Does the orange banner at the top concern you? To be clear, this is a fully featured extruder and many happy people are already using it. I have been printing with it for months. That said, I am still refining and adding new features, such as the recent indirect filament sensor which works will all filament colors. So I hope you feel encouraged to try it.
MK2.x support: will not work as is. I am working to add support. I have one successful port so far. Stay tuned.
New instructions: I am looking to crowdsource better assembly instructions. I put them on a wiki and encourage you to clarify/add detail where things are not clear.
I wanted to see if I could make a lighter weight extruder to unlock more speed on the MK3. I also wanted to try some new innovations, fix some nagging issues, easier adjustments, etc. while keeping the good bits from PR.
Remove: 200g of moving mass and center motor on belt-line to increase acceleration potential
Keep: build volume, e3d v6, Bondtech, laser sensor, other goodness from PR
Improve cooling and nozzle visibility
Optimize parts for FDM printing -> RepRap spirit
Purchase as little new hw as possible
- lightweight motor: $8-15
- 5mm shaft: $2-10
- belt loop: $1
- 3 bearings: $2
Main highlights (so far):
- Almost 200g less mass, centered on belt line
- Increased print volume for V6; Or use Volcano with no loss in print volume
- Filament sensor works with any color filament including clear
- Shorter stack and free path to better handle flexible filaments
- Tool-free rack-and-pinion PINDA mount adjustment
- Tool-free quick-lock idler with tension adjust and manual load/unload
Supports (now or soon):
E3d V6 or E3d volcano
MMU 2.0 (soon) or other multi-filament
PINDA or [other bed sensor]
NEMA17 or NEMA14
Direct or indirect laser filament sensor
Std inlet or full PTFE
Other things that might be better:
- Bondtech gear meshing better aligned with taller more central pivot
- Improved torque for pushing filament
- decoupled motor so no heat transfer to filament
- gearing + belt reduces stepper noise into print surfaces
- easier X belt access for maintenance
- larger, less restrictive path for Noctua cooling
Short path anim shows how the filament has a short path from the cartridge to the inlet while traveling between the Bondtech gears. This better handles flexible filaments as there is no room to deviate. Also the motor is not attached to either gear so there is no heat transfer. Witness
No Firmware change required! That said, there are things you may want to change for convenience. See assembly instructions. Indirect filament sensor does require a small change which is very simple.
Update 11/13: updated cage to b5 with some more tweaks after testing. I included a second screw hole for holding down the I_cartridge. This is needed for bowden setups like MMU2. I also added a jam block you can screw onto carriage if you want the belt level lower if using smaller X idler pulley. Beefed up some areas including idler after long term testing. I recommend PETG for most parts now, though PLA is also viable.
update 11/3: added a modified frame bracket for MMU2 that gives a bit more clearance for wiring on the tail/fin. I also rotated it forward 15 deg to assist clearance but also help the FINDA ball settle with a bit more force. Probably negligible.
update 11/1: I uploaded the new b5 cage for testing. The idea is that cage S can be printed in a high temp friendly filament, like PC, ABS, etc. Then the rest of the cage can print in more print friendly material like PLA or PETG since it does not see the high heat. The assembly is a bit trickier as you have to slip the new cage S over the heatsink first and then assembly the rest of the cage. Leave it loose on the heat block while you assemble cage and then snap it in place in front right corner. Use 2 M3x18mm screws for back Noctua fan and 2 M2x12mm for front holes. These help secure the cage S too.
update 10/19: updated Omega to improve blower fit. The CAD model I have is the wrong fillet radius. Also, if you have an older wheel, replace with b5. My 4 month old wheel cracked so I reinforced that area.
In other news, I have MMU2 mostly working now and it looks like I may need no changes over what is already here. Stay tuned.
Update 10/16: added OmegaV for Volcano. see below for tricky print. I am working on other b5 changes to Ecage.
Update 10/15: I received my MMU2, so I am testing to get everything working with skelestruder. Also added tail step file to people could make cable chain adapters, etc.
