CTC & Flashforge PLA Cooling Duct Fan Clips

by Trezhunter May 11, 2014
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

hi, if i want to print abs, do i have to turn the fans back to normal position too?

You shouldn't need to.

I tried these on my Flashforge Creator Pro (2016 edition). Unfortunately it seems that the cooling effect for the colder parts of the extruder are too little, thus during some prints @200° C. the PLA filament buckled inside the top part of the extruder (the PLA probably got too hot too early, similar effect as with soft PLA / NinjaFlex).
Based on these experiences I decided to try out another design (Thing 1597507) that uses the side fan and keeps the two front fans working as designed.
Nice idea though, may be working @lower temperatures below 200° C. and with the right filaments.

Interesting. I print PLA @ 198 with these on my mk7. Smooth as butter.
Buckling sounds to me to be more like it is related to jamming of some kind. If you multipurpose your extruder for multiple types of filament, are you taking it apart and cleaning it, and/or switching to a fresh nozzle?

The bottom of the vent drags the print job around. Too low. Any suggestions?

Hmm.. What's your clearance like between the vent tip and your hotend with these on?

Wondering if you have an mk10 "shorty" hotend.. These vents were designed for machines calibrated for the mk7/mk8 hotend, which is longer.
Maybe thruit00's Replicator Vents would work better for this, as his vents situate 1.5 mm higher, but then his inlet ports may not meet your fans.
If you do have mk10s the heatsink is also different.. it's a unibody for both extruders if I remember correctly. I'm not sure if the fan clearance is different as well now if that is the case for you, but it's worth a test print.

Ran these off the other night and I have to say it is amazing, it has improved my PLA prints by a rather significant amount!

Thank You

Printed great. I used some 40mm screws to make up for the lack of recess in the fans once they were turned around. I also had to pack out the fans a little because the blades were rubbing against the heat sinks. Fans are a bit noisier but it's a small price to pay for really good PLA prints. This has breathed new life into my PLA printing. Good job.

I had the issue of the screws not reaching but dumping the washers was enough to get a good bite

I have a Monoprice/Flashforge Creator pro ordered 10/13/15. This make a huge difference in my PLA prints. Thank you. I had to make a few modifications.

  • Lengthened the duct by 3.3mm. The duct extension is close but not exact, but it works just fine.
  • Made the piece under the fan a little lower. It was making the fan rub.
    Here is the SCAD. I printed using slic3r. To get the other side in slicer, just flip along the X axis.


I tried this but found it wasn't terribly effective, good idea though

Just printed one of these for my Powerspec 3D, printed great with Colorfabb, I haven't had a chance to take pictures and add it on here. Still need to test it once I get longer screws. Since my printer is just a re-branded Flashforge I might need to use the remix with the longer bit, have to get home and take the print off the bed first.

Hi.. This looks like a great solution, but I'm concerned that reversing the fans will stop them doing their original job...

You can do this without interfering width the print?

Hi 3dmigos!

I am not sure what you mean by interfering with the print?

If you haven't seen designs like these before, or in case I missed something in the description, this print improves PLA print quality. Physically it fits right on and doesn't impede the operation of any other parts either.
..Please do elaborate as I'm curious as to what you mean by 'interfering'.. ( Heck. I wish i had vents on both sides)

Quick Lesson #1:
A 3d printer's block-fan's job is not to print or cool the print, it's simply to move air across the heatsinks to regulate extruder temps, & THAT'S ALL. However, the way it does it out-of-the-box can actually cause more wild turbulence on the build surface than when reversed. Hence the PLA warps badly due to the unevenly retained heat in the print. Reversing fans and adding these vents will serve to improve most of those PLA prints (assuming you have a well calibrated and levelled machine) by focusing the air constantly over the extrusion point. This also allows for the layer-weld to form without any extra melt. My resolution is great & I've had over 200 successful hours of printing, no downtimes, jams, or printer repairs since I've had them on.

