Custom heater block to fit E3D nozzle on Ultimaker 2 ("The Olsson Block")

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 7, 2014 - 5:09 PM • Edited  Jul 3, 2015 - 3:17 PM  

Update 2015-04-12:

- The heater block can be ordered here: http://www.3dsolex.com

- Further information about ordering and installing the custom heater block can be found in this post: http://umforum.ultimaker.com/...ultimaker-2/?p=95991

- Some more things to keep in mind when installing the custom heater block: http://umforum.ultimaker.com/...ultimaker-2/?p=89581

Hi!

I have printed some very abrasive home-made filament lately which eats my expensive UM2 nozzle a bit too quickly...  :shock:

Removing the nozzle also feels like an accident waiting to happen.

I particularly dislike the fixing screw for the sensor and the heater.

In fact, at one of my heater blocks the screw does not even fix the heater.

The heater still stays there since it is pushed in by the cable, but I don't see that as good way of fixing it.

So lately I have been putting some effort in finding a better design.

I looked around for nozzles and the smallest suitable one I found was the E3D-V6.

Based on the design of the original heater block I made a slightly stretched version with a modified way of fixing the heater and the sensor.

Here is the result:

2014 10 07 4471

:smile:

Some of the dimensions were a bit off and I only just started testing it, but it looks fine so far and I think this could potentially be a way forward. At least for me it would be a major improvement if this works smoothly.

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ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Oct 7, 2014 - 5:44 PM

Im trying to understand what you did. You put in a e3d. But kept the original teflon part and not an all metal e3d?

Can you share a picture without the metal cover?

Love to hear more of your result...agree the setscrew in the original block is a disaster... and love to be able to switch nozzles easy... did the heater and sensor fit or did you have to drill to size?

ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Oct 7, 2014 - 5:48 PM

Arhhggg it's to late... reading again... you made your own block... i'm interested...

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 7, 2014 - 6:24 PM

Here is one more photo

2014 10 08 4478

I luckily have access to a really good workshop, so I just designed it and they managed to manufacture it for me.

There is a toothed washer which distributes the force from the screw head onto the sensor and the heater.

I don't know if this is a final solution, but it seems not worse than the original design at least.

Regarding the teflon spacer I would like to get rid of that one to, but the spacer is much less of an issue for me than the fact that I can not easily change nozzle. So I tried to solve the most urgent problem first. :smile:

I can provide more details tomorrow, really have to go to bed now, have to get up early.

meduza Feel free to ask me Level: 38 Points: 1208
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Posted by
meduza

Posted Oct 7, 2014 - 10:05 PM

That is a beautiful design, if you are making some more or have some spare blocks we would be very happy to help testing and reviewing the design at Stockholm Makerspace, it looks fantastic to be able to switch nozzles without changing the whole block with the risk of breaking the wires to the sensor or heater

The drawing would also be pretty intresting

DidierKlein Moderator Points: 9205
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Posted by
DidierKlein

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 2:16 AM

Very cool i was just asking last week if it was even possible to replace the nozzle of the UM2 with the E3D v6 Bowden... Next step get rid of the teflon

ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 4:01 AM

Anders >> if you can get a few more produced (or a next version if you do some more testing) I like to try it myself (would pay for it ofcourse) I'm sure more people here like to get one .....

next question for me is how a setup like this compares vs. a full metal E3D ...

is it true a full metal E3D gives more problems with PLA? Getting rid of the teflon would sure help with printing at temperatures required by colorfab XT... does anybody have experience with XT on a full metal E3D ?

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 4:12 AM

I actually have a few of them made already, but I need to do some changes to the design, so I may end up using them for that purpose.

The space is very limited as you probably know already, so even though I made the new heater block as tiny as possible I had to add a 1.5 mm spacer below the threaded tube just to fit things.

I hope that some minor modifications may make it possible to fit it without spacers or machining of other parts, but I am not sure yet.

I would also like to test if there are signs of heat transfer problem when the nozzle is extended like this.

And I need to check if the heater block fits on the other side, for a future dual nozzle upgrade.

gadgetfreak I know my way around here Level: 28 Points: 558
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Posted by
gadgetfreak

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 7:19 AM

Good work Anders!

I'll make sure to notify Ultimaker HQs hotend designer on this to see if he can make time for some comments.

/Daniel

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JanUltimaker Team Ultimaker Points: 101
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Posted by
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JanUltimaker

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 8:15 AM

Hello Anders,

Thank you for your input!

