Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

E3D v6 40 mm Fan Duct and Extruder for MakerGear M2

by Neo_Usagi, published

E3D v6 40 mm Fan Duct and Extruder for MakerGear M2 by Neo_Usagi Oct 9, 2014
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UPDATE 2: In response to numerous requests to make several significant changes to the design, I've updated the 40mm duct and moved the mounting to a modified 30mm E3D shroud. The updated design can be found at: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1165614. This adds magnetic couplers and makes assembly and removal of the ducts a simple matter of snapping parts together or tugging them apart. I've tested the hold and all parts fit snuggly and hold well. I've had my printer testing this redesign for over a month and there have been no failures. Both fans hold very firmly in place while still being easy to assemble.

UPDATE 1: I've recently updated my E3D v5 extruder and fan duct (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:533029) and significantly improved the fit of the hotend into the extruder. I translated these improvements to my E3D v6 extruder so inserting the hotend into the extruder won't require as much force and will hold the hotend tighter due to better fit. This update has improved my print qualities over the previous extruder version, because the hotend nozzle doesn't have as much play. I've also renamed the part with the 2.0 mm ID PTFE upper opening to accurately reflect the inner diameter of the upper inlet.
Here is my duct for version 6 of the E3D hotend for the MakerGear M2 printer. To design this I used my reference model for the E3D v6 (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:433258).
Because I like the design and fit of the 30 mm fan duct that comes with the E3D v6, I took a different design approach for this than I did for v5 of the hotend (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:254004). So instead of bolting the 40 mm fan duct to the 30 mm fan duct, I bolted the 40 mm fan duct to a redesigned extruder. This may make the design more MakerGear M2 specific. The upside is that the redesigned extruder holds the hot end very stably and provides a solid platform for the 40 mm fan duct.
For the extruder design, I was inspired by both rsilvers’ M2 extruder design (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:267137) and cmenard’s adaptation for the E3D v6 (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:349859). I’ve made two versions of the extruder, one to fit 2.0 mm I.D. PTFE (at the top) and one to fit 3.0 mm I.D. PTFE. The reason for the later is because I prefer 3.0 mm I.D. PTFE as filaments with kinks pass through this more readily. I’ve uploaded a version of each with and without supports / pads. Most of the supports and pads peel away easily or can be crushed and plucked off with a pair of needle nose pliers. So cleanup should be pretty quick and easy. I suggest that you pass a 2.0 mm diameter circular file down the length of the filament shaft of the extruder. Sometimes there are minor blockages that can lead to filament jams.
For the extruder redesign, I brought the heat sink higher up into the body and because the extruder is holding onto more of the hotend, there is greater stability in the hotend tip’s position, leading to a noticeable improvement in print quality and a reduction in ghosting. There is very little if any wobble in the hotend, which I’ve found can develop with time as the extruder experiences the stresses of printing. The only wobble in the system now is in the tightness of the rail carriage that the extruder motor and extruder ride on. The tolerances are pretty tight but the E3D heatsink should snap into place pretty firmly and might be a challenge to take back out. It will require a fair degree of force to get into the extruder and I recommend the pressing this in with the rubberized handle of a hand tool or small block of wood. On the side is an arm that the 40 mm duct is bolted onto. This element and the bracket to the 40 mm duct are form fitted to the E3D 30 mm duct. So while not bolted onto the 30 mm duct, they closely wrap around the 30 mm fan duct and this provides stable support for the 40 mm duct. I posted a version of the extruder without this sidearm (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:495756) so that this extruder could be used with a different duct solution for the E3D v6.
While the new duct resembles my previous E3D v5 hotend duct, it is a complete redesign. I noticed that the print quality of my E3D v5 hotend slowly degraded with time and this corresponded with changes / warping of the duct. So I maximized the distance between the rim of duct outlet and the hotend heaterblock, while not colliding with the M2 frame. I included a bottom view photo to illustrate the relatively small space this all had to fit within. With this added distance, the angle and the width of the duct outlet had to be taken into account so as to get a more balanced air flow directed specifically at the extruded plastic coming out of the nozzle. So the shape of the outlet is very different and in my opinion more tuned to positioning airflow where it is needed and not directed at the heater block. It is still not perfect as high cooling rates will still drop the heater block temp. If printed in the posted orientation the duct will not need any supports.
With this setup, I’ve been able to tackle some really big PLA print projects. These models were very large with a lot of retractions. I’d consistently run into heat creep issues with high retraction zones. So this has solved a big problem.
I hope this works as well for you as it does for me. Please comment if you have any design suggestions or requested fixes. If there is enough demand for this, I’ll implement this design for the E3D v5.


