E3D V6 Installation Project

As some may know, I have been planning to convert from the Hex hot end to the E3D. Well, I finally bit the bullet and ordered a pair of E3D V6 hot ends to play with. I was expecting a rather large rebuild/redesign to make a go of it.

I was rather surprised to find that I only need to print 3 basic parts; A replacement for the aluminum plate (which I technically didn’t need to as I had one but wanted to leave it with the Hex), some shims, and an extended fan mount. And voila! A working E3D mounted on a stock (or what could be stock!) extruder and mount plate.

I decided to print my modified extruder mount plate so I would have the auxillary fan mount location on the left. Right now, I don’t think I will need it. But it only took two extra heat set inserts and its there if I ever to want it.

After a dry fit, I found that the top ring of the Hex and the top ring of the E3D were different heights. When mounted in place of the Hex, the E3D fits but is loose because its not being pushed up against the bottom of the extruder body. My first thought was to open up the STL of the extruder body and fix it. I started to then I realized that it would take a while to print and I wanted to get this done today. So, I decided to take the easy route. I made a set of shims from .25mm through .50mm in .05mm steps. I found that one extruder body needed .40mm and another was happy with .30mm. You can download the STLs and print your own:

This method has three benefits. One, the shims print in under 5 minutes and take hardly any filament. Two, it leaves the extruder body intact so it can be used with the Hexagon hot end OR the E3D. Third, I don’t need more hardware for another extruder body. Win on all three!

Now, needing a replacement for the aluminum base plate, I extracted the aluminum plate from one of the Lulz’ drawings and re-imagined it without all the milling dados. Simple flat plate. Good to go. That you can get from the devl site and make your own simply enough and print as is and it will work. No need for a thing here.

All done, wired and ready to print. Oof. Guess what! The stock fan mount doesn’t work. :frowning: The E3D is taller than the Hexagon from Lulz. So. I modified the stock shroud to extend it down so it clears the hot box on the E3D.

BTW, the E3D printed the shroud seen in the photos :slight_smile:

So, here it is all wired, rigged and printing! Note, I used one of the half height steppers. Bet ya can guess why :slight_smile:

All in all, it was far easier to convert that I had expected. The conversion, correction, minor parts design, assembly, wiring and testing took less than half a day. Now that the parts are available for you to print, this conversion shouldn’t take much more than a couple hours tops. The shims print in under 5 minutes. Think the plate printed in about 15 minutes and the fan mount took just under an hour. You can be assembling the E3D and putting plugs on the wires while the parts print. Honestly, final assembly should take under half an hour. So all told, this should be a two hour project if you got all your ducks lined up.

This CAN be done using the stock extruder and mounting plate. If so, the only hardware you will need is 2 or 4 3mm heat set inserts for the new fan shroud. I only put 2 in my prototype. And of course the plugs and pins, some heat shrink and a few wire ties. Pretty light weight stuff.

Right now its running with its own molded fan shroud. I may or may not leave it. Oh, one tip. I found my E3D shroud a bit noisy because it was a loose fit on the aluminum heat sink. So, I applied a layer of masking tape on the inside of both wings and wrapped it out and around the tips. You can see just a sliver of the end in the first photo above. This added just enough thickness to the inside diameter to make it fit very snugly. No more rattling. And I used one of the 30mm 5v fans from my prior Hexagon fan shroud project. The E3D kits only come with a 24v or 12v fan.

I’ve been meaning to switch but my Hex has been great so far. My approach to the longer hotend length will probably be making the hotend plate a bit taller. This allows the Hex toolhead to be swapped in without adjusting z-endstop… All in theory of course. :slight_smile:.

Nicely done nevertheless!

I too am reasonably happy with the performance of the Hex. Way more so than the Budda. But, with no supply in the market for the Hex, I have to think about future replacements and new heads. Since I can’t just go order a Lulz hex, I searched for a reliable replacement that also was available. The E3D seemed like a solid choice. Look at the Lulz’ store. See a hex for purchase? Thats why I am converting to E3D and not because of any design issues or quality issues. Its entirely a supply issue.

Eventually I will be ordering two more, but this time I will get the bowden versions for use in a dual flexistruder.

Beautiful work!

This looks great, and I have wanted to test an E3D as well. It’s been a while coming, but those Lulzbot style Hexagons should be coming into the store soon as a standalone kit. ReprapDiscount may decide to sell them as well hopefully sooner rather than later. I like the 30mm fan mounted on the front of the hot end, it would be fun to create a mount for the Hexagon in that style.

After dealing with having to soak an abs clogged hot end in acetone for days (a print over USB in Simplify3D stopped in the middle and had the hot end at 240 for about an hour or two without extruding anything), I sought to purchase a backup without having to buy the whole $175 tool head. No luck on RepRapDiscount’s website, but was able to find the correct one on amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W4AIFBK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 so it cost me $85. By the time it arrived the original hot end was already unclogged but from visual inspection/comparison it seems to be identical to the original except for the size of the nozzle it came with which was 0.4.

I love our Taz 5, but what kind of turns me off is the inability to order such a simple thing. Open Hardware is a great thing, so long as you can find spare parts without having to buy whole new assemblies in order to get that one part you need. I’d really like to see the kittaz make a comeback as well! It’s the only way we’re going to be affording another lulzbot anytime soon :wink: And one is not enough!

I just received my Lulzbot version Hexagon hot end off Amazon this weekend.

On Amazon, search for Hexagon AO, and you will find that RepRapDiscount markets the AO version (the Lulzbot version) and it is distributed by 3DMakerWorld. There is currently a $69+$7 shipping option and an $85+Prime shipping option.

Comes in 1.75 or 3.0 mm variants and has options for a 12V or 24V heater, but you can only get a 12V cooling fan.

holy cow! I have been wondering why RepRapDiscount did not offer this sooner.