Active Cooling Fan Duct for Replicator 1 / Duplicator 4 / FlashForge

by thruit00, published

Active Cooling Fan Duct for Replicator 1 / Duplicator 4 / FlashForge by thruit00 Apr 11, 2014
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There is a new version of this duct available at thing 537918

Anyways in case you decide to print this version here please carefully read the following information completely:

This active cooling duct is designed to work on the following MK7/MK8/MK9 Dual Extruders:

  • MakerBot Replicator 1
  • FF3DP FlashForge
  • CTC Creator Dual
  • WanHao Duplicator 4 and Duplicator 4X
    (please read the bottom note if you have one of the last 3 listed printers)
    A version for Replicator 2X is a work in progress at thing:298733
    It is based on the great rolling air flow idea and design of SSW :

    Because I had trouble to import his model, I had to draw it from scratch with the following main differences:
  • redirected air outlets to the tip of the nozzles and to the printed model instead to the nozzle body.
  • 2mm less deep (rod to fan front) to allow closed print chamber doors (if they are attached to the outside of the printer) on ABS prints.
  • improved usage of the MK7/8 middle trapezoid rod window for higher air rates
  • target of the outer air ducts redirected more to the back of the nozzle to almost cover 360 degree of cooling.
    Besides the printed duct and the two distance bolts you need a 24V 40x40x10mm fan and two M3x60 hexagon socket screws (or one of the clips mentioned in UPDATE2 later on) to attach it to your extruder block. In addition you need two normal M3 nuts and two M3x15 countersunk head screws. If you have no front door you can use any screw head you want, and you don't have to read the next sentence. Depending on that and your chosen fan you might need to counterbore the two upper fan holes for a flat finish of the screw heads and your fan front. If your front door is installed inside the window frame (like on Duplicator 4X) and not infront of the frame (like on my modded WanHao Duplicator 4 and CTC printers), you have to modify it to be instaled infront of the frame to gain space for the active cooling.
    UPDATE: low_detail version replaces original stl. Its stl resoltion is rendered to 0.05mm and 5 degree. This should result in a comparable print but requires much less memory to slice.
    UPDATE: Added an additional version _ActiveDuctD4_V1nohole.STL of the duct with removed air way holes which are not required if you install this duct with a clip like the one for Duplictor 4 or CTC/FlashForge
    Important Duplicator 4/FlashForge/CTC note:
    Your installed mighty board is unable to control this fan by default! If you are a soldering expert and aware of the risk of killing your mighty board and losing your warranty, you can solder the missing part Q6 which is a MOS-FET named PSMN7R0-30YL (bought mine on the most famous online auctions platform) and an additional power connector to your mighty board. One of the pictures above show my modified board. Don't blame me, if you fail on doing that!
    Update: Currently ignore ActiveDuctD4_UN.STL, it is a work in progress and was requested by a 3rd party developer to improve the way the cooling duct is attached to the carriage.
    Disclaimer: All trademarks mentioned belong to their respective owners. Modification of your device might result in a full loss of warranty.


I sliced my duct with Makerware 2.4.1 custom profile and printed it on a Duplicator 4 with Sailfish 7.6 firmware. Normally I prefer to use Simplify3D for slicing but with this model the printed bottom duct shifted layer by layer to the right side. With Makerware I have not had an Issue like this.
Update1: Simplify3D 2.0.1is slicing the latest design/stl now without any issues!
Update2: Simplify3D 2.1.0 crashes when slicing with a layer height of 0.1mm and a random layer start pont enabled. As a workaround you can use a layer height of 0.11mm!
Update3: Simplify3D 2.1.1 slices flawless!
The filament material I suggest to use is ABS if you want to do ABS prints in future because it can stand higher temperatures of the ceramic tape coated hot extrusion heads.
This slicer profile settings I used for my ABS print:

