Heater block insulation

Discussion in 'E3D-v6 and Lite6' started by Joe Wright, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Joe Wright

    Joe Wright Member

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    Just started experimenting with a blower fan for PLA prints. So far just held it (quite boring) but it made a massive improvement to the print. I'm going to create a duct for it.

    What are people's thoughts on insulating the heater block? Any recommendations? I'm using a Lite6.

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. UlrichKliegis

    UlrichKliegis Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    you won't regret the decision to move some air. I did the same a few weeks ago and am still asking myself how I could accept the poor quality before.

    Some lessons learnt: Airflow regulation is more complex than a few clicks in a menu suggest. Your question goes exactly in the right direction: The airflow does not only cool the extruded material down but also hits the hotend, more or less. I created a nearly steady state by leaving the coolers (I installed two of them, small ones, in a 90 degrees angle centered on the nozzle's output) permanently on (except the first layer where cooling would be heavily contraproductive).

    One reason was the never optimal airflow regulation, leading to undesired secondary effects like the nozzle being blocked by a sudden cold squall - that happened more than (once * 10^1).
    The other reason was simply that the cooler's motor, a brushless design, reacted to the offered PWM (Pulse Width Modulated), i.e. mainly pulsed supply voltage by simply shutting off. Full power (@ DC feeding) or nothing.
    So, I decided to let them blow @ full power all the time and adjusted the temperatures a bit - not only the hotend, but also the building plate which is also cooled down by the airstream. Just a few degrees, you have to find your own values in any case.

    The result, though, is a jump up in surface quality and 'buildability' (overhangs, small strucutres etc.) that I did not achieve before.

    For the housing design - before you sit down and draw your own, search the data bases like Thingiverse for something that you can adapt or adopt. I selected mine there and just had to alter the holder geometry a bit to match my OrdBot-Based-Home-Bent-Frankenstein. Depending on your printer's geometry, you may have an eye on the addidional weight that has to be moved around.

    Good luck, and let us know about the progress!

    Cheers,
    U.
     
    Joe Wright likes this.
  3. Joe Wright

    Joe Wright Member

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    Hi Ulrich. Thanks for your post. I designed and printed a duct and test prints have been great. I'll follow your suggestion and look at Thingiverse to see if there's any ideas worth implementing.

    Joe
     
  4. UlrichKliegis

    UlrichKliegis Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joe,
    Glad to hear that, excellent! Mind to share your design, maybe, somewhere?

    Cheers,
    Ulli
     

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