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Ceramic Heat Cartridge Ceramic Filling
#1
Good afternoon!

Because I believe my Da Vinci 1.0 can have a "She's All That," moment, where I make the appropriate mods and suddenly it appears as beautiful as I always knew it could be, I ran into a (hilarious) issue - I was inserting a new 100k EPCOS thermistor into the hot end and wouldn't you know it, the wires to the ceramic heat cartridge snapped right off.

I am not one to take matters like this politely, so my first idea is to just put those wires back in there. The problem was that the wires broke flush with the end of the cartridge, making it impossible to solder in any reasonable way, since I could see it easily breaking. Next up, I drilled the ceramic filling out, so I have an empty metal tube. I need to fill it with something, but what? I cant find any information about what substance is currently inside that tube, or any ceramic heat cartridge for a hot end, for that matter. Was the ceramic conductive? Were the wires going into the ceramic touching at any point?

For me, the solution isn't always to just buy a new one, it's to make it myself. Now, a search online will let me know just how many of these devices I can buy, but as far as inserting a substance to suspend the hot end power wires that will be appropriate for what I am trying to do - so we're all clear here, to make a working hot end - seems to everyone else on earth something close to witchcraft performed by a feral cannibal (this comment was made for effect, not to make heavy handed anthropological statements, let's keep our replies specific to the actual question here).

Venting complete - now, anyone out there know what I can put into a ceramic heat cartridge to suspend the wires, provide heat, and satisfy any, if any is needed at all, conductivity between those power wires?
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#2
You are going to need some nichrome wire, the coiled wire out of an electric heater. Coil smaller in diameter than metal tube. Then a welder to weld feed wires to the nichrome, solder would just melt.
then you have to suspend this coil in the metal tube, not touching the outer tube and pour in ceramic slurrey, let it dry then fire the compound to vitrifie it.
All while monitoring the heater coil so it doesn't short out or break.
Stove caulk may be a solution where the caulk will dry with heat from coil -- but won't have heat transfer ability of ceramic.
Maybe 50 hours of your time.
A lot to do for a $10 cartridge heater.
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#3
Man, please let us know if you go this route. Ive messed with kanthal and nichrome wire quite a bit with vaping, and even built a mini spot welder to weld resistance wire to non resistance wire. Im very interested in this approach, just to know if it can be done. Even if you buy another heater, you still should rebuild the old one just to show it who's boss, and for science. Wink.
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#4
I'd rather buy one just to keep printing, and make one because I can! Luckily, with a background in jewelry making, I know some tricks to use in place of ceramic that readily handle blow torch heat, is fine with thermal shock, and holds heat when used in a crucible holding molten metal. I think it'll work fine. As for the wire from a heater, that'll be easy to find, most likely for free and rip apart. If I need to modify any part of it, I can design it, 3d print a mold and form it with PMC and fire it myself. I'll post more later.
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#5
Keep in mind of you short out the heater cartridge there is a good chance you will burn the fuse resistor on the pcb board. There is a lessor chance you will glitch the mcu, but it happens and i have fixed boards as a result.

So, be careful of wires touching each other, and be careful of them touching the metal tube.

Initial heater cartridge diy designs used plaster of paris. I would not be surprised if that's what it is in the commercial cartridges.

They are 5 bucks on ebay. Making it is one of those "yes, i can" line of things that just doesn't make any sense to do. I liken it to making a light bulb. Wink

Kieth
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#6
Measure the resistance of a standard cartridge heater, you will have to match the resistance and power output of the heater. Common Cart heater 12V 20W, 40W etc --- get the heating element wrong --- blow out your supply / switching electronics -- or wait 3 days for it to heat up enough to extrude.

Perhaps a tiny pellet of a radioactive material or
tiny piping and super heated steam or molten sodium plumbed circuit

:whistle:
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#7
The white stuff in the heating element is Magnesium Oxide powder. It's used in most tubular electric heating elements like in your electric oven.
Good time to upgrade from a 35 watt heater to a 40 watt!
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