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ultiarjan

Alternative CORE for Ultimaker3 available, the 3D solex "HardCore"

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A few days ago I got a "HardCore" from 3Dsolex to try, here's a first look.

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While at first it does not seem logical to have exchangeable nozzles in an already exchangeable Core, it does mean as of now we have the option to use alternative sized Core's and a 0.5 in steel. The nozzles are NOT compatible with other blocs, they needed to be smaller to keep the Core the same height. The HardCore is compatible to use in combination with an original core.

In the picture, left to right; Jet nozzle for UM2, hardcore nozzle, steel hardcore nozzle.

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Installing the DIY version on a core you already own is not the easiest job. There is a serious risk you break the heatbreak if you put any force in the wrong place. According to the 3Dsolex website they will help you when you mess up, for a small price.

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Changing nozzles is also a job that needs to be done carefully, you should ONLY hold the metal block so NO force is put on the heatbreak (the thin part just above the chrome block).

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Just as with assembling stuff from IKEA, I always advise to use better tools than those supplied :)

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As changing a nozzle is not as easy as f.e. on the Ultimaker2, for some people it may be best to choose a nozzle and leave it on. Obviously you can now replace it when it's worn out after using abrasive materials. At first I thought I would not like to change these nozzles frequently, but after I did it once it's actually pretty easy as long as you are very careful.

Unfortunately there's no instruction on the amount of torque needed to fit the block or the nozzles, just like AFAIK also Ultimaker does not provide any numbers for the Olsson  block on the UM2+. For the UM2+ Olsson block I always use 0.45Nm on a hot nozzle (230c).

The hardcore nozzles can not be changed while mounted in the printer, not only is the block hard to reach, it would also be VERY risky as you're likely to put force on the heatbreak when the body of the core is in a fixed place. I prefer to only change nozzles on a heated block. I'll may make a small device to electrically heat the hardcore outside of the printer someday. It's easy to do, as I showed already in this experimental setup;

using-the-ultimaker3-core-on-an-ultimaker2

For now I opted to just heat it quickly with a hot-air-gun. In a little test with an old um2 block, a pt100 and a ohm meter. I figured I'd need to heat for about 30 seconds to get to about 150c. This is obviously pretty unreliable but better than mounting a nozzle cold.

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I used a WERA7440 screwdriver at 1nm, as you probably don't have this tool you may want to try this printed tool, I have not tested the amount of torque it brings, but I do know it will depend on the material you use to print it.

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/block-v3-torque-wrench

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Cura,

The reason ultimaker is not selling any Core sizes other than the 0.4mm is said to be that they do not have Cura profiles ready for other sizes and materials. Rumor is the first alternative size Core Ultimaker will bring out is the 0.8mm but nothing has ever been confirmed AFAIK.

This also means currently there is no nozzle size selection available in Cura for the UM3. This is pretty easy to solve by adjusting the "line width". As the default line width for 0.4 is (0.875 * Nozzle size) this is probably a good starting point. Just change the line width and save your settings as a profile, with the nozzle size in the profile name, and next time your ready.

In my first print with the 0.6 nozzle I used a 0.55 line width.

Here's a first print in 0.2 draft layer height, The hardcore prints just as easy as any other core.

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Finally;

I did not jet mention any of the visual differences of the hardcore vs a Ultimaker core.

After I had some leaks on a early test version of the "matchless" block for Ultimaker2 I was not very fond of the chromed blocks. 3Dsolex assures me this issue is solved, and as I've not heard others about it recently I assume it is, otherwise I would not put it in my pressious UM3  :)    I'm not convinced the chroming really is a benefit,  and I would not know how to test it. If chromed nozzles are more slippery that may be a benefit in f.e. printing PVA, but I have not tried that jet, and even then I have not had issues with printing PVA on the standard BB core. I may be nice to do a 0.6 or 0.8 quick print with PLA/PVA. will probably do that later. I don't think the chroming is useful to gain higher speeds, as the speed on the UM3 is restricted by the weight of the print head, not the core.

Then there's the red anodized cool ribs, I don't think it matters functionally, but it looks good, and it makes the hardcore easy to identify. Two of the cooling ribs are "flattened" apparently to get a better grip on them while mounting.