Meanwhile, I designed a new omega cooler. This is experimental and needs new spider and shroud. I am still testing so be warned. For V6 only, working on Volcano version. Use M3x12 to screw spider to cage without bracket (not used now). Instead used M3x10 to screw omega to spider while also fitting hook in shroud. Then screw blower onto spider with M3x18. You can use hex or Nyloc nuts. Printing: omega is challenging, needs 4mm brim + support base only with 40 degree threshold using 0.15 layer height. Let me know how it goes.
Update 9/15: fixed rotation on Ecage F17. Removed nema14 support temporarily. PM if you need it.
Update 9/8: add direct cover that will connect to MMU2. need brass nut, see instructions
Update 9/5: Shortened throw on key to work with both V6 and Volcano. Added nuts in preparation for MMU support. Misc: improved print on Ecage B -> use 2 perimeters(!) for clean bridging, tweaked heatsink cooling, printing, added relief for inlet and bearings for easier assembly.
Update 8/31: I am working on MMU2.0 support. Waiting for mine to ship
Update 8/11: fixed pinion_deepflat to actually have 16 teeth as advertised. ;-) thanks to DevDoc
Update 8/6: some more testing questions value of Coanda port (as implemented here). I removed in b2c, but left b2b if you want to experiment.
Update 7/27: added 'sock' clearance to the cooling nozzles
Update 7/21: added Coanda port a la Prusa. Note that I already had better flow for Noctua and no grate. Hopefully this makes it better. I may need to add a louver. Though initial testing does seem to show cooler temps. The new Ecage_F17_b2b is compatible with older b2 parts, except the cartridges which need new b2b versions since I added a sq nut for strength.
Update 7/12: finally got the indirect filament sensor added. Assembly instructions updated. Makes filament sensor work with any color filament, even clear. Fixed small issue on I-lid b2a.
Note 6/30: if you build b2 or newer with a v6 as opposed to volcano, you may fail XYZ cal because you have more Z range than the firmware is expecting. You can change #define Z_MAX_POS 220 in Configuration_prusa.h, OR temporarily position the PINDA below the nozzle, run the XYZ cal, then return the PINDA to normal position, run Z only cal, then run First Layer Cal.
Update 6/10: changed the relative position of extruder to x carriage to accommodate volcano with no volume loss (b2). This let me improve some other design elements and slightly improve assembly. I also added a new option for self cleaning which I need to document.
Update 6/2: finally added fin part as alternative to tail, for testing. Do this to your stock machine: unhook X belt so carriage can slide freely. Slide it from one side to the other and notice the high tension from the umbilical connection. I am trying another route following the ancient philosophy of "bend don't break" and inspired by cartilage in shark fins. I built in the strain relief into the part so it stays light and keeps wires stable. Seems to work so far.
Updated assembly instructions.
Update 6/1: found a way to exploit runting on narrow extrusion to make a functional pinion! I have replaced my metal pinion and so far so good. One less vitamin to purchase. Tweaked X clamp for improved wire clearance (working on MMU2 compatibility). Updated print grid -> no longer set EPF and recommend gyroid infill if using slic3r 1.4+.
To adjust PINDA height, e.g. after changing nozzles, turn PINDA adjust knob counterclockwise (looking down at bed) to lower PINDA (which increases nozzle clearance to bed). Each detent click is 0.1mm height change.
To adjust tension on idler, turn tensioner knob clockwise (looking down) to increase tension. Turn 1/2 turns only and make sure pivots are set in idler. There are indicators on the top of the knob aligned with the pivots. Hold screw head to keep it from turning.
To quickly disengage Bondtech gears (e.g. manual load / unload filament), just pull up from under idler edge (not the knob!) slightly until you can free filament. I brace my thumb on the filament cover. I use this to catch/hold the filament while I wait for nozzle to heat before fully loading.
To swing idler up for access to gears, unhook tensioner by lifting knob up slightly while sliding out of idler. Then drop slightly to release spring tension and pull tensioner out completely. Now idler gate can be swung all the way up. BE CAREFUL and watch pinda cable when removing and installing tensioner.
You only need a subset of the parts available depending on which variant you want to build. Please see the print grid and assembly instructions for full details.