Hot End performance comparison

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Hot End performance comparison

Postby tmccafferty » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:00 pm

I am trying to catch up on what has been done in the past on hot end design wondering if there are some clear winners to choose from today. there has probably already been a lot of discussion on this already, so forgive me. I started with a QU-BD that didn't work. I have purchased some J-Heads that I am currently packaging but haven't gotten to print with yet.

In my reading, I came across this one the a forum discussion following its development. www.e3d-online.com It looks quite interesting. Has anyone compared its performance against a J-Head?

This may sound like a dumb question, but are there any "best choices" for where extruder technology is today?
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby Enraged » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:30 am

looks like an evolution of the jhead.

my jhead worked well, I used the Wades Reloaded extruder. I bought two Kickstart QU-BDs, and don't have either running yet.

I'm thinking in the end I will end up with dual Jheads (but heated with QU-BD cartridge heaters) and a custom extruder based on the Wades.
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby SystemsGuy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:49 am

I've got three printers running with J-Heads, and one last QU-DB I've not given away. I can't tell you how many hours I have on the j-heads.

There are a lot of folks moving back to the idea of stainless - or more accurately no PEEK/PTFE hotends - but I just don't see the need, or the advantage yet. It's not like we are printing with materials the require > 247c.

There's a huge challenge of keeping the melt chamber short - the longer the transition zone, the harder it is to extrude - and it's damned hard to make stainless as slippery as PTFE.

Short answer? The j-head works, and is reliable.
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby orcinus » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:41 am

At a risk of sounding like a broken record... Arcol.hu is using the same basic principle, only with much less mass.

I've never had problems with the (lack of) sliperyness of the SS tube, it's a non issue. The melt zone is as short as it gets - the only caveat is, you need to have a fan blowing over it for PLA. It doesn't have to be a dedicated fan, a bit of breeze coming from a fan used to cool the object is quite enough.

I'm not exactly sure why the need for such a huge (looking) chunk of metal on the E3D hotend, nor the need for a dedicated fan to cool it, unless you're going to extrude at extremely high temperatures (higher than polycarbonate?).
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby Enraged » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:35 am

the main advantage of a high temp capable hot end would be future proofing. It looks like there are some nice materials that are getting cheaper every month.
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby tmccafferty » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:16 am

This may sound crazy, but why not use water cooling for the transition area and cool part? I think a small tubular aluminum heat exchanger could be pretty easy. The fan, pump, and heat exchanger is cheap and available as a packaged item from the pc market and could be located off the carriage. The heat transfer with water is much better than air and would assure that the tube wouldn't get hot.

I would like a non-finicky solution that would always work with a wide range of materials.
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby tmccafferty » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:21 am

I didn't check to see which one came first. Has anybody got experience with the e3d product?
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby Enraged » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:56 am

tmccafferty wrote:This may sound crazy, but why not use water cooling for the transition area and cool part? I think a small tubular aluminum heat exchanger could be pretty easy. The fan, pump, and heat exchanger is cheap and available as a packaged item from the pc market and could be located off the carriage. The heat transfer with water is much better than air and would assure that the tube wouldn't get hot.

I would like a non-finicky solution that would always work with a wide range of materials.


I read somewhere, someone already did a watercooled hot end and I recall it worked quite well.

edit: here you go: http://blog.reprap.org/2012/07/water-co ... t-end.html
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby SystemsGuy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:53 am

Well, "worked quite well" may be a bit of a stretch - I was with some of the folks here when one let loose, and spewing water all over a hot printhead, printbed, and everything else was both entertaining and destructive. Was glad it was not my bot!

It's different than watercooling a PC - on the PC, nothing moves, so your don't have to worry about hoses working loose, touching something hot, etc. It can be done quite successfully - a lot of us are using water cooled spindles on CNCs or routers - but that's usually at much different speeds.

I guess my thought is less about future proof and more about it just working reliably - nothings worse* than aborting a print due to an extruder / hotend failure 23 hours into a 24 hour print. It's one of the reasons my last QU-BD is just sitting around gathering dust - I simply don't trust it.

The above said, if I decided to switch to a stainless, high temperature head, I would probably try the arcol first. It's just a rather expensive option..

* in the context of 3D printing that does not involve fire and smoke! :)
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Re: Hot End performance comparison

Postby cvoinescu » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:16 pm

I ordered an E3D; should have it in three weeks. I'll keep you posted.
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