  • Layer height: 0.1mm
  • Shells: 1
  • Infill: 100%
  • Extrusion temp.: 230 degree
  • Heat bed temp.: 90 degree
  • Disabled bridging (will be used anyways)
  • Disabled raft
  • Disabled support
    If you have any kind of active filament cooling which cools the nozzle output without strongly cooling the whole object try to turn it on - even if its ABS! This helps on the bridging details a lot. I'm printing on a special carbon style plate without further adhesion improvements (like glue, abs juice, hair spray, kapton tape, blue tape,...) and haven't had detaching problems on one of my countless test prints while developing this duct.
    I have not tried, but printing at a layer height of 0.2mm might also help if you have bridging problems you are not able to fix in your custom profile.
    The above pictures of my print were created directly after printing without any reworking and I mounted it as it is to the printer. Except for the color I'm really happy with it :-)
    Some notes on the modification I did to enable cooling fan control on WanHao MightyBoard:
    First of all - you have to be aware of the risk to destroy your printer and you will lose the warranty for it!
    Because soldering the small SMD chip pins with a soldering iron and risking a short in between I decided to use hot air soldering instead. I heated up the Q6 region carefully to ~280C with the hot air soldering gun, applied no clean flux (tin-solder was already applied at production time, so no additional tin-solder is required), placed the MOS-FET with a backing pump (you could also use a a pair of needle tweezers) and carefully soldered it with hot air at 390C (never directly point the hot air gun on the chip or any other surrounding parts - point it to the MOS-FET ground side and the pins without staying to long at one position). This main soldering step should be finished after a few seconds to not overheat the chip but long enough to get a good soldered connection. At the end the fan power connector can be soldered with a normal soldering iron without any big effort.
    Good luck!

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Hi i have a ctc 3d printer without the mentioned chip and i am not wantig to add the chip so my choices are

  1. can i not wire a 24volt fan direct to the power supply spare slots ? seen someone do this on a makerbot on youtube

  2. would it be ok to wire a seperate power supply to feed just fan and buy just a 12 volt fan as i was planning on fitting lights and a fan using a old rc car 12 volt supply i have and switchs would this be ok

please advise on any of the above


Anyone have a US Source for the screws needed for this? local hardware stores just don't have what is required, and posts that I have found would be shipping from Germany.

Thanks in advance!

I ordered mine online at HomeDepot.com. Had it delivered to the store for free pickup. Under $3 for 4 screws.

I have the stock CTC printer, with ABS, completely new to 3d printing. can someone post the card file somewhere so i (and others) can just download it. i mean we're using same printer right so it should be fine (or am i wrong?)


I have the stock CTC printer, with ABS, completely new to 3d printing. can someone post the card file somewhere so i (and others) can just download it. i mean we're using same printer right so it should be fine (or am i wrong?)


Comments deleted.

Printed on and mounted to a Wahno Duplicator 2x. Works great, print with no supports in PLA (w/ heated bed)

Sliced and printed with no issues on my FFCPro and current Simplify3d. I'd like to add that Ultimachine has the pluggable PCB connection that is required for the newest boards. The FET is pre installed and working on the new ones and it is software controllable. If you have a Fastenal near you they will be able to supply the bolts you need.

On the newest Flashforge Creator Pro the included spacers were about 2mm too short. When tightened they were drawing the back of the duct down below the nozzle. I lengthened the z axis by 10% and printed and they are perfect now. It's a shame that this duct is only going to be installed for 1 print, which is the improved duct. The fan is wired into the mightyboard using the aforementioned connection and Deans Micro Plugs as a fan connector.

so I tried this. Unfortunately at least for me, the duct gets in the way of the print. I ensure I tightened the screws with the duct in the highest position possible. The print doesn't look warped. Guess I'll try printing again.

I just spent 5 hours printing ActiveDuctD4_UN.STL. Can you remove it or put "ignore" in the filename? Without carefully reading all the info, it was the most "obvious" choice for me to make versus "low detail" and "nohole". And this is after I ordered M3x60mm bolts.

same here haha

Sorry, Could you give me more some details about how and where are you plugging the fan into?

Works great! Thank you!! :)
I just made a little clip thing to snap it on .. working well so far cuz its so light weight.

Nice design - There's not a lot of room to add a cooling fan anywhere on the Dup 4 when you consider the extremes of travel. I'll be making one of these. Rather than adding the missing MOSFET, I may well run this from the 24V rail with PWM for speed control.

Nice job, especially because you can print it without supports, .. nice ! However removing the fan grills leaves the origial balts you've reused, sink in much deeper and so that side isn't properly attached if you screw them all the way in you'll notice that this side is still loose.

