My Predator is getting an upgrade

My goal is to go all metal Hotend on my Predator. So there is a V6 and there is a volcano. So I want to be able to switch back and forth easily with an adapter. Now V1 one kinda worked but I was underwhelmed by the part cooling performance - not critical most of the time as we hardly ever do PLA (except the logo which we recently designed) But I want great all around performance. So I switched from So out went the centrifugal fans and in with some axial and some fins to straighten out the air flow. So I went from this design


to this

And V1 and V2 next to each other

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Almost all the cheap Chinese Printers have terrible hot ends. After trying the E3Dand many others, we have gone to Slice engineering mosquito or a Mellow labs clone. If the v6 doesn’t meet your needs, Just go to the mosquito. Put 1 on our Chiron along with MGN12 rails and like the printer now.

Dying to convert the Chirons to rails (saving my pennies)

Chirons stock one was not that bad - for a non all metal. sooner or later usually after about 50 kg of HIPS/ABS/PETG it needed chucking. And forget higher temps. Right now they both have a volcano clone (gulfcoast robotics in Florida) and that seems to be working fine so far. Had decent results with a V6 on the Pulse (Prusa clone). Just curious what in your opinion is the advantage of a mosquito over the V6/Volcano?

Not who your replying to but as a mosquito owner, and someone who has messed with both V6’s and also now dragon hotends (I know those are a bit contentious in terms of IP but they are quite good for the value), you might see a little less stringing going from V6 to mosquito but beyond that there’s not a ton of noticeable difference. I mostly like/use the mosquito for its more rigid nozzle mounting so I can swap nozzles with only one tool.

I just ordered one of the clones from Aliexpress (would love it if there was someone locally selling it) I can justify currently about 40 bucks for a hotend upgrade but not the original Slice engineering cost. Now changing nozzles on a V6 can be downright dangerous especially if a student does it or an old dude like me with shaky hands. Getting it torqued right does not always happen. and too tight and the block and nozzle are toast and too loose you get a jam and it leaks. So if that actually works would be great. Now where do you mount the fan for the heatsink on those and what size fan do you use? Plus haven’t seen any socks for those blocks yet but I can make one the old fashioned way. The hotend is scheduled to arrive 10/17 so there is time for some research but I would really appreciate it if you guys have links to “how to” pages or could drop some instructions here

Over the years, we have used both E3D V6 and Volcanoes. We print our prototypes out of PLA+ for easy printing and cost. Then, after we are satisfied with the part, we go to PETG, hard TPU or Nylon Carbon fiber. The V6 hotends work fine for PLA and PETG for the most part. We do print our PETG hot. 260c first layer and 245- 250 on. The nylon is usually printed at 250c but for certain brands up to 285c. This may seem hot but our experience is that the higher temps are need for layer adhesion on parts that see high stress. The higher temps are where the E3D V6 has problems. stringing, blobs and heat creep. Also, with changing nozzles from .4, .6 and .8 we had problems with the heat block wearing out and having to be replaced often. The higher temps did not help. Even with the V6 problems, we have put many high stressed parts on the robot year after year. What really motivated us to try the mosquito is when we started playing with a heated chamber for the carbon nylon and Polycarbonate. The heat creep on the V6 in a heated chamber is a problem. In the beginning of the year we spent the money on a Slice engineering mosquito. Took some time to dial in but so far the mosquitos have been nothing but dependable no mater what we are printing. Changing nozzles is so much easier. The big plus is we use less retraction and retract a little faster. The stringing and ooze blobs have gone away. We can print in a 60-70c heated chamber with no heat creep jams. As far as print quality, the vertical surface artifacts we had from time to time are gone. Fine detail like gear teeth are more precise. Everything is a little better. Now we just load the printers and configs slice and print. Worry less about if we will get a good print this time. The biggest plus is that the nylon carbon we are currently using is oozy. The mosquito and linear advanced have greatly reduced this problem. Everything is just a little better, but it is not some miracle. It still is work to dial it in.
Warning. I had a problem with the standard mosquito. The heat break radiator had to much cooling and cooled in the wrong place. The heat break radiator piece in my opinion has the radiator to close to the hot end. It should be up higher like it is on the magnum. The Mellow web page mentions this and they recommend moving the copper radiator part up higher. I could not move the radiator on the real Slice mosquito. I solved the problem by blocking the bottom of the heat exchanger with a piece of a business card between the fan and housing. This not a problem with the magnum version. This in my opinion is a major design defect but fixable. Also, I use 50 watt heater cartridges. Needed for higher temps and .8 nozzle. The radiator problem does not apply to the Magnum high flow version. Reading temps with accuracy above 250c is just a problem for thermistors. We use a E3d amplifier board to an analog port with a PT100 RTD on the printer that we print hot on. I have a high temp thermistor clone of the Slice one but have not used it yet. On the Chiron, I printed I think a 10mm block- spacer and used the existing Chiron mounting.
Last, if you ordered from Mellow store, I really like their plated copper nozzle. If you what to print abrasive filament just get a nozzle X.