So in short, I'm very happy to have the option of using various nozzles on my Ultimaker3, my personal favorite is the 0.6

I don't do a lot of carbon or metal fill, but I'm sure many people will love the ability to use it on there dual extrusion machine without having to replace expensive core's regularly.

Here's where you can get yours.

3dsolex.com

the first prints with the 0.4

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If you did not see it jet, here's some discussion on other changable core's not commercialy available, legal issues around selling parts vs open source, and you'll also find a great video from George here, showing the disassembly of a core.

3dprintingforum.us

____________

And just to be clear, I have no business relation with either 3Dsolex or Ultimaker. Just doing this stuff for fun. I got the hardcore for free to try it out.

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Too bad they didn't solved the need of having a tool to hold it. As a beta for thinkers block seems ok.

The height difference could have been easily fixed with a custom made silicon pad.

Also 230€+ € or 100 if you DIY... sounds too expensive IMO to pay 500€ for two cores with a not easy nozzle swap solution.

The part I find interesting is that the ptfe can be replaced. But they don't specify if is old PTFE or TFM.

Clearly @foehsturm magnetic toolchange seems like a cheaper option and more flexible for thinkers.

If it was 200€+ without any need of two tools to change the nozzle, then it might be meh. Anders also is doing some experiments, and @gudo and I published a mod to make the cores print better and be able to swap the nozzles without two tools. More about that on the other forum http://www.3dprintingforum.us/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=521&start=15

Anyhow good review @ultiarjan

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The height difference could have been easily fixed with a custom made silicon pad.

 

I don't get how you mean this. How would a silicon pad solve the height difference between a "hardcore" and a "ultimaker core" ?

About pricing, always a difficult discussion, but in this case the upgrade is about the price of a new core, so seems to me people who can afford to use a UM3 will have no issue with it. Ultimakers in general are pretty cheap to run.....

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The problem of making a longer core is that you need to keep the heat enclosed. If the nozzle goes out more than the standard. So, to use m6 nozzles it would have more nozzle exposed to air/cooling. So, to use longer nozzles you would just need a new silicon pad to keep the heat from hitting the nozzles.

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The 3dsolex cores are the same height as the UM cores well within .1mm and changing nozzles changes the height even less than that. Probably within .01mm.

One aspect of 3dsolex's design is that the nozzles have to be much shorter than the other ones out there such as the ones that go with the Olson block or the block v3 or e3dv6 nozzles. Which is too bad. But the benefit is that they make the core the same height as the UM cores.

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Great writeup! A few comments:

Changing the nozzle is really not that hard. I have changed it a few times at room temperature without problem because I haven't gotten any plastic in the threads yet. The first time it's good to use a torque wrench to have a feel for how much 1nM is. The nozzle should be able to take about 4nM before it breaks (I haven't done destructive testing yet but I did on the block v3). 4nM is extreme - if you have experience with tools you will probably realize long before you hit 4nM that it's too much. Especially if you use at least one small tool such as the Anders torque wrench or my torque wrench or a screwdriver grip hex driver or the supplied tool. But using a large wrench designed for working on a car will be dangerous.

Let me put it another way - if you use only your fingers gripping the 3dsolex block and you are average strength for an 18 year old man you probably can only apply about 1nM maximum. Plus 3dsolex can repair the Core if you break it.

Creating profiles are fine but I just set the line width to the nozzle size and I'm done. That's the only parameter I've changed so far (more about temperature below).

The gap in the red cooling fins is for tooling grip as stated and to make it easier to change out the teflon if customers want to do that.

I was worried about a 0.8mm nozzle and a mere 25W heater so I did tests and I got underextrusion (around 16mm^3/sec) before I got any temperature issues. Even with me printing at 32mm^3/sec (I had to assist the feeder by lifting the filament before it enters the feeder hard enough to lift the printer off the table) I got no "heater error" problems.

This upgrade may seem expensive but it's like you are getting several cores in one. And if you print CF filament this is a much cheaper solution.

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I only autoleveled once ever and haven't tried it since.  It should be fine as it's the autoleveling system uses a special sensor in the head and doesn't rely on electrical characteristics of the nozzle.  Also the 3dsolex block and nozzles are made out of the same material (brass) as UM block and nozzles.  It's just that 3dsolex coated their parts with a chrome finish (outside only - not inside).

However the design that Neotko mentioned might have a little trouble since the sensor will be farther from the bed due to longer nozzle.  I mean the longer nozzles are probably fine - I don't know.

