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Idea To Improve Extruder Hot End Performance
#1
I have two ideas regarding the heating/cooling of the extruder. Unfortunately I cant test right now since my heater wire is broken. But, if any of you want to try it and report back I would love to hear the results.

1) Loosen and remove the cartridge heater. Apply heat sink compound (processor compound) to the cartridge and hole the cartridge goes in. Reassemble. Use EXTREME caution moving the heater wires! If they break you will need another heater! You have been warned.

Thought: There seems to be room to improve the tolerances (clearance) between the cartridge and the hot end, and the heat sink compound seems the ideal way. Less touch=less transfer/slower transfer of heat, which *may* be a limiting factor. In fact, this could help with extruder clicking.

Status: UNTESTED

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2) Use metal duct tape (used for seams in air vents/ducts) to seal the fan to the metal carriage. Also seal the sides so the air is forced to blow out and over the heat sink at the bottom (middle) of the hot end. This *may* help with PLA. And it *may* help with the extruder clicking if heat soak is an issue.

Thought: There seems to be room to improve the airflow direction. It appears to me the main purpose of the fan is to cool the heatsink in the middle of the hot end, which should reduce heat soak and prevent plastic softening which causes the extruder gears to slip.

Status: UNTESTED

As always, at your own risk.

Please keep us posted if you try this. I will be trying both of these once I get another heater in...

Kieth
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#2
1 - I did some tests regarding resistor seating on my Mendelmax printer.
I tried with thermal paste (generic chinese + Arctic silver 5) and aluminium foil.

Between all tests I would clean all parts with acetone then alcohol.

Using thermal paste worked for about 1.5-2 weeks, but then gave me 3-8 degC below required temps.
It solidifies/cakes and actually becomes an insulating barrier.

The problem is thermal paste is designed for CPU's, using temps between 40-110 degC.
I concluded that running at 235degC for extended periods was taking the paste beyond its limits.

You MAY get better results using a high-silver content or extreme overclocking paste.

The best solution I found was to wrap the heater in aluminium foil.
Make sure you keep the foil flat/unkinked. Wrap it around the resistor (Usually 8-12 times) and finish off twisting the end like an icecream cone.
Twist it into the block. it should offer some resistance, but not so much it tears the foil off the heater.

Finish off with thermal silicone at both ends.


2 - I've also been thinking about cooling.

I was planning on taking an old 486 cpu cooler
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#3
Maybe instead o thermal paste I will try copper anti-seize from Permatex.

Keep us posted on the heatsink idea. I bet it makes a difference.

Kieth
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#4
one alternative to the cpu grease is micro diamond paste. you can find the diamond dust on ebay cheap and mix it with very high temp grease/silicone. I believe it is what the extreme overclockers use.
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#5
How about putting Red RTV Silicone on the end?
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