Volcano Hotend #1

Hwuuyah! Whats up my printer peoples! This is episode #1 in a 3 part series going over the E3d Volcano Hotend in this video I’m going to be explaining why I love big nozzle and I can not lie. Alright lets get into it, BYAHH! I’m going to ease into this so that anyone can understand the importance of the hotend. lets start somewhere that everyone has common ground. Paper printers have print heads for the same reason FDM printers have hotends. To apply ink or plastic in a precise amount to a specific location in space. Now, lets jump to a weapon in every hobbyists toolbelt, the hot glue gun. Everyone knows how a hot glue gun works. You plug it in, it heats up, you jam a stick of glue it and pull the trigger which grabs and advances the glue stick further into the hot…end. Do you see where I’m, going with this? Just like a hot glue gun the hot end component of a 3D printer heats up and extrudes a material. But it takes precision to the next level. It is critical that a hotend be able to do several things very precisely.

Feed filament consistently, Has accurate temperature control with sufficient thermal capacity, and smoothly extrude extrudes a specific size bead of plastic So I have to admit, before I had ever tried the E3D V6 or the Volcano I thought to myself, Pshhh These guys want 80 to 100 dollars for a hotend!? That’s ridiculous! Thats only for suckers. I’m going to build one for half the price Thats going to work way better. I’m going to kick E3D’s butt I’m going to just prove how smart I am And thats when I started working on the Hyper Hotend You maye have seen some pictures on Facebook and Twitter that I posted as I was working on it but not knowing much about the actual science behind a hotend I experimented to figure things out.

I started by running a steady state thermal analysis and tried to remove as much weight as possible while still having a proper thermal profile. The I started to make my prototype hyper hotend out of stainless steel on a manual engine lathe and mill After cranking out some prototypes that worked reasonably well I started to contact local machine shops to see what the cost of a production run would be. They came back with quotes anywhere between $800 and $1200 dollars. For a single hotend! This is where things began to fall apart. Stainless steel has great thermal attributes over aluminum, but the cost and manufacturability of stainless is atrocious! So, I already lost the battle of keeping cost down BIG TIME! I started all over again but this time working with some very smart manufacturing engineers to come up with the ultimate high performance, but low cost hotend. and despite my best efforts, it turned out to be almost exactly the same as what the E3D people had done. An aluminum heatsink with a stainless heat break going into an aluminum heater block. The experience I gained working on my Hyper Hotend gave me a proper respect and understanding as to what makes a good hotend.

Now when Igo on to talk about E3D you know I’m not just jumping on a bandwagon, I tried my best to throw mud in their face, but I came out of this with a deep respect for what they have come up with. Alright, now we are getting into the meat and potatoes of why you’re watching this video. Who is E3D? Well they are a few blokes from Britain with a fantastic understanding of engineering and manufacturing. The best part of all is the have a healthy respect for the open source community and all of their engineering prints and designs can be downloaded from their website. They are primarily known for their work with hotends and their flagship product is called the V6 hotend A wide variety of hotends compliment the V6 and the one, in particular, you are here to see is the Volcano. I first ordered the V6 as a full kit and installed it into the Ultimaker using one of the many print head designs I found on Thingiverse.

I was happy and it worked as I expected but my satisfaction did not last long and I wanted to try what the clever chaps at E3D had simply coined the volcano. I ordered the Eruption Pack which comes with the parts needed to convert a V6 to a Volcano hotend. The conversion over from a V6 to a Volcano can be seen in video #2. Watching it is essential to your 3D printing livelihood. Alright, you have waited long enough! Now I’m going to get into what the Volcano does well It does several things quite well actually. It prints very big, it prints fast, and it prints incredibly strong. This hotend it for people who want to make prints that are as strong as possible.

Things like mounts, brackets, and cases are ideal for this type of hotend. It’s not really for people who want intricate little figurines with tiny critical little details. The bigger diameter nozzles that come with the Volcano produce much bigger beads. 1.2, 1.0, 0.8, and 0.6 nozzles come with the eruption pack. Typical nozzles are only around 0.4mm in diameter. A bigger bead means that more volume per layer comes out so prints are built much faster. I’m talking 2 to 4 times faster here! Wider beads also mean much more surface area contact from layer to layer which drastically improves layer bonding adhesion Now that’s a big deal because most prints fail because of layer adhesion not because of the mechanical properties of the plastic. Ok, now I want to show you how each nozzle has a range of layer thicknesses it can print with.

