March 1, 2021
This week, I’m going to talk about one of the best upgrades you can make to any Ender 3 - the hotend. On Quinly, the advantages of this upgrade are multiplied when compared to an otherwise stock printer. When you retrofit your Ender 3 with Quinly, it upgrades your printer to a high-volume machine. In mass production, consistency and reliability are critical. Whether you add the V6 from E3D, the All Metal from MicroSwiss, or any other hotend to your Quinly kit, it will give you even better performance and reliability.
The Quinly kit comes with the VAAPR bed which is compatible with a broad range of materials, so upgrading your hotend will give you the flexibility to confidently print everything from PLA to PET-G to Nylon without changing beds or hotends.
With the pictured E3D V6 Hotend, Quinly is able to print hundreds of identical parts
The stock hotend on the Creality Ender 3 is good enough for running standard prints and affordable due to its cost saving design. Unfortunately, the inexpensive PTFE tube causes problems, most notably that filament builds up inside the heat break and heater block reducing flow rates at various times, resulting in variable print quality and occasionally causing the nozzle to jam.
One of the key benefits of Quinly is that you can print unlimited quantities of different parts. Inconsistencies from print-to-print reduce these benefits. A high quality hotend will greatly reduce friction allowing materials to flow more evenly throughout the print process. At 3DQue we have 51 Ender 3 printers (5 QPods + 6 R&D printers) and we have upgraded the hotends in all of them.. The quality improvement is noticeable on individual parts, but the consistency across many parts is invaluable to us for larger scale production runs.
Our QPods contain 9 printers each, so it’s important to keep them running smoothly
Another benefit of reducing hotend friction is the increased reliability of printers. With less friction throughout the extrusion process, the hardware and electronics are subjected to less wear. This is particularly important in automation where you are able to be printing parts 24/7. Modifications such as upgrading the hotend lowers the chance of failure for both extruders and stepper drivers by reducing the work they each have to put into each print.
The upgraded hotend eliminates gaps in the filament path and keeps the cool side isolated from the heater block, reducing the likelihood of clogs and jams by making sure the filament stays solid when it needs to and only melts as it reaches the nozzle. The hotend upgrade gives you peace of mind and is the easiest way to increase yields in automated printing, and it’s for this reason I've chosen to convert all 3DQue printers to higher quality hotends.
Bottle and cap printed in Nylon on Quinly
The stock Ender hotend performs well up to 230℃ at which point the PTFE tube can start to degrade. This works for PLA and other low temperature materials but runs into issues with high temperature materials. Since the VAAPR bed allows you to print many types of filament without applying adhesives, the main thing holding you back from working with engineering materials is the hotend’s maximum temperature.
With this upgrade, you can still print PLA for everyday parts, but you also have access to high temperature materials to make stronger, tougher parts. Combining this mod with the ability to queue as many prints as you need opens a whole new world of 3d printing projects. Large scale, functional designs can be implemented. Long cable chains, tool drawer organizers, and many other practical things you can take advantage to make your life easier suddenly become within reach.
Above all, a hotend upgrade allows you to unlock the full potential of what the Quinly kit is capable of. You’d be surprised at what new creations lie in store.
What have you made with Quinly? Send us your prints on social media @3dquesystems