I am from the R&D department at UM, working on the new nozzle design.

If I am correct your design has 2 new features:

  1. A toothed ring to hold the heater and PT100.
  2. Separation of the nozzle and the heater block, so the nozzle can be replaced without taking off the fancap.

Regarding the toothed ring:

Nice idea! Does it work better than the screw? Have you changed the positions of the PT100 and heater cartridge so they are 'level' with the ring?

Regarding the separate nozzle and heater block:

  • Good idea. Replacing the nozzle is made easier, because the heater cartridge and PT100 can stay in the heater block and the heater block can stay in the header assembly. Good!
  • You have changed the nozzle design. I expect more oozing. Can you check?
  • How is retraction?
  • The melt zone is longer. Therefor I think you can work with lower temp?
  • The heater block is higher. Please check if the heater block does not touch the fan cap. This can change the thermal dynamics.
  • Have you tried using other diameters nozzles?

Again, thank you for your input! I will make shure we discuss this in the team.

Kind regards,

Jan

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 3:43 PM

Hi Jan

:smile:

1. The idea with screw and the toothed washer is to fix the sensor and heater in an appropriate way, clamping them with the screw and using the toothed washer as a spring to even out the force.

It seems to work okay, but I have done very little testing so far.

This design also relaxes the demand on manufacturing precision compared to the previous design where the screw hole had to be perfectly centered between the sensor and heater holes.

The screw hole is D-shaped and the idea behind this is that you can access the heater and sensor with a screwdriver and push them out in case they are stuck. I did not test if that works in reality though. (and in principle you would rarely need to remove them with an exchangeable nozzle)

2. Yes, my main goal is to be able to change nozzle without taking things apart. I would also like to be able to swap between nozzles of different sizes since some materials are difficult to print with 0.4 mm. Then I have some future plans for nozzles which will be easier to deal with of the design of the nozzle itself is as simple as possible.

The sensor and the heater are leveled and the separation between them adjusted a bit to avoid conflict with the screw thread.

I did not have time yet to do tests on oozing, retraction or printing temperature. It basically prints fine from what I can see right now, but that is all I can tell so far.

The height of the heater block is the main concern. The limitation is the sensor/heater fixing screw. I removed the spacer now and then the screw just about touches the fan cap bottom when the heater block is as high as possible.

It may be possible to redesign the heater block a bit to avoid this, or get a screw which has a lower head. It depends how much space is considered needed for adjusting the height on the dual extruder setup.

I am printing glow in the dark PLA at 210C with fans at 100% and the screw touching the fan cap, and the temperature is stable. So it works even though not optimal, but the screw has to be fixed somehow

I have a few 0.3 mm nozzles, but I did not test them yet.

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 8:26 PM

Some results from tonights testing:

There is quite some oozing if i pause a print.

If I use the move material function and retract the filament more, like 25-30 mm, there is much less oozing, but at least for the blue PLA I could not completely prevent it.

It feels like one could investigate other approaches than just playing with nozzle design and retraction to prevent this though..

I completed the extrusion test with the blue PLA at 210C (!)

2014 10 09 4484

Destructive testing showed that bonding was good up to 7 mm3/s

The 8 mm3/s and above could be separated from each other easily and for 9 and 10 the interlayer bonding was not good.

This is still much better than it performed with the original nozzle long time ago.

There might be other things that changed on my machine though.

For example my teflon spacer is now glass filled and might have larger inner diameter now that last time i did the extrusion test.

meduza Feel free to ask me Level: 38 Points: 1208
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Posted by
meduza

Posted Oct 8, 2014 - 9:57 PM

I'll guess that one of the problems with making the heater block smaller is that the E3D nozzles have a quite long threaded part (7,5mm over the nozzle), do you think that we could get less oozing if we can shorten the long melt chamber either by using a lathe and turning the E3D nozzles down 2-3mm in length, OR making a custom isolator/heat break that would allow the nozzle to stick up longer in the block?

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 9, 2014 - 4:53 PM

Well, the main space issue is the length of the threaded tube and the fact that you need some material above the nozzle to keep the thing together:

UM2 hotend For E3D nozzle v1.0

(This is an old version, I did not have an updated assembly)

The length of the nozzle only really determines the length of the heated zone.

One could think of other designs where the sensor and heater are moved up, but that may complicate manufacturing quite a lot. You need to cut those M6x0.75 threads somehow.

Easiest would be to simply shorten the threaded tube a millimeter or so, then there would be plenty of space with the latest design.

