Automated Hotend Swapping For Less Wasteful Multicolor Printing

Multicolor printing on FDM equipment can be difficult to get performing flawlessly, and purging hotends when switching hues can conclusion up wasting a great deal of filament and material. To resolve this dilemma for the well-liked Prusa i3 and Ender 3 printers, [BigBrain3D] designed the Swapper3D, an automated system that swaps the overall hotend when the material is altered, eradicating the have to have for purging almost completely. Video just after the break.

The Swapper3D functions incredibly in the same way to the instrument-changing devices on CNC machines, and is just as gratifying to view. A big round carousel on the side of the machine holds up to 25 hotends, and in follow, a pair of robotic arms pop out the prior hotend, reduce the filament, and load up the specified hotend from the carousel. This implies you can have a independent hotend for just about every color or sort of filament. Because most existing hotends also integrate the heating aspect, [BigBrain3D] developed a special hotend assembly that can be robotically eliminated/inserted into the heater block.

The Swapper3D is developed to be used with present filament changers like the Prusa MMU and the Mosaic Palette. Employing these programs entails a lot of purging, to the issue exactly where you sometimes stop up employing a lot more filament through purging than you need to have for the real section. On 1 five-coloration demo print, the Swapper3D diminished the print time by 45% and the filament utilized by a significant 86%. It also assists to get rid of difficulties like stringing and color fading in multicolor prints. With those people pros, it appears like the Swapper3D could possibly be a worthwhile enhance if you do a good deal of multi-shade printing, even even though it adds quite a little bit of complexity to the printer.

For greater, a lot more expensive machines, swapping the entire toolhead is turning out to be a lot more preferred, with even E3D stepping into the fray.