to great lengths in this design to use the blocks and bearings "as is" (at least for this first version) because it looked like a total pain to get them off. Can't even get the bearings out of the blocks, on mine. I'd have to take most of the carriage apart, it seems.

Or is there a trick to doing it quickly? That's the main thing holding me back from doing a design that uses the Prusia method of block-less bearings fitted directly into a 3d printed part. I've got a couple of LM8LUUs sitting on the shelf specially for when I get around to that.

It is not too hard. Here is shitty paint skillz image http://i.imgur.com/77mHkvJ.jpg
You don't have to take apart whole Z axis actually.

Turn your machine upside down and unscrew rods (easier while its upside down to get to screws).

Turn it back in normal position.

Then remove one front plate because it is easier (Z axis on that side will move) with it down. But not necessary to do.

When rods are loose just move it to one side and you have enough clearance to put the bearing on it...or take it out. So you don't take the whole rod off! Just move it to one side and get other out, should be enough room.

LM8LUU are a little trickier to get on because they are longer. But you can always remove other Z axis plate and put on bearings. I did it with only one plate off.

Looking at your images, it looks like there is no loss of build volume, is that correct?

As ILIDILA mentioned, the inductive probe mount tends to shave 5mm off the right-hand side, so don't print that version unless you really, really need to. I'm about to design an option for the new square sensors which should fix it. That piece was designed specifically to be the "most swappable" for pretty much this reason, and to cope with blower fan variations.

I tried to keep the nozzle position as close to the original as possible, so otherwise it should have the exact same build volume. You might lose or gain 5mm at the top, depending on how much you like to "bring the guillotine down" (as I call it) on the bowden tube/connector. With nerves of steel and the right bowden setup, you might get another centimeter at the top.

Is the back of the bearing blocks left open with this setup? I have my BLTouch mounted behind with this mount: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1762801

Wanhao i3 BL Touch Mount

they are open, but they are rotated (bearing blocks) by 90 degrees, so you can't use that mod.

No loss.

I just checked. Installed yesterday.

Not really sure with induction probe, but everything else...no loss.

The big-ass probe mount definitely shaves some X off the right-hand side. It's probably the biggest flaw in the design, but it's also the most fixable.

The ring on the published STL is big enough to accept the largest 18mm inductive probes, but it's parametric. If you have a really slim probe, you can recompile the front part (the customizer might even work) and get some space back. You can move slimmer probes back a few mm on X before it interferes with the main body.

I thought if I made a big hole, all possible inductive probes could fit inside it with a few adapters. That was a silly idea, in hindsight. Especially since I'm into the square ones, now.

this is the excat thing i was thinking of making myself. I had my hotend-connector melt 2 days ago on a 1hrs+ print with 205 degree temps and i could almost recommend for ANYONE owning Malyan m150 to replace it, i had one screw terminal myself that i used! I also have xt30 but they wont stick without soldering and i have found that m150 wires cannot be soldered, they are some ultra-cheap wires that requires professional level flux if you are going to succeed in getting the solder stuck on it. (at least i had this problem on stepper motor wires)

btw. Can you recommend any e3d clone that would be the best for the price. I'v heard some have gapps (the screw inside isnt proper lenght) or otherwise just faulty by design. My hotend starts to give poor result after 50mm/s (well, this was before i had my connector melt)

im thinking of turning my malyan into corexy, just wondering if i need to have totally new ramps or would the old electronics do.

I couldn't solder to the original heater cartridge wires either. I think they're stainless steel, and require crimp connectors. (Don't try crushing the XT-30 pigtails around the wire - they just break) I ended up using the new cartridge which came with my hotend instead - it had normal copper wires.

This is the hotend I got. but the seller was local to Australia, (I needed it fast) so you'll probably have to find an international equivalent. It was OK. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/272428539558

The "melzi" board (actually a slightly improvement) seems to be running at it's absolute limits in the M150. I'm already getting a hot plastic smell from the controller box, most likely the connectors again. The drivers on the M150 aren't replaceable, so if you're experimenting and you burn out a motor driver, you'll have to chuck the entire thing. It's not really made for hacking. The best thing about the M150 is the metal frame - if you're ditching that, there's nothing much good left. Steppers are $10 each, leadscrews not much more. Tearing a $300 printer apart to get parts is a false economy.

My recommendation: keep the malyan mostly as it is, and build the new printer from scratch (using your working one to make parts). Have a look at the "Hypercube" project for how that works.