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thanks for the Help I think I got one coming (if this Mellow All Metal NF Crazy Hotend V6 Copper Nozzle For Ender 3 CR10 Prusa I3 MK3S Alfawise Bmg Extruder 3D Printer Parts|3D Printer Parts & Accessories| - AliExpress
is the right link)
I’d love to swap Nozzles. As a work around I got the Chiron setup with a .8 the predator and megax with a .6 and the prusa clone with a .4

We use a lot of high stress parts lol. I think you know we did the whole robot Prushashlisha FRC team 1989 2020 build season pics – Martin's 3D Printing Blog

We are using a lot of HIPS which we pick up at tonerplastics.com for $10/kg. Drawback with HIPS is it only comes in white but otherwise its great. It will print from about 220 to 280 bed 105 on the chiron we get best layer adhesion at 255. I have been printing about 100kg of HIPS and some ABS and PETG on my Chiron and went through 3 of the Jhead original hotends (with Capricorn tubing) IF the mosquito clone works that well then I am sorry for buying all those V6/Volcano clones from Gulfcoast robotics. So I am excited to try it out. Which do you think is better for the Chiron the regular or magnum.

I am not a big fan printing wit CF/GF infused filament. Based on the Info I have and tests I made on my pulse the tensile strength and layer adhesion is worse than the base material and it makes sense as the CF/GF are just small chopped pieces that do not help structurally and take up space where usually Nylon would be to help with tensile/layer strength. It does make the part quite stiffer and more abrasion resistant though.

Would like to see what you did for a heated chamber for the Chiron - currently working on an enclosure my current “enclosure” is a piece of 3mil plastic sheeting draped over it .

On frame pieces we currently reinforce with .5in square 16gauge al. or steel tubing and have 5mm of HIPS printed solid (enough perimeters to not need infill) usually printed with a .8 with .88 outside perimeter width and the inside perimeters up to 1.6mm

Our next evolution is to reinforce with Fiberglass. Our process works kinda like this

1.) print a frame piece about 1mm thick out of HIPS or ABS something like this

2,) Wrap it in fiberglass


On this test part we experimented with ridges on the bottom part which worked quite nicely this part has 3 layers of 8oz cloth on each side. So the HIPS/ABS just functions as a skeleton.

Next we intend to print the whole drive base of the robot on the Chiron in 4 pieces It will fit as our robot is roughly 30x30 and the Chiron buildplate is 400x400 - almost 16x16in. Then there will be a layer of 17oz Matte on each side followed by a couple layers of 10oz cloth. So you getting close to Canoe or surfboard specs. But anyway I feel that is a better way to leverage FG in a 3DP scenario. Main goal is to produce a robot that lasts long enough at low cost. Last years robot had about $40 of aluminum and 14 kg ($140) of HIPS on it

Again thanks for the tips. As you seem to have similar printers to us - if you are interested - we could work together at some projects.

