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Review: Bondtech Extruder QR 3.0

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Hey everyone,

I always had problems with underextrusion, sometimes it was caused by the filament, sometimes by the bowden tube and/or the nozzle and sometimes the extruder, where grinding and slipping occurred again and again.

I tried a lot of selfmade extruders like the H3, Robert's and other UM2 clones. I bought a 0.9° high torque stepper motor, an UM2 drivegear, the MK8 and so on.... Some worked for a while, some was crap from the beginning on...

Finally I decided to buy a new commercial, stronger Extruder which can simply brute-force the filament through the old bowdentube and the nozzle, even if the speed between infill and walls differs widely and the temperature is good for the slower walls but a bit too low for the infill.

I chose the Bondtech Extruder QR 3.0 Universal.

 

Order

The price is definitely high, no question - but you know that before you click on the "add to cart"-button.

Whar some may not know is: if you live in the EU, you have to pay VAT and fee in addition!

When I then calculated my final price (incl. shipping AND taxes AND fee), it was about 200$ in the end.

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On the upper right corner of the website (the shop), you can select if you want to see the price with or without VAT.

200$ is really much if I think about the price of the whole machine... but if this is finally the solution to at least some of the underextrusion problems - it is probably worth it.

 

Delivery

Normally, the Bondtech Extruder is shipped via FedEx Priority International. I asked the (Mr. Bondeus) if there is maybe a cheaper solution and therefore he offered me "FedEx Economy International". The Costs where around 15$ instead of around 30$ and the shipping took 2 working days (instead of one) from Sweden to Germany. Wonderful! The contact was really friendly and very helpful overall. FedEx Economy is not yet available in the online-shop.

 

Unboxing

The Extruder is shipped in a little, stable and lined box in a FedEx Shipping Bag. Perfect!

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What's included?

The geared stepper-motor, the Extruder itself, a mounting-bracket for the UMO (if you order one! costs around 7$), a piece of filament (which is the "testpiece" of my extruder - I guess), the cable for the UMO and - last but not least - a pack of delicious sweets (no worry, it isn't empty when delivered :D).

Everything was delivered pre-mounted (nice!), therefore the installation should be very easy - right?

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What i ordered was the "universal" version! If you order one for the UM2 (e.g.) the content may differ a bit.

 

Installation

 

The UMO-Bracket

What i first recognized: the mounting-bracket is... well... not the very best :D

It simply doesnt fit because of the end-caps and you cannot longer use two feeders (at least not two bondtech- extruders).

mount.thumb.jpg.b5eb23686664059a3c49b7e2add5e609.jpg

My guess: this is still the same bracket as for the V2 Extruder (which seems to be a little bit smaller).

In the meanwhile Mr. Bondeus redesigned the bracket, it fits now ;)

 

The cable

The cable is shorter than the original, but still long enough. It's a bit tight to plug in the connector on the UMO-PCB maybe, but it works. I don't know why the cable isn't twisted as the original, it is common practice to do so - but maybe it isn't really necessary here. Anyway - i just did it myself - you just need a needle to unplug the wires... it's easy ;)

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Mounting direction

The Universal Extruder is mounted to the stepper in a way, that the cable comes out on the "upside". On the UMO I prefer it on the bottom, therefore I reassembled the extruder and rotated the stepper by 180°.

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Just unscrew the extruder and rotate the motor or the extruder itself 180°.

 

E-steps/mm

According to the producer, you have to adjust the E-steps/mm to 492.45. To do so, there are at least three ways. Upload a new firmware, execute a special GCODE or use the Ulticontroller. I prefered the last one for now (CONTROL -> MOTION -> E-Steps/mm).

In fact this value was a bit too small for me, I recommend to find the optimum youself (see here: http://reprap.org/wiki/Triffid_Hunter's_Calibration_Guide/de).

Keep in mind that every filament differs in hardness and perhaps also in diameter, the value which is perfect for one filament is maybe too high or too low for the other. You can compensate this by the diameter-settings in CURA and the flow value (this is the only reason I know where the flow value is useful).

 

Motor Current

Set the motor current to a maximum of 1.2A! Otherwise you will harm the motor (which will become very very hot).

 

In Operation

 

Quality and Usability

The housing is selective laser sintered and feels very stable. The gears are perfectly machined, even hardened (as the website says). They look like they will last forever :)

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There is a new "spring loaded lever" on version 3 (QR) of the Bondtech-extruder, and... well - i don't like it very much be honest. I would prefer another approach to quick-load the feeder - something like a snap lock?! The problem is - if the spring is too lose, the gears may slip and underextrude and if it is too tight, you cannot "quick load" the feeder anymore (or the filament scratches on the gears). Therefore you have to find the perfect setting...

 

Filament

This Extruder is originally designed for 3.00mm filament (there is also a 1.75mm version)! You can use 2.85mm too, but the grip is maybe not as good as with 3.00mm filament.

 

Loudness

I highly recommend to use SSS-Drivers for the Extruder since the Stepper is a bit lounder than the original (but the retraction is less annoying). It's also a easier to damp the connection between motor and mount since it is just a bracket.

 

Conclusion

I really never had such clear marks from the drive gear and was never able to print that fast with so little problems of underextrusion. I like the stable and very professional design. There are maybe minor issues like the not sooo useful lever (at least it's way easier to release pressure than in V2 of the extruder), but... anyhow! If the next version of the feeder will be released, you can most probably upgrade your personal feeder for relatively little money (32.70$ - excl. VAT - for the upgrade from V2 to QR).

I would say the Extruder is absolutely worth the 200$ (or 131$ if you live outside the EU), especially if you suffer from recurring underextrusion!

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Edited by Guest
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I second the conclusion, although, since I used a UM2 version on a UM2, I did not have any of the installation glitches that the O.P. reported.

I also designed a mounting bracket that moves the feeder to the left of the UM2, for a left-side spool holder. (on Youmagine)

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@Ataraxis said:   There is a new "spring loaded lever" on version 3 (QR) of the Bondtech-extruder, and... well - i don't like it very much be honest. I would prefer another approach to quick-load the feeder - something like a snap lock?!

I miss the snap lock from the |Robert| feeder too.   I thought about ideas such as making an adjustable cam lever, but I didn't find a good way to attach it to the @Bondtech housing.   So I pulled a piece of bungee cord out of a drawer, tied it around the motor, adjusted the length to suit, and... done!

I'm probably going to change from 1/8" to 3/16" bungee for the final version.

Before:

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After:

20160319_002543_resized.thumb.jpg.8af2817bfea7eac6c693c6b45ab378ad.jpg

20160319_002610_resized.thumb.jpg.87bfa54bd6c2439e65f8cbe4dedf823c.jpg

20160319_002543_resized.thumb.jpg.8af2817bfea7eac6c693c6b45ab378ad.jpg

Edited by Guest

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