Quick lesson #2, CFM = the measure of the rate of air movement. Fans are rated by the CFM measure and this # is the same with a fan facing in either direction.

The clip's job:
Focusing the wind in a directed fashion.. if you haven't been printing long, you'll observe how/why this works soon enough and why next gen printers and gcode are designed with a print cooling fan in mind, typically mounted to the side of the block and facing the extruder tip.

Many of us PLA makers use directed fans now, come join the party.
Print one and try it, it's on me!

..and if you didn't catch it in the description, you'll want to print this in something that melts hotter than PLA, like ABS.

Good luck!

PS> Don't forget to mess around with your extrusion temps and do feel free to let me know if there something I am overlooking in this design or to modify it yourself. It's all about progress!

This fits the Flashforge Creator Pro perfectly! Just printed one and now I need longer fan bolts because they are definitely not long enough once you turn the fan around.

Interesting.. I've heard this recently from one of the other users as well. Most others don't seem to have issue though.
I think that would mean they've changed to different screws on newer Creator's or to slightly thicker fans.
My unit uses the Runda fans with the screw hole recessed on the stock side, and not on the flipside, but still the screw threads still BARELY reach the other side enough to grab hold of the block, assuming you are holding everything together in perfect alignment and tightly. I too was screwing aimlessly forever the first time I flipped my fans and thought the screws wouldn't reach either. But after seeing it work for literally hundreds of others I tried again witha light strapped to my head making sure the holes were perfect, when carefully aligned and compressed the included screws worked.

Are they still 40mm long screws & and Runda fans?

Not sure on the brand of fan, I don't want to disassemble it again until I have the proper screws. The screws they are using are 34mm on the Creator Pro.

AHA, Awesome to know! Thanks for the info Kris. Adding it to the thing info.

No problem! Thanks for the awesome Remix! Now off to find some screws.

Update: Screws found! 3mm x 40mm is perfect. Unfortunately the creator pro must use a slightly larger extruder carriage. The fan duct is roughly 3mm too short and doesn't come in contact with the fan. Although there is already a remix that someone made with longer parts and should fit(I will be testing this soon hopefully.)

Hey Kris. Thanks for that info. Wish I had a reference model so I could remix, but I'm sure someone has already tackled it. (EDIT: Repurposer created a remix I which I believe was aimed at solving that issue.) Blueflyboy mentioned having this issue to this with his Creator pro as well. Guess we can't depend on these old reprap clones being as universal as they used to be. Still.. pretty darn close!

I printed one? but my bolt thread was not able to reach the motor. seems too short

am i missing something here?

If it is standard length 40mm screw it should reach by JUST barely enough.

I also thought they wouldn't reach the first 2 times, but it was just an alignment issue. You'll need to make sure the holes line up, Use a small light to visually confirm before trying to screw it back together. Then, be sure to compress the motor in towards the block (towards you and the screw head), put the screw in, and press/screw by hand.

Best of luck!

I saw that my fan nuts holes is different, if i flip can the bolt still reach the motor?

What do you mean?

Hi Trevhunter,

Thanks for replying. What I mean was if I flip the fan, the bolt cannot be inserted fully.

As in the original orientation (blowing air in) there is counter sunk holes for holding the nut. When I flip it over, it is a flat surface and hence the nut cannot go in as deep.

Mine is a creator pro bought around 2 months back.

That is perfectly fine actually. Most fans are like this (eg:Runda). No worries! The screws will likely still reach enough to make a secure fitment. Be sure to hold the motor firmly in place while you line it all up and firmly screw it all back together.

Also if you are concerned about the clip being flush due to the screw head sticking out. Don't worry, Take a close look at the clip design and you'll see a small hole on the inner-clip side made to house the newly protruding screw head.

Give it a shot!

Can you post the CAD file so that I can modify it a little bit to fit better? Or, can you tell me what FREE software can edit STL?

Many thanks.

Oh.. And if you're more comfortable in Autocad there is an online converter:

this is a remix of another stl so no cad file to edit. Sorry.

