A few people have asked me about direct drive extruder upgrade, so I decided to create a separate thread for it. I have posted about this on the other forum before.
I am a cheapsk8. But, always try to tread the borderline between reliability and cost. Basically the value for money line and so far I have been lucky. Ender 3 is one of the examples. It was sufficient to get nice prints in PLA/PETG but to move to materials like ABS/TPU/Nylon you have to upgrade. So I did with $50(1.2+2.2+3.1) worth of parts to make it an all metal direct drive printer. Make sure to select 24Volts parts. Let me know if you need any more details.
You need just 3 things for making a direct drive all metal upgrade.
This is one of the best extruders you can find. It drive the filament using tooth from both the sides and hence can push with double the force.
- All metal hotend
All metal hotend is critical when you are trying to go for temperatures beyond 250C(nylon, ABS and some PETG), otherwise your PTFE starts melting and producing very toxic fumes.
- pancake stepper motor
You can use your existing motor but since you will be using in direct drive setup you want the whole assembly to be as light as possible. Otherwise when printing and stopping at high speeds you have some ringing(maybe?) effect on your print.
Bracket to assemble it all together
- My own design. You have the option of using with/without a cooling fan. The bracket keeps the nozzle almost at the old position. I also put holes to mount the ABL sensor at the correct height specified in ABL documentation.
- What @Friskies uses. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3241793
@VykkuF’s design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3747412
Bondtech+ E3DV6 assembly instruction
All metal hotends are prone to clogs…
… when the retractions are more than 2mm. Improper cooling and defects in manufacturing(in clones ones, especially) are the main reasons. Solved pretty easily:
- Reduce retractions drastically. The good thing with direct drive is that you need about 0.4mm of retraction as compared to 4mm in bowden. So no problem here as long as you set a small value in slicer to begin with.
- You can also get clogs by pulling the filament back while changing the filament. DO NOT do it. Instead cut the old filament just at the entrance of the bondtech extruder and have the new filament inline with the end of old filament, ready to follow it, inside the extruder. Go to control -> motion->1mm->extruder to extrude about 100mm of filament. As the old filament gets sucked in, push the new filament in with it until it gets grabbed by the extruder gears. Done! Pretty Simple.
Firmware to use
If you are already familiar with installing custom firmware on your printer, then this part is not for you. If not, then TH3D’s package is pretty straight forward. Follow this video and don’t be scared. You are not going to mess anything up.
Before you watch the video, just know that you have to uncomment these lines(in configuration.h) and edit them so that they look like this:
#define CUSTOM_ESTEPS_VALUE 415
If using BLTouch
#define SERVO0_PIN 11 //for CR10S
#define SERVO0_PIN 27 //for CR10/ender3
Renders of my setup
Assembled with files directly from Creality’s github page.