FlashForge Creator Pro left single extruder fan duct

by DrLex Jul 15, 2017
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I know this is an old Thing, but I'm hoping you're still active.
I have a question unrelated to the item in question.
You have wrapped your cooling duct in an orange tape - is this Kepton tape to prevent the duct from warping? Because I have been dealing with this issue on another printer and if this is a viable solution, I will be a happy potato :D

I used a layer of aluminium foil tape with a layer of kapton tape on top. I'm not sure if kapton alone will work as well, but this combination certainly works very well. After all, it's a very basic imitation of what is often used on spacecraft…

Wait, the aluminium foil won't actually lead heat TO the plastic? I gotta say I would have thought that would be the way. But well, I'm printing my next duct in PETG, then I'll try this trick on it. Thank you :D

The foil avoids heat building up in local hot spots by distributing heat and probably also reflecting a bit of it. Of course you should not let the foil make direct contact with hot parts.

That makes really good sense - thank you :D

Hey Dr. Lex, been reading up on this duct and just have some questions:

When you printed your side by side comparisons, did you have your fans running with your PWM module activated (and if so, did you follow your recommendations for fan speeds and height of build?), or stock fan settings from slicer program?

When printing in a majority of PLA, would insulation be necessary? I would imagine yes, but don't feel like buying a whole roll of Kapton tape if I wouldn't need it.

As a new owner of FFCP, I am glad there are dedicated people trying to advance the technology of this printer, so just wanted to say thanks! Even though I really need to read your stuff over 2-3x before getting it 100%.

I can't really remember whether I lowered the fan speed during those tests. I probably did, otherwise the prints with the dual duct would have been ruined. At any rate, all tests were done with identical parameters. The only difference was the duct itself (and for the stock duct, I rotated the G-code coordinates by 90°).

If you only print PLA, an ABS duct might survive without insulation. However, if you do a large print where the first layers take many minutes, and the fan is off during those layers, then the duct risks overheating and deforming. I guess if you want to be sure, you can simply try it. However, it may be less time-consuming to find a roll of adhesive aluminium foil in your local hardware store. This should suffice, you don't really need the Kapton for PLA temperatures.

Hello doc!
Do you know of a power supply i can use to power my fan that is controlled by the program code.
So i can switch the nozzle fan on after say 4 layers.
I have the flashforge creator pro.
Thank you

Normally you would just connect the fan to the EXTRA output on the motherboard, as is the case on the 2016 model, no separate power supply is needed. This output is the one that is switched on/off by M126/M127 commands in the G-code. It can deliver more than enough current to drive the fan. Be aware that it delivers 24V, so if you yet have to buy a fan, make sure it is a 24V one.
If you have yet to install the fan and wiring anyhow, make sure to connect a PWM controller in between, so you can throttle the speed, otherwise it will simply ruin your prints as explained in the description.

Thank you for your advise.
Is the EXTRA out put labeled so on the pcb?
I'll have a look through some wiring diagrams.

Yes, it is next to the ‘FAN’ output on the corner of the board.

I have managed to run my first CFD simulation of the current design of this duct in SimScale. The result looks pretty accurate and confirms that I still need to optimize the positioning and distribution of air flows. The project is of course public and can be found here.

The new v3 design is ready. I also simulated the v2 and it actually wasn't too bad, but it did have a significant dead zone at the left of the nozzle.


Is there any chance you would be willing to release the design files for this? I'd like to have a go at making some minor changes to it based on my experience thus far. What software did you use to design it? Even just a .STEP file would be great.


The new version is ready and confirmed to be good, so I added the .blend file. Mind that you should avoid making changes to the airflow path unless you know what you're doing.

This was designed in Blender, which is mesh-oriented, not volume-oriented like STEP. I'll make the file available when I'm content with the design, which is currently not the case yet.
I have noticed the airflow is uneven between the two exhausts, and the flow of the left exhaust does not end up where I want it to. I have improved the first problem, but aiming the air is far more difficult than with the dual duct, because the two flows interact. I have done some tests with sand on the build plate, but this gives a false result because it is constrained to 2D. I'm planning to use a simulator to put an end to my trial-and-error method and ever increasing pile of experimental prints.
If you really want, I can already give you the current design, but if you can wait a few more weeks, I hope to have something better.

Is there any chance that you could make this in the RIGHT Extruder version? I almost always use just the right one. You have an awesome idea there and I have been using version 5,6 as they were being released. Been using those since December. Thanks in advance if you would consider making that.

No, sorry. It is way more difficult to design something like this for the right extruder, and even if I would manage to do it, it would be large and curvy and very difficult to print. It would become slightly more feasible if the left heater block would be removed, but you wouldn't want to do that routinely. Even then, the exhaust needs to curve around the heater block, making it nearly unprintable. It would also be continuously baked by the heater and risk deforming.
Why don't you use the left extruder?

Well I use PETG only, and I have the printer set up for the right extruder for black and the left extruder for blue. I actually have 2 PowerSpec 3DPro32 Printers set up this way. They are a clone of the FlashForge Creator Pro.

Thank you anyway.