To assemble this press the hotend firmly into the extruder. The heater block should be oriented with the heater cartridge facing away from the 40 mm duct. This is not the orientation depicted in the E3D assembly guide but it positions the heater cartridge away from the 40 mm duct and minimizes warping. You will need an 18mm M2 bolt and nut to attach the duct to the extruder.
Once assembled you may have to reduce the amount of cooling you apply to your prints. I found that when I ran my 40 mm fan at greater than 50% my prints would warp due to excessive cooling. 25% so far seems to be the optimal fan setting. I’ve not printed a lot of objects with this setup so the exact value that works for you may be different.
I printed this using a 0.3 mm nozzle initially using an E3D v5 hotend then an E3D v6 hotend. The E3D v6 printed parts were noticeably cleaner and smoother. I sliced and printed using Simplify3D software.

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Comments deleted.

What's the difference between 2.0 and 3.0?

There are actually three size variants, 1.75, 2.0 and 3.0, which correspond to the relative size of the upper inlet of the extruder and what inner diameter PTFE tubing they accommodate. This is described in the first Update. Perhaps I wasn't as clear on this as I could have been.

I was just confused because I hadn't realized that a 2mm filament existed, but thank you for the clarification.

To my knowledge there isn't a 2 mm filament but there is a 2mm ID PTFE tubing, which I've found to be particularly good for channeling 1.75 mm filament. I agree that this is a potentially confusing point.

I've printed this design and it printed beautifully, however I'm having issues with the hotend rotating. Is there a fix her or did I do something wrong?

Glad to hear it printed well. I'm not sure what you mean by the hotend rotating. I'm assuming that you mean the hotend not snug in extruder friction mount. This is pretty surprising because I usually have to use a vise or clamp to get the hotend into the extruder mount. If you shared some details about how the hotend is not secure, I can try to help. Also... if this is not an authentic E3D hotend, that can be an issue too because some knockoffs (as I've been told) aren't exactly made to spec.

Found the problem, I didn't see the cut out in the bottom of fan duct and had the hotend 180 degrees rotated. Once I put the hotend in correctly it sits in perfectly!

Thanks for the update. I was a bit confused about what your issue might be but I'm glad to hear you figured it out.

I printed this off to use with my new v6 hot ends, and I just wanted to say thanks for a great design! Combining this filament drive, with the v6, a ptfe guide tube and a ball bearing spool mount has made printing with ninjaflex a DREAM. Excellent design sir.

Glad to hear its working so well for you! Thanks for sharing this and please let me know if you see anything that can be improved.

Hey Neo, would it be possible to get the step file for this piece? I would like to tighten up the fit for the groove mount because my hot ends fit fairly loose in there.

I've been challenged by this request on my other objects. I use Form-Z, which is a great piece of design software but does a really poor job exporting objects to formats other than STL. I don't quite understand why this is true but the latest version exports empty STEP files. If you don't mind waiting a bit (I'm on vacation for the next few weeks - first in years), I'd be glad to make adjustments for you and email them to you.

would it be possible to get the filament drive file with the hold for the fan shroud mount 1.5mm higher?

or just the STEP or IGES file and I can manipulate it myself :)

I've tried to export the STEP or IGES file from Form-Z (the program I use to design this). So far no luck and it appears to be a bug in the software. AutoDesSys haven't addressed this so the best I can do is ask you for what you want to be changed and implement this.

would it be possible to get the filament drive file with the hole for the fan shroud mount 1.5mm higher?

I'd be glad to try but I'm not sure what you are asking me to do. Are you talking about the mount on the 40 mm duct or on the E3D heat sink shroud? Are you trying to raise the duct or lower it by 1.5mm? I suspect you are trying to raise the duct by 1.5mm. In either case the air would not be targeting at the tip of the hot end so you may get some unanticipated results, like unstable hotend temperatures.

sure! thank you!