I have spent a lot of time playing with printer settings just to figure out where the limits of each nozzle is. Now, of course, just as with all 3D printing examples what I am showing you is a guide to help you figure out what works best with your specific printer. What I consider optimum may not work best for you, but it should get you close so you don’t have to start from scratch The 0.6mm nozzle can print layers from 0.1 to 0.5mm high while obeying the layer width to height ratio never going below 1.2 rule I found that the prints with 0.1 layers had inconsistent perimeter surface finish and 0.5 layers had a hard time putting down enough material and gaps were visible My recommendations are to use the 0.6 nozzle for 0.2 to 0.4mm layers.

Anything bigger switch to a bigger nozzle. The layer range that I determined for the 0.8 nozzle is between 0.5 and 0.7mm layers. Now let me be clear, it is not impossible to print outside this range I’m not changing printer settings between these prints. I only want one print profile per nozzle. This keeps things simple and reliable. Staying between 0.7 and 0.9mm layers with the 1mm nozzle is what I found to work best. At this point, you really can see that the smaller features are starting to disappear from the models If you are curious why some of these prints look terrible it is because they were printed outside my recommended range. The biggest 1.2mm nozzle prints with a crazy 0.9 to 1.1mm layer. It’s amazing to think that while printing a single layer at 1.1mm thick that’s the same as printing 11 layers at 0.1 I had to turn the temperature of the hotend up to 240C and the print speed down to 25mm/s to keep the plastic flowing properly. The Volcano is putting down such a large volume of plastic you need the extra temperature to keep things moving.

If you see under extrusion while printing these big layers then try increasing temperature and slowing down the print speed before increasing extrusion multiplier. Your extruder stepper is already working hard to keep up, so don’t make it work any harder. As you can see the Volcano can produce a wide variety of layer heights. Even at the lower layer heights like 0.2 the Volcano proved to be a great option for normal prints where you would use a 0.4mm nozzle. I personally have been using the Volcano for all of my prints since I installed it. But I almost exclusively use the 0.6 and 1.2 nozzles. If I want thinner layers or small detailed features I use the 0.6. and if I am looking for strength I use the 1.2 for the biggest layer possible. Now, as you increase nozzle diameter you start to loose the ability to print small diameters and I can see using the 0.8 or 1.0 nozzle if you want to keep the layers as big as possible while still being able to print certain features. I have shown the speed and versatility of the Valcano but I have yet to prove that it really does print stronger.

So here we go! I made a standardized test that anyone can duplicate. This model targets layer adhesion when you pull on either end. It’s kind of like a tensile specimen, measuring the force it takes to split the layers I can compare the bonding strength of different size layers. This will also work well to test different materials. Doing 3 tests per nozzle gave me a nice average force to compare with.

Hrrrrrrrrrrr hadouken!! Ok so, taking the average of the first three tests gave 57.2 pounds. Thats pretty impressive considering this is a small hollow part with only 2 perimeters. OOOH this chart is getting filled out quite nicely! See, I told you so. With smaller layers comes less strength. Well, at least, that’s always what uncle Ben said. Or was that something about responsibility…I duno.

Hmm I’m noticing a trend here. Do my Printr people see it!? I think yall get it. Layers that are taller are also wider. Wide layers mean more surface area to bond to other layers. So we can all agree that there’s a relationship between big layers and print strength. Well this turned into a bloody primer on 3D printing didn’t it? Alot more than you bargained for when you clicked on this video, I know.

But, hopefully, it taught you something you didn’t already know or explained something you didnt fully understand. Either way, everyone goes home a winner here. Thanks for watching I hope you learned something from this video, if you enjoy this kind of stuff please hit the like button or if you thought it was a waste of time please click the dislike button that lets me know what my printer peoples are interested in. Make sure and subscribe to my channel and check out my facebook and twitter for more frequent posts and I’ll see you next time! I have so many owls and benchys! I dont know what to do.

If you got any good ideas on how I can use them let me know in the comments down below. .

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