You could probably solve this with a M3 washer.

Why are there the extra two holes in the duct? they are not used for mounting? i put tape over them for now.
also how strong should the air flow be? Mine feels like a very light breeze.

The holes are for reaching the fan hesx scre heads to finally tighten them if everything sits in position. If you use the linked backets to attache the cooling duct instead of the 60mm screws you don't neeed the holes, cause you can easily snap in the duct after tighten the fan screws. In this case there is a "nohole" version at my Thing Files section.
For printing ABS a light breeze is enough and you will not reach more if you still want to close your cabin (as advised for ABS printing). If you only print PLA you might install a stronger 20mm high fan because you will print with a open cabin anyways.

The fan strikes the door of my Duplicator 4X, such a pity!

As describte in the text and shown in my pictures you need a frontdoor which is mounted in front of the case and not inside the window frame. I did this door construction on my Dup 4 before Dup 4X was invented.
The main problem on the Dup 4X is not the window it self. It hits the nuts used to attach the front doot to the hinges.
You might use a distance block under the hinges which will leed to a slightly biger gap witween door and frame or invert the counter sunk hex screw direction. For dooing this you would have to counter bore the acrylic front window. Both is just therory but, I will have to do this mod to the printer of a friend, soon.
If because of the very thin acrylic glas wanhao uses, the door can not stand the treatment of the counter bore, we will replace the hinges and the door against a 4mm acrylic glass which overlpas the window frame abount 1cm. Here you have to replace the frame screw at the lowest position of the cutted frame to a countersunk version, to give room for the front door to overlap.
Modifying the active cooling fan duct to be 4mm less high is not an option cause redirecting the air by 90° is already with the current design a challenge.

Inspired by Activezombie's bracket for mounting this air duct without the need for m3x60 bolts, I've remixed his design a bit for my Duplicator 4.
I had trouble mounting his bracket on my machine, so I did this one instead: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:349249http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...
It attaches with two small taps dipping into the small holes in the gantry, where the linear bearings are mounted. I find that it is very easy to mount/unmount and locks down nicely.

Simplified bracket for Active Cooling Fan Duct - Duplicator 4 / Replicator 1

Thanks for posting this, It has made a huge difference to my print quality.

This doesn't seem to work on Flashforge. It sticks out past the edges of the extruders right and left and hits the x axis stepper motor when the machine in homed. Aside from some kind of x axis shim, is there a solution for this?

I'm using it on two FF Creator 1 hat home. Right now I'm not @home so I'm unable to check how far it is away from the X-stepper in homing position on my machines but at least I can say it's not touching it there - else I would not have designed it that way :-)

I got some fom ebay - did not have to look hard either.

Bought mine on ebay, too. Was about 5$ for 5 of this screws.

Its a very nice model, you did a fine job.

I can't find M3 x 60 bolts in any store, and ordering online takes too long. So BAM! http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:318863http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Bracket for Active Cooling Fans. FlashForge Dual

Thruit, can you give me the PN for the fan connector you soldered on to the MightyBoard? I wanted to order it instead of soldering directly to the contacts.
I have a hot air soldering station but I am always too scared to blow away other components while using it. Is this going to be impossible with a precision soldering iron?

Required part numbers you can find here:
Jetguy used for his mod also a normal solderimg iron, but I think that hot air soldering is less risky if you are good in it.
Here you can read some details on my hot air soldering settings:
Be aware of the risk to kill your MightyBoard if you fail!

thruit00, can you recommend a fan part number or ratings that is working for you?

I'm using a Papst 414F for both extruders, this duct and to cool my mightyboard. They are working very well and compared to several others I tried the fans are still fairly quiet after 1 year. If you have and wil have no front doors you can also attache a 20mm high fan like the Pabst 414 (less loud) or the Pabst 414H (with higher power). But I use the doct also for ABS printing and here i need to close the doors and had to go with a 10mm high version.

I will give a try. This will be my 3rd try to add a cooling fan to improve the bridges ... I have spend almost 2 full spools of ABS to get just poor results.

