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Solved Affordable options for J-head replacement

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by John in MS, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. John in MS

    John in MS Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Over these seven months of having this printer I have had little luck with hotends. I have had clogs, broke thermistors and torn wires on heating elements. Those set screws wont come out in a cold head and if it is down it will not warm. The last one I broke the nozzle off in attempt to get it flush. While some of these were covered under warranty I am out of the six months now. A head from Robo3D is $40. Would anyone know a more affordable option? I have found similar Makerbot heads for less than $15. Would those work in the R1+? Thanks
     
  2. m4r1n5

    m4r1n5 Member

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    MHO would go with Robo's unless you plan on getting a different size nozzle. You'll know it works
     
  3. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    I would do the E3DV6 for 70.00. Much better hotend with very few issues and is serviceable. This is just my opinion.
     
  4. John in MS

    John in MS Active Member

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    I seen that one talked up heavily here. In layman terms why is it better? Thanks
     
  5. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    The main thing is its 100% servicable. All the individual parts can be bought. You can run flexible material as it has a ptf tube that supports the filament. You can upgrade it to the volcano for bigger layers and faster speeds(sold seperate). You can buy the m3 stud thermistor to avoid firmware changes and the delicate glass thermistor.

    The hexagon/jhead has a 1.8mm bore. The e3d has a 2.0mm bore. This is good for oversized filament and coarse filament that would often jam in the smaller bores.

    The big seller for me is that its servicable and the hexagon is not. If the hex failed its junk if the e3d failes you can fix it
     
  6. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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  7. John in MS

    John in MS Active Member

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    Thanks, I wonder if the LITE would work for me given I am mainly a hobby builder?
     
  8. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    It all depends on your needs :)
     
  9. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    I'd highly advise you staying away from the cheap alibaba type $15 hot ends. Typically they're that cheap because the machining is extremely poor and in some cases, they've chosen lower grade alloys. The machining is not spectacular on the stock hot end, but it is usually good enough.

    It sounds like the lite 6 is a good solution for you. The E3D will be a step up over that and should be a lot more reliable as long as you're careful with the assembly. And as @Geof mentions, everything is user serviceable. The lite is fine as long as you're running filaments that are below about 250 in melting temp, which does cover nearly everything a hobbyist would consider. If you do decide to upgrade to a full V6 at a later date, there actually is no 'price penalty' other than the couple bucks we have in the price to cover shipping. You only need $40 worth of parts to make the upgrade. If you buy it with the stud thermistor, you don't need to change the firmware at all.

    As long as you are pre R1+, it is a mostly drop in replacement with requiring a hole to be widened in the carriage and new fan brackets to be printed. If you're R1+ you will need to print a spacer as well.
     
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  10. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1192896

    Thats the quick release plate i used. Quick easy print. Then any number of parts fan holders on thingiverse as well.

    When i installed mine i used the r1+ heater (no issue with it) and used a jst connector on the thermistor so i could utilize the stock wiring harness. Ive had no issues with that so far. That and the stud thermistor make it much less intimidating :)

    Bear in mind i bought the full e3dv6. I figured if i ever wanted hotter temps id have the option but i do have a little plan for a lite in the near future on a different printer
     
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  11. John in MS

    John in MS Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice, the Lite6 will be my next hot end purchased
     
  12. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Absolutely do with the stud thermistor.
     
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  13. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    I think youll be very happy with the e3d.
     
  14. Caleb Cangelosi

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    Well, I can't get filament into the cold end of my Hexagon, I think I've gone and clogged it up, even after working on it all night. So I'm thinking it's time to switch to the E3D. Is it the case that with the current E3D V6 (not the lite) that I would buy from you, I won't have to change the firmware on my R1+ at all? Just print a spacer and fan brackets? I'm not very comfortable with working on the firmware. Is Mike Kelly's installation guide still applicable for the R1+? If I do this, I may be asking you guys a lot more questions, I'm sorry, and thank you, in advance...
     
  15. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    If you're able to reuse the thermistor from your hexagon, then you won't need to change the firmware.

    Or if your thermistor is broken / can't be removed from the hexagon without breaking, you can put a comment on the order that you want the old style heater block with a stud thermistor.

    Do you have another printer you can use for the printable parts?
     
  16. Caleb Cangelosi

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    A friend has another Robo that I can print the parts with.

    I'm not sure about being able to remove my old thermistor, but are you saying that using the old style heater block with stud thermistor also means no firmware change? Would that be preferable? From previous comments, it sounded like the stud thermistor was the way to go.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Yes.

    Is it preferable?
    Your call.
     
  18. Caleb Cangelosi

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    Thanks Mark!
     
  19. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    I'd say not preferable unless you REALLY don't want to mess with the firmware.

    Will try to explain this relatively quickly:
    -Prior to ~May 2016 E3D had a rather obnoxious thermistor where you had to crimp together a very delicate glass bead resistor. We were seeing something like 70% of our customers breaking them during assembly so we started carrying the stud thermistor. This helped tremendously, but the stud thermistor had the drawback of being limited to somewhat lower temperatures. The stud thermistor is the same type of electrical component as stock Robo (where the E3D glass bead is a different type) so no firmware change was required.

    -In ~May 2016, E3D started preassembling the glass bead into a metal cylinder. This was an incredible improvement. However, for Robo users, it still required a firmware change. It also included a change to the heater block so that the stud thermistor no longer had a mounting point.

    -A few months ago, E3D launched their 'silicone sock'. It is a great improvement and only fits on their new heater block design.

    -At some point, not sure when, Robo started putting their thermistor in a metal cylinder as well. It was shorter than the E3D one, but still fit in the E3D. So, that made an almost perfect solution for users who could get their thermistor removed from the hexagon. You could still use the silicone sock and didn't have to change firmware.

    SO:
    Your preferred solution is up to you. The *best* solution is to either reuse the robo thermistor cartridge or change firmware and use the E3D thermistor cartridge since this will allow you to use the silicone sock.

    If the firmware change really is not something that you want to do, then you should get the old heater block and stud thermistor. This is not a bad solution, just not quite as good as the other option.
     
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  20. Caleb Cangelosi

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    Thanks for that full answer. What I really want is the best hot end I can get, so if that means braving a firmware change I'll do my best to figure it out. I assume Mike Kelly's long explanation from awhile ago is still applicable, even with the changes E3D has made? It was very detailed, even confusing at times to this newbie, but this forum seems to be more than willing to help the confused.

    Plus, my R1+ is from November 2015, so I don't think I've got the newer ROBO thermistor you're talking about anyway. Thanks for your help. I may try one more time to clean out the cold end of my extruder with a guitar strong or something, or I may just take the E3D plunge. I'll be in touch.


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