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R2 Extruder Mod

Discussion in 'Mods and Upgrades' started by tkoco, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. tkoco

    tkoco Administrator
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    Read this article completely before attempting this mod! You will need some soldering skills. Do not start this mod unless you feel competent enough to do all the steps.

    I started with the article posted by @adikted2astro titled "Success! - With NylonX" in the R2 Show and Tell area. While the article covered the trials and tribulations with printing with Nylon, I was interested in the heatsink mod. However, I did not want to run a cable back to the RPI for power for the fan.

    So, I investigated the "Uptown PCB" which sits on top of the Extruder assembly. (following the information posted by @Gary Boyce in the article titled "ROBO R2 Uptown board" in the R2 Troubleshooting area) The results of the investigation were posted to that thread.

    I found that Robo has run +12 Volts power and ground to the Uptown board for the 3 fans in the Extruder assembly. The heat break cooling fan is wired directly to the +12 Volts and return ground.
    I decided to tap into that +12 volt supply instead of running an extra cable (plus having to disassemble the printer, etc.)

    WARNING: Make sure the printer is powered off before starting this mod.

    Step 1:
    The cabling on the Uptown board was removed and the PCB was dismounted. (be careful as the 2 mounting screws are very small). I soldered a fan power cable to the two power points of J6 on the underside of the PCB. Note: The fan power cable might use a yellow wire in place of the red wire shown below. Whether that wire is red or yellow does not matter. The colored wire goes to pin 6 and the black wire goes to pin 10 (as shown in the image).

    Important! Check the connections with a multimeter to insure that there are no short circuits!

    Bottom-view-uptown-PCB.jpg

    Step 2:

    I carefully mounted the Uptown PCB to the Extruder assembly.

    Uptown_PCB_mounted.jpg

    Step 3:

    Then I carefully routed the power cable as I cabled up the Uptown PCB.

    Cabling.jpg

    Step 4:

    Once the Uptown PCB was cabled, I attached double-sided heat conductive tape to the back of the Extruder motor. I used scissors to trim the tape to the dimensions of the motor before attaching the tape.

    Adhesive_tape_on Extruder_motor.jpg

    Step 5:

    Almost finished! Then I attached the heatsink. Note the heatsink is above the bottom screws of the Extruder motor. Plus you can see that the heatsink extends above the motor.


    Heatsink_attached.jpg

    Step 6:

    Attach the fan to the heatsink. Note the direction of air movement. The label on the fan faces the heatsink. I use long, narrow sheet metal screws to mount my fan. (Purchased locally at Home Depot) Then move the Extruder assembly to the rear of the gantry and check the clearance.

    Clearance_Check.jpg

    Step 7:

    Plug in the fan to the new power cable. IMPORTANT! Make sure the Black wire of the fan cable matches the Black wire of the power cable. (See notes below) Neaten up the loose cabling. You are finished. Power up the printer and make sure the fan spins freely. No weird noises. You might have to back out the fan mounting screws a tad as the case of the new fan could get warped if the screws are too tight.

    Final_Assembly.jpg

    Congratulations! You have mod'ed your printer for better reliability! Happy printing!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Parts: (different from article by @adikted2astro )

    12 Volt fan: https://www.amazon.com/WINSINN-30x30x10mm-Bearing-Cooling-Extruder/dp/B07DB4TDMV


    Thermal Conductive tape: https://www.amazon.com/Ceatech-Thermal-Adhesive-Conductive-Computer/dp/B075F37SQG

    Fan power cable: https://www.amazon.com/ZRM-Cable-Cooling-Connector-Extension/dp/B079BYW8FP

    Note: My fan power cable was purchased at a local computer store. The Plus power lead happened to be red in color. The item listed above at Amazon.com is using a yellow wire for the Plus power lead. Whether the Plus power wire is red or yellow does not matter. Plugging in Black to Black and color to color is important.

    A nylon tie to secure the extra cabling from the fan. Any DYI store should carry these.

    Tools:

    Multimeter (to test for electrical short circuits): If you don't already own one, do a search on Amazon for "multimeter"
    Philips screwdriver #1 tip (to dismount the Uptown PCB)
    Scissors (to trim the double-sided tape)
    Small hand tools (any DIY store or online)
    Soldering iron - low power: Search on Amazon or if you happen to have a local computer / electronics store, check there.
    Solder - 1 mm diameter: Ditto
     
    #1 tkoco, Aug 15, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    albert3d likes this.
  2. supercazzola

    supercazzola Active Member

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    Not being sarcastic, but I’m confused how this helps with the printing. You are cooling down a stepper motor ?
     
  3. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    If a stepper overheats (and the cheaper ones are worse) then it will drop steps.
    Cooling it doesn't hurt and may help.

    I run heatsinks on our delta printer steppers because they are larger and get a major workout when we use it.
     
  4. supercazzola

    supercazzola Active Member

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    OK, I have heatsinks on mine (no fan supplementing the heatsink), but never had any issues when I didn't.
     
  5. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Nah, I have never had issues in the R1 series either (frankly NONE of the Cartesian printers I use have ever really had issues) but that huge delta ... yea, they get toasty. I have them on a couple of the Robos too, just because I had to buy a large lot to get them cheap :)
     
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  6. tkoco

    tkoco Administrator
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    When you are printing with TPU filament (much slower printing = longer print times) vs. PLA filament, the stepping motor gets a lot hotter. That extra heat transfers to the toothed gear driving the filament to the hot-end. When the toothed gear gets too hot, it affects the filament before it gets to the hot-end and can cause failed prints. Plus, the motor can skip steps as pointed out by @mark tomlinson . Thus, by cooling the stepping motor, you prevent the toothed gear from getting too hot and also head-off having lost steps which can cause failed prints.
     

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