Here are some projects that are in planning and will be done sooner or later.
1.) upgrade printers (working on it)
2.) Make next iteration on Planetary-Harmonic gearbox with the output either on the flexor or the stator shooting for something in the 30-40:1 range. Intent is to have the input on the sun of the planetary . Material Taulman 910 or Hobbyking CX12 (whatever spool I have started) Right now all gears will be 1.3 mm module double helical. 20-24mm wide. The sun will mount directly to the shaft of a CIM (or NEO) Sun 24 teeth, Planets 19 teeth Inside of the Flexor 54 teeth - outside of the flexor 61 teeth Stator 65 Teeth The “cup” of the flexor will add another 2 in. The outside of the Stator will get a htd 5 pulley to slide on in case the flexor is mounted to the frame otherwise it will mount to the flexor and the stator will mount to the frame. The cup will likely get some 8oz cloth wrapped around it to put less strain on the layers
3.) Stick a pranetary inside a 6 in wheel, make the tire replaceable (regular, omni, mecanum) Mouth the Motor at a 90 to save space. the planetary can give a 3-4:1 reduction to bevel gear to do th 90 another 2-3:1
4,) Make a cycloidal gearbox (as soon as I figure out how to properly draw that in inventor) this one could possibly fit inside a wheel or make another climber gearbox
5.) Use our rack and pinion to make a front and rear stear for the robot (would use 2 less motors than a swerve plus you could use 6 and 8 in wheels.
5.) Then mount it all to a Glass fiber Frame

But first the printers need some TLC, Chiron 1 needs a new idler pulley on the X axis. Chiron 2 broke a wire to the bed (probably fix today) Predator needs new hotend, Mega X will get its Jhead upgraded, I got to fix a rostock Max 2 that is dead for someone who in the past sponsored us and then all printers get proper enclosures and then we tackle the above projects. Unfortunately we cant meet the kids so I only can put them to work with design stuff and things they can do remotely.

I use mine on a scratch built prusa machine with a bondtech extruder, that uses a 40mm fan and has a duct that directs it into the mosquito. However you can simply buy a mosquito with a small (25mm I think) fan that just bolts right on. In theory you dont even really need a fan on the mosquito but it doesn’t ever hurt.

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I used a 25mm fan. I would go with the magnum. With the standard, you will probably have to play with cooling. If needed I’ll post a picture of my cheap business card hack.

Would you please - I ordered the standard before you posted the problem thinking of scraping some pennies together and getting the magnum too and I will order some 25 mm fans too

Don’t panic. The standard works just fine with a little tweak. PM me if you have problems.

Thanks its scheduled to arrive 10/17

May be I should clarify my statement and comment on the Mosquito radiator problem. My opinion is that the The normal mosquito, not the magnum, copper radiator is to low and the combination with the fan has to much cooling at the wrong location. Under certain flow conditions, this can result in a filament jam. My solution Was to use a business card trimmed to block about 30% of the lower portion of the radiator area. While this works and I’ve been printing this way, It’s a Kludge. The fan on some control boards can be speed adjusted in the firmware . This would work. The problem is it can not be set by G code and for different filaments and configurations the full fan power is necessary. Especially important at high temps and with enclosures. Mellow, the manufacturer of the clone recommends moving the copper radiator up on the heat break tube. I tried this in the beginning and couldn’t move the radiator. After I made this post, I tried again. I was able to gradually move the copper radiator up until I got the performance of the business card Hack. I’ve moved it up 6.7 mm. Compare this photo with a picture of an unmodified mosquito to see what I did.


I’ve printed several test pieces and this seems to be a good position. I would also caution anybody with a Mosquito and Dragon hot end to be very careful on their extruder tension settings. I have jammed the mosquito by not adjusting the tension when going from a hard filament to a softer filament. Too much tension distorted the filament with deep groves and with the long tube this jammed. Be careful of the tension and scaring you filament. You can get away with short heat breaks but not the long ones. All our printers have single gear extruders. Dual gear extruders may not be as critical for this. I hope this clarifies my post. I would just buy the Magnum mosquito in the future but the standard slice engineering mosquito has been very good for us over the last 6 months. No more E3d V6 type hot ends for us.

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Thanks a lot - this is very heplful. I will try to implement that when it arrives in about 4 weeks. On the chirons I am working on an enclosure design that will move the filament onto the top of the printer/enclosure and I might switch to a triangle labs BMG clone on the extruder. Hope this works out as I hope as even though the V6/Volcano is an improvement over the Jhead it is a big pain to work with in a production environment like robotics demands. I am looking fwd to changing Nozzles without the hassle on an E3D style hotend. Also glad to have found a fellow FRC Chiron user.

Was the block literally just a 10mm spacer? How are you running filament into the hotend?

I’d be interested to see more on how you did the rail upgrade and what difference it has made.

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Me too as rails still are not that cheap but if it makes a drastic improvement it might be worth saving for.