Extrusion cooling fan-holder/cowling for MakerFarm Prusa i3 - Version 3

by TimeFramed, published

Extrusion cooling fan-holder/cowling for MakerFarm Prusa i3 - Version 3 by TimeFramed Jan 18, 2014


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Update 12/7/2014

Uploaded two new versions of the .stl file:

  1. Should be the same as the original, but only contains a single object (some slicers have issues with multiple objects in a singe .stl file).
  2. Without "manual" support structure; it must be sliced/printed with support turned on. I wasn't real happy with the support that Slic3r generated for it; particularly under the large horizontal overhang; I think it should have printed support under the entire surface, but it only supported the edge, and gap-filled to make the surface...

After using my "version 2" fan holder (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:216229) for a while, I had two problems with it. First, it totally obstructed the view of the print head, making it difficult to monitor the first layer of a print. Second, the nozzle was a bit too small; it was so close to the extruder, that it deformed slightly from the heat.

I had actually gone back to using my first cowling (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:213416) with the second version's mounting parts.

This 60mm x 60mm x 10mm fan holder/cowling is designed to replace the left side-piece of the X carriage (see pictures). This fan holder and cowling has that part integrated into the design.

It has no adjustments for position (that should really be a fixed location, dictated by the carriage and extruder), and holds the fan more rigidly than my previous designs.



  • There is not much clearance between the fan/cowling and the left-side X motor mount. Make sure the screw heads are facing the front, and the nuts are in back. If they're the other way around, the fan will hit the screw tips when the X carriage gets near the left edge of the print area before reaching the edge of the print area. (see photos)

When the screws in the X motor mount are oriented with the nuts in back, it will be close, but it will clear, and the X carriage will be able to move all the way to the left until it hits the X motor mount/Z rod holder.

Print without support. The support required for the large horizontal overhang is part of the design, and is easily removed from the completed print.

Remove the left side-piece from the X carriage, and replace it with this part, using the original nut and screw.

Then attach the fan.

The tip may appear to be a bit too far forward; that's intentional because the airflow tends to be towards the back, even though the opening is parallel to the X axis due to the shape of the cone.

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I love this design! Are you still using it? Oddly, the support structure shows up in the slicer preview but doesn't actually print. Any idea why?

Thanks. Yes, this is still the fan holder I'm using. Not sure why the support structure wouldn't be printing.

I know there people have had issues with .stl files containing multiple "solids"; this file most likely does have multiple solids (it's fairly old, and 123D didn't have the option, at the time, to combine the solids at the time of export to .stl file. My guess is that's what's going on.

I also had a lot of problems using slic3r's "with support" option; the support was usually printed too close to the object, and therefore bonded to it making it difficult to remove (which is why I opted to "manually" make my own support structure).

I've had much better luck with slic3r's support with the latest version (e.g., I've used it for http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:566592 and have been able to easily remove the support).

Soooo... I could do two things:

  1. Upload a new .stl file, ensuring that it is "one solid"
  2. Upload a version with no "manual" support structure, to let you use the slicer's support structure feature (which will probably also add some support in the "dome" part).

My computer is crunching pretty hard processing some video right now; I'll generate and upload some new .stl files after that's done. :)

iPhone5/4 in Otterbox Defender + Anker Astro E3 "Ingress Pack"

I tried letting Cura generate its own support; however, parts of the carriage connecting tabs still don't print. It looks like the place where your support material should be meeting up with the main mesh is confusing Cura. Either one of your proposed new upload solutions should work fine for me. Thanks in advance!

Ok, there are two new files uploaded. The other contributing factor (that I forgot about until I tried to upload the new files), is that I have to run them through netfabb to convert from ASCII .stl files to non-ASCII.stl files -- the ASCII .stl files straight out of 123D are too large to upload (at least that's why I assume Thingiverse won't upload them).

The print turned out great and I love this thing. Thanks a million!