Hi Neo,

First of all, this is an awesome design! Thanks for all your attention to detail.

I printed it with PLA and a 0.4 mm nozzle and everything worked great. I'd like to print it in PET though with a 0.6 mm nozzle, but some of the wall thicknesses are too thin to print correctly with a larger nozzle. Would you be willing to post or send me a file that I can edit in CAD? You've been great to be willing to make edits for people, but what I need may require multiple revisions and I don't want to ask for that much of your time. I have access to Creo and Autodesk Fusion 360 so any standard CAD file that I can import would work.

Thanks for considering,

Hi Jack,

Thanks for the positive comments! I am glad this is working for you!

I get what you are talking about with thicker extrusions as this was designed mostly for 0.4 mm nozzles and lower. I don't know if you've seen the other threads but folks have asked for editable / parametric versions of my models. I've done my best to share but the program I use (Form-Z) doesn't export files that can be easily edited.

If you are a student or educator, one thing I can do is post a FormZ file (they can be huge). The folks that make the FormZ program have a educational version which is nearly identical to the pro version and is free. http://www.formz.com/academic/academic.html

They also have a free version but I'm not sure if that is not somehow been trimmed back in features.

If you can share which part in particular you want to modify, I can post the obj or some other file format for that object, that could be more generally edited.

All the best,

Mike, thanks for the quick reply. I was actually able to import the STL into Creo and make the edits I needed to. I am trying my first test print with the new extruder and so far it is perfect!

In addition to my 0.6 mm nozzle specific model changes, I also reamed out the mounting holes with a #26 drill and cut lengths of stainless tubing (McMaster item 6100K252) which I pressed into holes. The 5/32" tubing has is an extremely close sliding fit with the standard mounting screws. So tight that I had trouble getting them started because one sleeve was misaligned slightly. But once I got them installed, they held the extruder very securely without the risk of the plastic crushing over time and becoming loose. Just thought I mention that in case you or others are interested.

Thanks again for all your work on this design!

Hi Jack,

I'm glad to help when I can. Thanks for updating me on how you are editing the file. Using stainless steel tubing to make the mountings more stable is a fascinating idea. I wonder if this also minimizes ghosting. Thanks for sharing this. It would be great to see your modifications. Please share a photo if you can.

Keep up the good work. :)

Hey Neo I printed it and it came out great. I noticed that the inner surface on the underside of the top rounded part of the shroud had a little bit of an issue. The part came out fine, just a little rough inside, but I was wondering if you had any advice for printing thin walls at a slope/overhang much like the duct?

Hi, I'm glad that this came out so nice for you. I really like your make. It looks awesome in white.

Regarding the shroud, I too had a problem with it and I generally don't like to make objects with shallow angles like that and the shroud was right on the edge of clean printing for me. You must be using a 0.35 mm or smaller nozzle because when I print this with a 0.4mm nozzle (I print dozens of my parts with different sized nozzles to make sure they print), I noticed there were no threads. While I printed this in PET and PLA, I primarily printed this in ABS. And for ABS, I addressed the threads in the inner portion of the shroud by dabbing it with acetone with a Q-tip. Wiping a layer of acetone pinned down the loose threads and made for a nice smooth inner surface. I don't have any changes in settings that would help much as I tinkered with this and could not find perfect settings that didn't also compromise layer adhesion or something else. So two suggestions:

A) Use a nozzle 0.4 mm or larger

B) Wipe on a thin layer of acetone to both smooth out the interior and pin the loose threads down.

I hope this helps. Thanks for sharing the make!

Should I scale up the print by 2% if I'm printing in ABS? Also for smoother NinjaFlex feeding? Or do most people print at 100%?

Hi, I've always printed this at 100%. I've printed it in PET, PLA and ABS and the fit is not significantly different. The parts are also designed to fit very tightly with the E3D and its duct so I think shrinking it down would affect the fit between the duct/extruder and the E3D. It is that tight.

Would you be able to upload an IGES file of this model?

do you have a version of the extruder that will fit the original M2 hotend?

Hi, I haven't done this yet, primarily because nobody has expressed interest in this. It has been something I've considered doing but I didn't know if anyone would use it versus the stock setup, which I haven't seen too many complaints about. But if this duct is something that might be useful to the stock hotend, I'll carve out some time to adapt it.

