I have one of the early E3D-Online Cyclops switching hotends to test. One of the primary reasons I wanted a TAZ was to have a platform for easily testing new hotends, extruders and other things. My big delta printers are great but changing hotends is a bit more of a challenge and since I use them for actual production, I don’t want to mess with something that works.
So, I’m designing a dual extrusion Bowden system that can be easily fit to a TAZ printer. At the heart is the very cool E3D-Online switching hotted called the Cyclops. Cyclops has two filaments coming into a single hot zone and out a single nozzle. Any multi-extrusion system is a compromise but after working with a quad extruding Kraken hotend for the last 14 months and several home-brew dual extruding systems, I am looking forward to not having to deal with multiple nozzles oozing and dragging on the part during the print run! The other cool thing is these switching hotends can actually mix filament to create some very interesting effects. This is most practical with two different colors from the same filament family. RichRap has done some very interesting work with his 3 filament color blending system. This does require special slicer post processing since no current slicer supports mixing at this time. But, I’ve written so many Python post processors that one more isn’t going to be a problem.
I started with designing the hotend mount. Here is a rendering of it:
I think the position of the nozzle will give me the greatest Z axis travel. I’m printing the prototype on RazzMaTAZZ now to try out. Interestingly, the E3D-Online Chimera dual hotend is a direct swap-in for the Cyclops so this mount can be used for the more traditional two-nozzle dual hotend too.
Next I am designing the mounts for two direct drive SeeMeCNC EZStruders. I was a beta tester for these when they came out a couple of years ago and really like them. However, I do use a geared (~5:1) stepper motor to drive them to get the steps/mm up to over 400. This produces a nice, continuous extrusion with lots of torque. They are nice and compact too. I’m designing a top mount bracket that will hold both extruders. The filament spools will be on the right side of the machine, similar to the stock configuration but the second will be on the back upright and staggered. This should make a nice clean system with minimal curvature and tubing in the Bowden tubes.
Once I have all this up and running I will post the STLs and a tutorial on the modification and using it.