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Davinci 1.0 Extruder Replacement Tutorial
I've owned my Davinci 1.0 for about 6 months, and I think I have most of the hardware problems in check (loose bearings and such). However, there seems to be no getting around the limitations of the extruder. It suffers heat creep, clogs frequently, only works with ABS, and has a relatively high lower limit on extrusion speed which limits the resolution of my prints. I have seen that seemly dozens of people have changed their extuders to something better, but I can't find any real tutorials. Is there a step by step guide (or better yet, a kit) for replacing the extruder and whatever else is necessary to improve print quality and allow the davinci to handle other filaments? There seems to be some excellent designs out there (, but I haven't seen any full parts lists or instructions about how to go about actually performing the modification.
It's fairly simple. Just start researching. Not many people have time to create step by step instructions. I learned by trial and error. The biggest hurdle will be the firmware configuration.

Here is a video series for swapping to an E3D v6.
It shows every thing you need and the thread for this mod can be found @
I think I found the source of some of my confusion. A lot of the tutorials and new carriages seem to be for a combination of an MK8 filament feeder and E3D hot end. When I go searching, I only find the MK8 sold as a complete filament feeder/hot end combo. Is there anything wrong with this setup? If the E3D hot end is so much better, where can you buy just the MK8 filament feeder?
Each extruder has its own benefits. I personally like the MK series. I use the mk9. I find that the weight is low to the center pivot of the extruder. So there isn't much shaking so higher speeds work quality wise. The e3d mk8 combo is good too. The heat sync around the nozzle allows for a better cooling to the filament so you won't have to worry about jams. But I don't really like how tall the extruder is. That's a lot of uneven weight. This is why I switched from the davinci in the first place. It would shake the printer like crazy. I heard the Bowden extruder is good. I might switch it out one day but for now I love my mk9. The hotend can be easily removed for cleaning. Installation of the thermistor and heater wire is easily replaced. I also like the ceramic heat insulation it has. It keeps temps normal without fluctuations. This prevents small blobs from forming and weak layers
Does the MK series work with PLA, Ninjaflex, and other (non-ABS) filaments? Looking around, it seems like the MK8 is considerably cheaper than the MK9, are there any compelling reasons why I should go with the 9 over the 8?
Not really. I think the only difference may be the gear and other small things like heat sync. The mk8 can print anything. I am printing lay wood tonight. One small annoying thing though with the MK series is the tensioner screw is always too tight. I modified mine to be looser but it took a while to get it fine tuned. If you decide to go this route I can post pics of my tensioner. Feeding the filament can be a pain sometimes but I've got it pretty fine tuned as well. The MK series need a little bit of work but they are great IMO. I ordered mine from makergeek. Amazon extruders are cheap. I am using a makerbot extruder mk9
Are there different makes of MK extruders?!? I see MK9's on eBay and Amazon for around $67, Makergeek has them for quite a bit more.

How is the height of the MK extruder/hot end vice the original Da Vinci? Will it significantly reduce my print area?
I don't know what you mean by height? Like I said its shorter than the davinci and e3D mod. Yes there are different makes of the mk series. Greentech is chinese knockoffs. You have to buy from american companies that state what type of extruder they are selling. Makergeek sells makerbot mk9s. Generally I hate greentechs. They are cheap and I had the thermistor go on my greentech mk8. Print area is not effected. I designed my mk9 carriage so that it is small, simple and fits to the mm. I suggest you invest in hardened steel shafts as well, for linear bearings. Chris makes them on these forums. I don't know many carriages that are designed to work with the davinci's brass bearings.

Forgot to add. The makerbot mk9 will need a thermistor installed. It comes with a thermocouple which is not supported on the davinci motherboard.
So to be clear, I am looking for a 12v extruder with a thermresistor? I assume everything wild solder on to the circuit board currently in the stock extruder?
Thermistor* yes. The heater cartridge is 12V. Davinci fan is 9V. You can use the davinci fan with the extruder. I don't use the circuit board with my extruder because it isn't necessary although. You can wire around the circuit board. If you don't use the circuit board you will need to manually adjust temp tables in rep.

Sounds like to me you should do more research into installing components of the extruder. It's easy. Just watch youtube videos. I can suggest materials to install thermistors if you want.
Some corrections... The stock fan is actually a 5v fan. The circuit board doesn't add any electronic components to the thermistor thus removing it won't require any further changes in the firmware. This is true at least in the original 1.0, I can't say for sure whether things have changed in the newer models. There seems to be some confusion around this subject...
5V really? Never checked it honestly. But as far as the circuit board goes I believe it translates the temps to the davinci. I installed my extruder without the circuit board after it was running fine with the circuit board, and temps were wrong. I ended up overheating the extruder.

From what I researched about it was that the circuit board is used as an obstacle to prevent people from modding the extruder successfully.
My understanding is that some extra resistor(s) exist but in the main control board, not in the small circuit board. I'm pretty sure this is the case on my 1.0, as the temp readings didn't change at all after removing it. But again, XYZ might have changed things in the other revisions.
Hi again,

This appears to be a decent price on a 12V v6/MK8 combo which seems to be all the rage (ebay item 221777670230). Its a Chinese branded one, are these things at all decent? Is it the right model (12V, 1.75mm, 100k thermisistor).

I see a lot of people replacing the metal bars and brass bushings with linear bearings, but it seems like a pricey mod, is this really necessary?

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