I managed to redesign it a bit with another type of screw so that it does not stick out on the bottom of the heater block anymore.

Now there is about one millimeter of space between the heater block and the fan cap.

2014 10 09 4494

I don't know if that is considered enough, but it seems to work for me and I don't think I am getting much further on this without modifying other parts.

If you wonder why switched sides on the heater and the sensor, I just made a mistake while drawing which I did not notice until it was manufactured :smile: Not that it really matters which side they are on though.

I designed this to solve my own problems so the design goal was to be able to use unmodified standard components as far as possible. If it is manufactured in larger numbers there are all sorts of things one could do of course.

I think the Ultimaker Original nozzle would fit too by the way. I don't have one to test with though and I am not sure the heater has enough power to keep it hot if the cooling fans are on.

meduza Feel free to ask me Level: 38 Points: 1208
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Posted by
meduza

Posted Oct 11, 2014 - 1:50 PM

By "shortening the threaded tube", are you talking about the "Hot end isolator" piece then?

The reason i was thinking about shortening the E3D nozzles is that you should easily be able to shorten them 2-3mm and still have more than enough threads to screw them in, and in the process you would be able to make a 1mm slimmer heater block, moving the nozzle in a mm and still have enough material on the top, wich would make the melt chamber shorter and closer to the original.

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 11, 2014 - 6:40 PM

Here is the dimensions of the original heater block compared to the one I am currently using:

Ultimaker 2 with E3D nozzle block compared To orignal heater block.

I thought I made the new block 1 mm thicker than the original one, but it turns out it was just 0.5 mm <strike>which means you can only save 0.25 mm by making it thinner.</strike> EDIT: You can save 0.5 mm of course.

I would not go thinner than the original heater block for manufacturing reasons.

As you can see the E3D nozzle is about the same diameter as the hole in the fan cap. (I added the fan cap in paint, but the hole is approximately 8 mm just as the maximum diameter of the nozzle key grip)

This means you will run into problems if you shorten the nozzle more than 2 mm. I would prefer to have 1 mm clearance there to compensate for manufacturing tolerances.

So unless you expand the hole in the fan cap you cant improve it that much with current nozzle.

The threads can probably be a bit shorter and the hole for the nozzle a bit deeper, but the nozzle thread has 1 mm pitch, so I would not make it that much shorter.

Then you need to cut those threads somehow and we came to the conclusion that you need 2 mm of space between the end of the tread and surface where the nozzle seats, for manufacturing reasons.

It is of course likely that all of these parameters could be optimized a bit for large scale manufacturing. But that was not my main goal when I designed this one. I kind of did not want to push it too far since it might have consequences next time I want something done in the workshop :smile:

You could also have a look at the available range of nozzles. There might be some other brand which has even smaller nozzles with shorter threads and smaller key grip which fits through the fan cap hole.

In this case the most important factors for me was that I could easily buy nozzles and that they come in different diameters from about 0.3-0.7 mm, since I need this for my projects. I also tried to get away without modifying the printer in any other way, since it looked likely that it could be done that way.

I did some testing with colorFabb Bronzefill and a 0.3 mm nozzle tonight by the way, mainly to test if the bronze particles would be compatible with the smaller nozzle.

It worked perfectly fine. I was a bit surprised actually.

Ultimaker robot Bronzefill 0.3mm
ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Oct 12, 2014 - 8:45 AM

I think it's nice to try to minimize the need for additional parts, but it seems like a good idea to just adapt this fan bracket to your needs.

https://www.youmagine.com/...#!design-information

just lower it 4.4 mm and make the hole for the nozzle a bit larger, as long as you'r using a single nozzle its a good idea anyhow (IMHO)...

Any change you'll share the complete drawing, including the way you changed the setscrew so I can find a machineshop to make one for me?

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 12, 2014 - 10:05 AM

Yes, a 3D-printed fan cap is an option of course. Nice design of that one by the way.

You would need the hole for the nozzle to be at least 11 mm if you want to fit a 7 mm socket there to remove the nozzle without removing the fan cap by the way.

I made some changes which means the heater blocks I have right now does not fit perfectly.

Therefore I would need to get a new version manufactured and tested before releasing anything.

That is probably not going to happen until earliest next week though because they are rebuilding the workshop I am using.

My experience with sharing incomplete drawings or distributing non working components is rather bad so far (I am working partly with scientific instrument development) , that is why I rather keep things to myself right now.

I know it is annoying for you but the situation quickly becomes chaotic once you have a few flawed versions in circulation.