Has anyone modified this to accommodate the volcano heater block? The fan right now blows right on the thermisistor and the heater block. Needs to move about 15 mm down.

This extruder looks great, and I'd love to mount it on my 3Up! Just wondering, though, what size is the idler bearing? Can't find a BOM anywhere for the M2...

Thanks for the comment. I am glad you like the design.

The idler bearing is a 625ZZ 5 X 16 X 5 Bearing. Here is a link to where I've found it cheapest. If someone else has a cheaper source I'm all ears.


You will also need a shoulder screw to hold the bearing in place.


Please let me know how this works on your printer.

Thanks so much for the links!
Foolishly, I didn't realise that this wasn't mounting directly to a NEMA-17 Stepper... I just saw the mount points and assumed. My modelling skills aren't amazing (I could pull off an ugly mash-up, I'm sure), but I was wondering how difficult it would be to scale out the mounting points to fit a NEMA-17 motor? Its points are a 31mm square, taking M3 standard thread.
Would you have the time/desire to create a model that would suit this? Or should I try my own remodel?

You're welcome. It's tough figuring this out. I really had to search for this info and the shoulder screw was no easy find.

I could reposition the mounting holes but it would significantly alter the aesthetics of the extruder. I will give it a shot but I need a couple bits of info like the diameter of the extruder gear you are using and the top down view on the NEMA-17 stepper you are using so I can get a sense of its mount geometry. Some of the NEMAs have a bearing housing that protrudes out the front and I needed to know how far yours stuck out.

So a photo and some measurements would facilitate me doing this.

As a note, I've gotten several requests to modify this model and a few other of my models. Some are tough some are pretty simple so it might take a couple weeks. I hope you don't mind waiting.

Yeah those shoulder screws are a unique beast! Planning on just printing a sheath that will convert a standard M4x19mm socket head instead, but it's good to have specs to model to now.
How much it changes the extruder is exactly the reason I'm not up to tacking it myself haha. The motor is like this http://www.mosaic-industries.com/embedded-systems/_media/microcontroller-projects/stepper-motors/stepper-dimensions.png, and way it is mounted is via a faceplate that holds it in place, similar to http://www.adafruit.com/images/1200x900/1297-01.jpg The faceplate mount means that the protruding bearing isn't an issue
(Sorry for using links, my printer is in the middle of a lengthy print so couldn't disassemble for clear photos)
My extruder gear looks identical to yours from what I can see, dia 11mm, depth 7mm.

All I'm thinking it needs is 2 small extensions on the side oppostite the fan mount, to create the mount points, and a third at the base of the filament tension lever, but sadly, between me and Sketchup, I can't create a viable object.

How is this extruder intended to be mounted, btw? Is it to a different NEMA motor, or just a mounting plate?

I posted what I hope is a design that will work for you:


Please let me know how it does.

E3D v6 40mm Fan Duct and Extruder for NEMA-17 Motor

Wow, that was quick! Thanks! Printing it now - I'll let you know how it goes.
Impressed that 20 other people have picked it up before I even looked at the page! Haha

Hehe... I think this is a pretty general design so should be useful to a lot of folks so I'm more than happy to do this. I'm not entirely sure with the design as I see some structurally weak places in it but the one thing I really like is that the extruder is nestled up very close to the heatsink so it should do well with flexible filament. So please let me know how this re-design works.

Thanks for the files. That helps me understand how the NEMA is mounted and whether you have a stock or strange variant on the NEMA-17. I think it will be doable. The model may wind up looking a bit non-standard but I will do my best to make it look good. I have 3 other mods to make and then I'll give this a shot.

Can this be printed in PLA, or will it get too soft due to thermal conduction from the hotend? I'm using a J-head now, which is attached to the x-carriage of my MendelMax 1.5 via an aluminum block. The aluminum block gets quite warm and has slightly warped the x-carriage.

I've printed these in several different ABSs and PLAs from different vendors to test whether they consistently printed well and were strong enough for other people to not have to tinker with them to get them to work. But I've not tested the PLA to see if it holds up to temp. I suspect it would as the ABS duct I use hasn't shown any sign of warping yet and it's been run at temps up to 270°C. But if you are getting a lot of heat transfer through your system and even into your carriage, we may be talking about different sources of warping.