It's working fine for me. At least it's the best active fan solution for the extruders I know yet. Thing:259688 cooled my nozzles on high air rates too much and on low air rates it was cooling the extruded fillament to less.Thing:284684 was hitting my alu extensions of the Z-Axis arms when I installed the backside duct and if I only installed the front duct the cooling came just from one side and the resaults where not good enough.
One Note: Don't install my duct to high, so that the hot ends might melt it and don't install it to low that it can accidently hit the printed model. On my Dulicator 4 printer it's perfect position is to have it monted ~1mm above the printed part. Next week I'll receive two new FlashForge printers and of corse they will be upgraded immediately.

For PLA may work perfect and it is by far the best active cooling i have ever seen. But for ABS it lift the ABS from the platform. Maybe on a future update you could add one slot for every fan to block the air when the other extruder is not used. Thanks again for your great job!

95% of my prints are with ABS fillament. What you need for good results is:
A First layer temperature of ~260°C (Rest of the layers e.g. 230°C depending on your fillament).
Configure your slicer to start the fan not befor 5th layer. ( In Makerware "fanLayer:5.0" and in Simplify3D you can even set much better details like different speeds per layer and for bridging or for fine layers)
And of course you need to close your print cabin (front doors and hood, or maybe a box over the whole printer) Because with high and required cabin temperatures the build plate starts sagging on the front while printing and you will need some kind of alu arms (like bottleworks) or MUCH cheaper google for 'Home Zillions Platform Hanger MakerBot Replicator'.
As a build platform I tested everything (glas & mirror glas -> with kapton tape, glue stick, acetone-ABS solutions, hairsprays) but since I have my 'Dauerdruckplatte' coated with PEI I never want something else. ABS is never detaching on my machine (of course you need the upper mentioned things, too). while printing and while cooling it AUTOMATICALLY detaches from the bed. You need no additional adhesion auxiliaries, tools (like spatulas). Unfortunately I'm only familiar with German online stores who are selling this perfect build plate. See https://groups.google.com/d/topic/wanhao-printer-3d/mRlyYxO2jHU/discussionhttps://groups.google.com/d/to... for details.
Could you describe your advice 'one slot for every fan to block the air when the other extruder is not used' a little more? I think I did not get it :-(

Thanks for your advices. I use ABS Juice on glass. Without a fan my build stays deadly flat BUT i cannot build good bridges. With a fan i can build bridges (not absolutely perfect) but the ABS lifts from the HB. I have calibrate everything including thermistors, Sailfish firmware (for perfect leveling!) and i have "close"my cabin. My HB temperature is exactly at 100c and my nozzles at 215c.
You can make a slot for the left and right grooves that will BLOCK air coming out to the nozzle that you are not using during printing. For example i am using the RIGHT nozzle to print and i don't want air coming to the LEFT nozzle too. So i wish for example i could slide a rectangle ABS thing to a slot at left to block the air coming out from that nozzle too.

Which layer do you start your cooling via gcode? Do you also print the first layer with only 215°C?
Printing the first layer on a higher temperature (~260°C) WITHOUT active cooling and switchin cooling on after a few layers is highly recommended.

I usually print everything at 215c and i change the speed for the first layers to 10mm/s. I found that this temperature works better for my filament / printing speed and i am getting great overhangs without the need for a fan on ABS. If i am going to use a fan i will change the temperature by 5-10C. I made some experiments like starting the fan manually after about the first 5 layers at different speeds. The corner lifting is not huge, maybe 1-3 degrees but i want everything deadly flat. I need cooling not for overhangs but for building good bridges.

When I try and open your duct stl I get a unsupported file format. Can you check and see if you can open your file? Thanks.

I downloaded it from thingiverse and makerware 2.4.1 opened and sliced the file well. I compared the MD5 Check sums of original and downloaded file and both match. Please check your copy if the checksum is:

Thanks, It opened fine. I have windows 7 32 bit so that might have been part of the problem.

OK, thanks for your feedback and good to know. I forgot to monitor memory usage while slicing and becaue Im slicing on a 32GB x64 System I did not run into this issues myself. I will upload smaller STLs in future by default!

Very nice !!! Now I need one of these to fit my REP2X!... LOL!

OK, I'll keep you updated and you have to do the alpha & beta testing, cause I have no Rep2X :-)

Alpha Rep 2X version is available here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:298733http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...
Please give me your feedback what I have to modify to finaly make it fit perfectly.

Active Cooling Fan Duct for Replicator 2X