My E3Dv6 finally arrived and I had a fun Sunday stripping down the printer and fitting both it and new print bed surface (arrived a few days before).

e3d v6

 

Adding a E3Dv6 to your DaVinci 1.0A is a fully reversable modification as it adds parts to the printer but does not destroy or damage any of the existing parts. 2 holes and 2 cuts are made in the extruder carrage but these do not effect the stock extruder and hot-end arrangement. Given how much better the E3Dv6 is compared to the stock hot-end provided by XYZPrinting I had to make this upgrade at some point. My recent issues with printing of the stock hot-end after 300h of printing forced my hand to do the upgrade while I could still semi-reliably print the needed parts.

So step 1, BEFORE you strip down your printer, is to print the parts that will be required. Theses are....

  1. E3D lower clamp
  2. E3D upper clamp
  3. Spacer
  4. Two M3x35mm screws ideally with matching washers
  5. Drill guide (only used to show you where to make your two holes and cuts
  6. PCB carrier (optional but recommended)

e3dmod parts

All these part STL files are sourced from the E3Dv6 hot-end mod thing available from here -> http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:707530

I'm not going to list step by step instructions in this article since StevenQ-NE-UK has already done an excellent video series on how to do this and I followed his videos for the most part.

However I do have a few insights and recommendations to add to the process now I have completed it myself.

In video 'Phase3' Steven shows us how to get the 12v we need for the new extruder fan from the white connector on the DaVinci circuit board. The 12v is easy to get to on this connector but the ground (GND) is not as simple as it's a small area and difficult to get a soldering iron in. However the GND pin on the black connector is connected electrically to the GND on the white and is far easier to get to so I soldered mine as per the image below. I have also used a heavier gauge wire that Steven did. This is partly because I also run a second fan (stepper cooler) from this supply and partly because this is the wire I had laying around ;)

E3D hot end fan wiring

In my slicer (Simplfy3D) I also changed my retraction settings. A retraction of 3mm was working great for the stock hot end however the E3Dv6 only needs 0.5-1mm so I have started at 0.5mm and will monitor and increase if required.

I have also added a PEI surface to my print bed. This is the same surface used by Lulzbot printers and I sourced my PEI from Lulzbot. PEI is a great build surface especally for ABS which I use most frequently. The surface holds prints well at ~100C and releases them at ~50C (all for ABS). On the DaVinci this was simply a case of cutting the PEI sheet to size (200mm x 205mm) and sticking it to the glass bed. Because I changed surfaces I had to re-level my bed. This in itself is not a problem but the firmware has a mapping already stored from the autobed level and was therefore auto adjusting to compensate for an uneven bed. Since I manually leveled the bed this auto adjustment was throwing off the prints. Due to this I had to disable the auto level and clear out the old settings. This is done with the following commands......

  • M321 S2
  • M322

The M321 command disables the compensation from auto leveling. The M322 command resets the matrix (makes the setting level), just to be sure. These commands stop the printer from trying to compensate for an uneven bed with auto level settings. If I find a way to restore the auto leveling sensors then this feature can be turned back on with M320 S2.

Finally getting a great print from this setup took a bit of work since it's so much better than the stock system. The hot end performs so well that I had to drop temperatures by a full 20C from what I was using to avoid over heating issues. The modified carriage is actually a little lighter than the stock so I was able to up my printing speed with a minor adjustment to the acceleration values. This was done by selecting it in the printer menu using the following path....

  • Settings -> Acceleration -> Print X & Print Y

....for those interested and using Simplify3D below is a link to my profile and a picture of the 3DBenchy (http://www.3dbenchy.com/) I used to test printer function. It does still have a little issue with layer cooling on small layers. To compensate I have set Simplify3D to slow down on the short layers but ideally I need a layer cooling fan. As you can see in the pictures at the start of this article I did print one for use when I assembled the new hot-end however it did not fit properly and interfered with with the motion of the carriage.

Simplyfy3D profile -> http://www.pioneerx.co.uk/E3D-ABS.fff

Benchy E3Dv6 0.2mm 20%Infil 

NOTE: The steps you can see on the walls of this Benchy are the 0.2mm layers and the high resolution of my camera rather than a z-banding issue.