2022 3D Printer Upgrades

At the beginning of 2022, I performed various upgrades to my Wanhao i3 Mini 3D printer, mostly related to the hotend, cooling and filament delivery.

I replaced the heat break and the nozzle from a hot end perspective. In addition, I replaced the standard stainless steel heat break with the Yunbotong V6 bi-metal heat break, which is a titanium alloy heat break with a copper plated throat that is E3D V6 compatible. The difference between the two materials (i.e. the titanium alloy and the copper) results in a difference in thermal conductivity, which improves heat dissipation efficiency.

I replaced the standard copper nozzle with a titanium nozzle, which offers higher durability and thus can deliver higher quality prints for longer.

By 3d printing and using the dual fan mount linked here, I was able to add an additional fan and thus double the hot end cooling capacity. Additionally, I replaced the standard inexpensive 24V 40mm fan with two Noctua nf-a4x20 flx fans. The nf-a4x20 flx is a premium quiet fan, with award-winning cooling and acoustic performance. This upgrade significantly improved the cooling of both the hot end and the print area and has dramatically improved print quality.

Lastly, regarding filament delivery, I replaced the standard PTFE Bowden tubing with Capricorn PTFE Bowden tubing. Capricorn PTFE Bowden tubing contains additional high lubricity additives that make it the lowest friction Bowden tubing on the market. This lower friction results in improved responsiveness and less slippage, which results in better print quality.

The upgrades mentioned above have been very successful and have greatly improved the print quality I was able to produce with my 3d printer.

2022 3D Printer Upgrades