E3D Cyclops/Chimera Micro Extruder

by Gyrobot, published

E3D Cyclops/Chimera Micro Extruder by Gyrobot May 28, 2015


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This follows the same principles as my Micro DUAL/QUAD Extruder but I have reduced the pitch of the hot end input feeds to 18mm from 20mm for the E3D Cyclops Hotend. Also compatible with the E3D Chimera Hotend too.

  • This is a direct drive dual extruder with a small footprint (105mm x 42mm x 42mm) including motors.

  • Ducting built in through the extruder splits off some of the airflow and cools the Nema 17 motors, MK7 drive and the plastic body.

  • Full filament support after the MK7 gear wheel allows the 4mm OD PTFE tube insert to be added down into the Cyclops hotend for flexible filament printing.

  • Support free.



Print without support, it's all in the geometry, but snip off the lower feet that is by the cooling fan pocket.

The extruder is kept in place by screwing down in 3 places into the hot end through a mounting plate for your printer. Access two of the screw heads before the motors have been added. A drilling template is provided that can be printed off either in plastic or on old school paper. The template is to show you where to drill the holes in your extruder base mounting plate on your printer. I have an Orca 0.4x which is perfect for this template. You can use this template to design your own printer adaptor.

The idler tension springs are from Bulldog clips, choose a size that suits your requirements. They clip into small holes under the tensioner arms and also in the main body. Make sure your MK7 gear teeth are sharp so less spring force is needed.

You can use the stock E3D Cyclops fan or I prefer to use the larger 40x40x10 fan and divert some of the airflow through the extruder and motor gears.

4mm OD PTFE Tube (supplied with Cyclops) to be inserted from extruder gears down into Cyclops hot end heat breaks and trim top to profile the MK7 drive gears.

Another small piece of 4mm OD PTFE Tube can be used above the MK7 drive gear as a feed tube to easy load filament.

You will also need 2 x 623 bearings for the idler arms. Print the idler arms with solid infill so they will resist any of the plastic "relaxing" over time.

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Is this compatible with dual e3d titan extruders, nema 17 motors, and the prusa i3, or any of the knock off i3's? Also, what type of mounting hardware does this require, screws, locknuts, washers, etc? Also, would it be difficult for me to add a fan pointed at the bed?

can i have your retract parameters for the cyclops?

I used Cura, so here they are :

retraction_enable = True
support_dual_extrusion = Both
wipe_tower = True
wipe_tower_volume = 40
retraction_speed = 40
retraction_amount = 3
retraction_dual_amount = 2
retraction_min_travel = 1.5
retraction_combing = All
retraction_minimal_extrusion = 0.1
retraction_hop = 0

Hey, nice work there!
I was just wondering how quick you can print with that as E3D recommended to use geared extruder. Yours looks like a direct drive so I was wondering if the torque would be enough for printing speed faster than 90mm/sec (with acceleration ofc).

Yes it is dual direct dive. I wouldn't think you can print at 90mm/s with the Cyclops, I print at about 20mm/s but then I am also usually printing with soft Filaflex.

Wow, so cyclops can print soft TPU as well I presume. I think I'll get the legendary pack instead to experiment with cyclops and chimera. Thanks for the info!

Yes look TPU works (with the right extruder ;-):

Flesh and Bones
by Gyrobot

What is the total weight of the extruder including the motors?
I am planning to use it on a delta with magnetic joints.

Nice design. I like the compact build. I wondered about the sprint force, but for you it works, right?
Having a look to see if I can add a normal spring, but space is limited.

What are the two bigger holes for, next to binder clip holes on the main body? They end up on the drive gear.

I am sorry, but I don't know the weight.

I use bulldog clip springs and they seem to work well providing your MK7 gear teeth are sharp. If they aren't then more spring force is need for grip. Print the idler arms with solid infill so they will maintain their tension over time.

The two larger holes are for the filament to feed through, I am surprised you didn't realise this ;-)

Ok, I will go and do the math to find out how much it weighs exactly.

I will try the bulldog clips, when I start my experiments.

No, I ain't that stupid, I know the holes for the filament. The other holes, right next to the bulldog clip holes. In the curved bit, not the top of the part. The 5.5 mm hole, not the 4mm hole for the filament.

These holes are pitched so you can access the fastener heads that will attach the extruder to the Cyclops. The Cyclops is fastened before you attach the motors.

Of course they are. Thanks!

I tried importing into onshape and had trouble with the body of the extruder importing as three surfaces instead of a part. I have a support ticket in with them on it and they would like to know what software was used.

Great design, BTW. I am altering it to work with some steppers with longer shafts and making a base for it to ride on openbuilds 20x20 using their v-slot wheels.

The issue I had importing into OnShape was the version of the .step format. I got it imported by using FreeCad to convert the stl to step.

I am having some trouble getting enough pressure on the filament arms. When at temperature it barely extrudes. If I press up on the back of the filament lever some it extrudes perfectly. I tried going up to the springs from a larger size clip, but it didn't seem to help -- when squeezed past a certain point the larger clips just bent rather than providing more spring. Any suggestions?

Are you using MK7 drive gear? Are the teeth sharp? In theory you shouldn't need that much pressure on the idler arm, just sharp teeth and low pressure in the hot end.

Yes, MK7. I checked and my older drive gear is sharper, but may have had some damage in repeated clogging I had before I moved to a dual extruder setup. The newer gear I got from a different seller (the place I got the first no longer sells them) and looks like horrible manufacturing. So it seems you are spot on.

I need to find a shop that sells better quality. Where do you get your drive gears?

Hi Gyrobot, I'd really like to try to adapt this design to my Mendelmax 3 - is it possible to get an editable format? I'm using Fusion360 and can import pretty much any standard format - step, iges, solidworks, nx, rhino, inventor.

Thanks in advance!

Hi theverant,


Thanks! Imported great! You the best!

Looks like I will have to make a right angle bracket - the MM3 X carriage is vertical. Do I need to leave space for the idler arms to move, or is their motion contained within the envelope of the motors?

Yes, a right angled bracket is what I envisaged. The idler arm only has a little movement, just enough to release the filament, the motion is kept within the motor profile.

If you are going to edit the body of the extruder, then you will have to add the support piece in afterwards.

nicely done making it printable without support. I like your method of printing a cube on its diagonal.

Thank you, it is a great print which is mesmerising watching it build up all of the channels and holes etc without support.