The tools I use:
Blender for point/vertex modding
TinkerCad for primitive edit/boolean-object merging
Netfabb for final print cleanup, part separation, and repair

You will be making your own prints in no time between these three.

Hi, this looks great. I just printed one (ABS) for my Creator Pro, which aside for one minor corner warp, looks pretty nice.
I noticed that when I slide it in, it doesnt come all the way to the fan, leaving about 2mm gap, the reason being it actually 'hits' the black fender of the print heads to it cannot be pushed in any further. Is that by design?

ok, after a first attempt, I also noticed the bottom part somehow touches the printed layer just a tad... so I guess it might have warped just enough to go below the nozzle line. I will try to sand it down a bit and see if that helps...

Many thanks!

Hey blueflyboy!

The vents should be flush with the fans, there should be no gap at all, as described in the Instructions section of this thing. Air seepage is not desirable as it would cause print warping.

As most of the hardware is pretty much standard across these classic 2x models, I'm thinking maybe you have different fans,heatsinks, standoffs causing the extra spacing. Also since you printed in ABS there's a possibility of print curling/shrinkage causing this kind of issue, if you don't print in a draft-free setting. (Thin Looped ABS things love to curl and shrink in on themselves)

Your heater block/nozzle height issue is similar to the reason why I modded these in the first place. My block was only able to be situated at lower clearance. As you can see from the photos, where everything should sit though, there is a good bit of clearance between the vent and the nozzle tip. You can try adjusting your nozzle clearance via the hex screw on the metal guide above the heater.

Really I just stretched thruit's design out a bit downwards on Z.. But not the depth on Y anywhere besides the outlet, so unfortunately you would have these issues with any set of fan clips.

You may want to do what I did and pick up a free tool like Blender or netfabb and see if you can just customize it (and every other print) to your needs.

Good luck!

This had a hugely positive impact on my Flashforge Creator's print quality -- more than I expected. Fits perfectly, too. Thank you!

Comments deleted.

This saved the day for my PLA printing! I've been trying to get a reasonable print from my FlashForge PLA filament the last 3 weeks and almost gave up on PLA (my ABS prints perfectly) on my Creator X. The elusive formula is...
220C for the nozzle
50C for the hotbed
Speed of print was not as sensitive a factor. I did notice some minor sagging of PLA in some prints when I did not include support.
Overall, this is a great addition to my FlashForge mod.
One final note. Don't print with support!! as you will have problems with the airway hole. It is almost impossible to remove the supports. I had to do a reprint without support. It prints perfectly without the need for support as I later noticed that Trezhunter already included a small 'pillar' support within that airway duct.

Nice! Glad to be of help. I just know there's gotta be a lotta CTC/Flashforger's out there who need upgrades as much as any of the the other makers.
PLA is tricky, but it's a great place to start making! I recently settled on 196C-206C extruder x 58Cbed. But that's silver 1.75mm ebay PLA. Black and Clear PLA perform under different temps and even extrusions speeds, probably from having slight different physical qualities. I think your preference is sure to change once you load up some other filament types/colors/brands.
To tell you the truth I had a hard time switching myself over from PLA to ABS to print these out. I actually cracked two... but, ABS is truly the ideal material to make these as PLA won't hold up as well over time and will eventually absorb latent moisture and heat causing sagging and holes to eventually form at structural weak spots local to printing flaws.. Though I'm sure this would take a long time and you can reprint or upgrade by then :) I finally moved my printer to the garage and printed these from the SD in ABS using 205C extruder X 103C bed.
These help control and even the cooling of PLA prints out on the tops by providing a thin air-stream. To supplement, I've found it's also ideal to minimize drafts in the room.
& yes, definitely print without supports. They'll print just fine without em. Though depending on how well tuned your quality is you may want to poke inside your vents out a little with a hooked piece of wire to catch any stray layering-loops, stranding, or webbing.
Happy making!