I’ve always fancied upgrading one of my machines to a volcano hot end. Both of my deltas currently run genuine E3D v6 but as I slowly tweak them and increase the print speeds, my limiting factor will be how quickly I can heat up the plastic to squirt it out.

Hence the reason why E3D created the volcano (and super volcano – but why?? Just look at one).

Being a bit stingy, taking an interest in titanium heat breaks and also in non aluminium heated block (think brass or copper) I started to look around for alternatives.

That’s when I stumbled on TCMUK-3D and their titanium heat break and volcano upgrade kit. The kit is available directly from them here or through amazon here.

In the kit you get the following items.

  • Either a 40w or 60w heater cartridge in either 12v or 24v with extension cable (I went for a 60w 24v one).
  • A thermistor with extension cable (more on this later).
  • A titanium heat break
  • 3 x Stainless Steel Nozzles (0.6mm, 0.8mm and 1.0mm).
  • 3 x Brass Nozzles (0.6mm, 0.8mm and 1.0mm).
  • The required fixings.
  • An allen key.
  • Thermal paste.

Assembly is via the normal E3D assembly instructions.

Now this is the only negative thing I have to say about this kit. The thermistor is, well, rubbish. It doesn’t really conform to any current thermistors in marlin (although they suggest you use number 5 as its closest) and I’ve not had great success in the reprap firmware. They provided me with a copy of the datasheet but that didn’t really help. So my word of warning is use a different thermistor or buy a PT1000.

I am waiting on a new thermistor to come but in the mean time I have battled on with getting it to print as it is, althought not being 100% sure of the temperature I’m printing with. Below are a couple of examples I have printed.

Would I buy this again? Yes, definitely. Its good value for money. I would just use another thermistor.

Whilst I was attending TCT today, E3D made an announcement about their new extruder, the E3D Hermes.

They have taken a dual drive extruder and created their own version. How is it different I hear you say? Well…

  • All of the gears are metal and fully hardened.
  • Each groove in the drive gear is custom milled (they have followed the crowd and announced they were manufactured on a swiss lathe), rather than using a tap.
  • There is no lubrication required due to the type of material chosen for the gears and the use of Igus bearings.
  • The extruder body is made of aluminium with optimised airflow, allowing for the use of lower powered fans. The airflow is directed upwards and away from the print area.
  • A custom nema 17 motor is used. The end caps od a standard nema motor are replaced with custom die cast and machined parts. These allow for the bearing recesses to become part of the motor casing. T-slots have also been machined into the caps to aid in extruder mounting and mounting other objects to the extruder, such as a BLTouch.
  • All items that require user interaction are at the top, such as idler tension and release.
  • It is smaller than their current titan aero extruders.
  • They are following Prusa and will be allowing the QC information of the extruder to be followed all the way through.

The E3D Hermes will be released as a complete package, contain the custom motor, extruder and hot end (including a nozzle, heater cartridge and thermistor).

I know what you’re thinking, this sounds expensive. They have made sure that the extruder can be manufactured using mass manufacturing techniques and have promised a price significantly less than £100.

The most crucial bit of information is when is it available? 4-6 weeks from now. So November.

Pictures of a production prototype and slides from the presentation are below. Ignore the PCB on the extruder, that is a whole other story…

I know I’ve been fairly quiet on here but I have been working on a few things behind the scenes.

Over the next few days I’m going to write about my super cheap enclosure, printing in ABS, a volcano hot end upgrade kit, how I’m getting on with the wham bam flexible system and SMuFF (I now have all the parts printed).

I also feel I’m almost in a good enough place to do a comparison post of pre mods and post mods (aimed at Ryan).

So watch this space…

In the post I wrote about the latest changes I had made to my predator, I described how I had mounted the magball arms and which adaptors I had used.

Well a few days ago, Nealz Engeland pointed me in the direction of these adaptors on thingiverse. How are these different I hear you ask? Ignoring the first two files on there, the second two files allow you to use the PCB adaptors supplied with the smart effector! This improves the precision of the carriages, reducing calibration deviation even further.

I printed the version without the hole for flying extruder and designed these adaptors. They attach in front of the PCB carriage adaptors and the rubber tubing used on the flying extruder attaches to them.

I printed them in ABS, but more on that later…