With any machine, though, there is always evolution. You get that first model and consider it awesome and then realize, “If only it would do this …. ”
That’s what’s been happening with this 3D printer. It’s been working very well, but Kevin has been thinking of ways to make it better. The latest change has really taken this 3D printer to a next level.
Kevin shows the old hotend and where it sits in the 3D printer. The filament is pushed through the extruder wheel into the hotend. Two wires hook up to the heating element, which heats up the entire hotend to turn the filament molten. The molten filament is extruded out of the nozzle on the end.
Next Kevin shows the new hotend, which is dramatically larger.
The new hotend is called a SuperVolcano – the old one was just a plain old Volcano. The new hotend provides just that much more molten filament to extrude, and that allows Kevin to run the machine that much faster. It’s doing the same job as the old one but gets that much more material hot.
Kevin also had to change the settings. The 3D printer has gone from 45 millimeters a second of travel speed up to 60 millimeters travel speed. The speed isn’t doubled the speed, but it’s greatly improved.
Another benefit is that the new SuperVolcano’s much bigger heating element has a much higher range. With the old Volcano hotend Kevin could only 3D print maybe 2 or 3 different kinds of filament. This hotend is big enough, fast enough and has a high enough capacity that Kevin can run up into the 280 to 300 degree centigrade range and pretty much 3D print any of the 30 or 40 types of filaments available.
Kevin explains how to replace the old hotend with the new one. Unscrew the old hotend and screw the new one onto the same mount. The new 3D printer hotend also plugs into the same fittings to get power for the heating element and the temperature sensor, the thirmister, which tells the computer what temperature it’s running at.
Once the new hotend is installed, go to the computer and adjust the software. You have to readjust the extruder to make sure it’s still extruding the same amount of material at the same timeframe. Run a temperature check in which the software says, “OK, it says this, but now it actually means that,” just to help balance everything out. You want to make sure the desktop computer is talking to the 3D printer computer, then it’s ready to go back to work.
There have been a couple of other big changes to this 8-foot-tall 3D printer we’ll talk about in another video, but it’s all software stuff. But this change was big – it sped up the machine so much that a multiple day print job is now down to as fast as a day, maybe a day and a half.
If you want to see what this giant 3D printer is doing now, go to 3D printed on the site to see all the new sculptures Kevin has been creating.
He appreciates you watching – please give this free how-to video a “like” and click on an ad or two on YouTube that catches your eye to help pay for the videos.