I could have kept the whole design process secret until it was finished of course, but I thought I rather announce it here when the prototype is working in case other people are working on the same topic. That way one could avoid several people working on this unaware of each other and I can get valuable input from people here.

ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Oct 12, 2014 - 2:43 PM

no worries, I'm glad you share your testing..... I'll be waiting patiently :-P

anyhow I'm still in doubt between your idea (probably the easiest) and a full metal E3D (better at high temperatures).

still trying to figure out if anybody has experience with Colorfabb XT and a full metal E3D.... I'll post the question in a XT thread...

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flashp0int Getting started Level: 6 Points: 69
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Posted by
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flashp0int

Posted Oct 14, 2014 - 9:57 AM

That looks really promising,

The teflon is really a weak point of the UM2 if you printing something different than PLA.

In the mean time, Ultimaker should sell them at a lower price imho.

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 14, 2014 - 4:03 PM

I am happy to announce the brand new Ultimaker 2 Original :smile: :smile:

2014 10 14 4538[1]

Thank you Daniel at 3Dverkstan for the nozzle and other useful parts.

To my surprise it worked quite well with the much larger Ultimaker Original nozzle.

I tested heater by setting the fans at 100% and increasing the temperature to 260C.

It managed to reach 260C and kept the temperature stable, but it was obvious that I was using most of the heating capacity then.

There seems to be quite some interest in this design, so I will try to get a final version manufactured and tested.

This will take a few weeks though, for various reasons.

ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Oct 14, 2014 - 4:40 PM

Nice. Thanks for the update.

Maybe i missed something but why would the larger um1 nozzle be better than the smaller e3d ?

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 14, 2014 - 5:48 PM

I wanted to test the Ultimaker Original nozzle because it is rather large compared to other nozzles, probably among the largest M6-threaded nozzles there is on the market (?).

So if the heater can keep up with that one there is possibly a whole range of M6-threaded nozzles from different manufacturers that would work with this heater block.

The nozzles look a bit different inside, which might affect things like oozing, so it could be useful to have a range of designs to choose from to improve a future dual extruder upgrade for example.

Initially, I designed the heater block for the Ultimaker Original nozzle, but I then changed my mind in favor of the E3D-nozzle, so was curious if the original plan would have worked too.

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john-seaton Getting started Level: 7 Points: 73
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john-seaton

Posted Oct 14, 2014 - 9:43 PM

The set screw on the heater block on my UM2 did not hold either the heater or temp sensor in place. Now you have my curiosity peaked.

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anders-olsson I know my way around here Level: 25 Points: 565
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Posted by
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anders-olsson

Posted Oct 18, 2014 - 5:41 PM

Time for an update:

I had to keep the printer running lately so I did not have time to modify the heater block more past days.

Two of my heater blocks are back in the workshop for improvements (waiting there for them to finish rebuilding the workshop) and one heater block is hopefully traveling south right now :?: :smile:

That leaves me with the one I am using right now left.

I have reconsidered the sensor fixing a bit, I think i will make separate cuts from the top where you can access the sensor/heater to help pushing them out if stuck.

I had some concerns about heat transfer if I cut to much material though, therefore I did some tests this evening.

With temperature sensors mounted close to the heater and close to the nozzle, also reading the UM-sensor, I printed the extrusion test and concluded some things:

- As long as the fans are kept off, you can extrude ABS at 255C at 10mm/s and the nozzle temperature is within two degrees of the temperature reading of the UM-sensor.

- Switching the fans on at 100% at 255C makes the nozzle temperature drop to about 248C at low (normal) extrusion rates.

- If you push with the extrusion test at 255C and fans at 100% the power of the heater is not enough to keep the temperature. You end up with about 249C at the UM-sensor and about 241C at the nozzle at 10mm3/s

(I don't know why anyone would run the extrusion test with ABS and fans at 100% though, but it it a good way of testing the heater)

I think this means I will cut some more metal to improve the design, because thermal transfer seems to be reasonable.

Has anyone been running the extrusion test at ~255C with fans at 100% with the original nozzle by the way? It would be interesting to know if the heater keeps up with the thermal load with that one. (I could mount an original nozzle myself, but I have a lot of things to do right now)

ultiarjan Ultimaker family Level: 84 Points: 6662
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Location: Netherlands Printers: Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker 2 Go, Ultimaker 2+, Ultimaker 3
Posted by
ultiarjan

Posted Nov 23, 2014 - 11:34 AM

Anders; any update ?

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