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Believe me - 3dsolex did not want to have to make a custom nozzle for this. This means all new tooling, more stock to keep track of, it's not a good thing for 3dsolex.

It was done to keep the height the same so you can still use the existing silicone dam (or block or whatever it's called) and so the 2 nozzles are close to the same height if you only put a 3dsolex in one side.

But since it has to be custom, the finer thread pitch is a bonus for a few reasons which I'm not allowed to disclose.

Anyway if you are in USA I just put the hardcore up on my store a few minutes ago. Unfortunately I have only my own 3 cores and don't want to give you those so you need to ship me a core and I will upgrade it. Until I can build up an inventory of cores or until 3dsolex has all the necessary parts. I can send you a free mailer.

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0p6-0p4-0.25layer.thumb.png.83f989671def8be5f29762239e583e11.png

And another rough big print, 0.6 nozzle for the silver, 0.25 layers.

And another warning.... like I said, don't use the supplied tools, you really want things to be tight.... cause IF you get a leak, now matter how small the chance may be.... cleaning it will be a lot harder than on the UM2......... the Ultimaker 3 head is not as easy to take apart

0p6-0p4-0.25layer.thumb.png.83f989671def8be5f29762239e583e11.png

Edited by Guest
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I have been testing some new " EVERLAST " nozzles with Ruby/Sapphire tips based on the "Matchless" nozzle for the UM2, so far my favourite is the 0.6mm it just flows so well.

The need to do an Atomic clean is greatly reduced only necessary if changing materiel type, so just a different colour of PLA no problem. The combination of the new nozzle and " Matchless" print head do not seem to hang on to filament at all

This is a great step forward - more great work by @Swordriff

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Hi all, newbie here. I'm a bit spoilt by the UM3 because all prints I've done with the machine straight out of the box have been brilliant. In order to be able to print with carbon fibre filament I got myself a HardCore and Everlast nozzles. I'm having a raft of problems sadly, so I'm hoping some of the people involved could chime in.

 

For now I'm testing with Ultimaker PLA, not yet even trying alternative filaments until the standard stuff works.

 

1. Extremely thin first layer. Auto-leveling is on by default and it finishes the procedure without complaint. I can't do a calibration print either because other than some indistinct smudges I get no actual print.

2. Underextrusion. Things improve if I crank the temperature during a print but even the highest setting of 230 deg is borderline.

 

Maybe the first problem is that Cura doesn't allow me to select the HardCore. It shows up on top of the drop-down as "auto:HardCore" but nothing happens when I click on it. So my tests were done with the AA0.4 selected.

 

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Selecting AA 0.4 is fine.  (note I am the distributor for 3dsolex for usa).

 

I have no idea what's up with autoleveling - it should work fine.  The UM3 has a sensor in the head behind the nozzles at the base of the head and it keeps moving the bed up until the capacitance stops changing which is when the nozzle just touches the glass.  Then it knows exactly the point where the nozzle touches the glass.  I don't know how this could screw up.

 

Grasping at straws here but maybe your head door isn't closed all the way making the capacitive part not parallel with the bed.  I had to push up on the wires a bit such that when you close the head the hardcore wires are out of the way.  I doubt this is it.

 

Personally I have never used auto calibration.  I adjust the z height when printing the first layer - I turn the 3 screws until it's perfect (I do this during skirt or brim).  After a few prints I can then go months without touching the screws or doing any kind of calibration.

 

1) If you push down on the bed while it's doing the bottom layer - does it suddenly all squirt out?  If so you are indeed too close to the glass.  Just turn the 3 screws tighter to lower.  If pushing down on the glass results in nothing still coming out of the nozzle then autolevel isn't the problem.

2) It could be that leveling too close has caused the filament to grind back at the feeder.  I would cut 5cm off the end of the filament and try again.

3) There could be something wrong with the hardcore - I have no idea what as I have inspected hundreds.  but you could just send it to 3dsolex and ask for a replacement.  Carl/swordriff will replace it regardless of who your reseller was:

attention @swordriff

 

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Hi Gr5, thanks for the quick reply. The Hardcore came straight from Carl.

I tried pushing on the plate and indeed this causes material to squirt out, but not a lot. So I let the print continue in spite of the flimsy first layer. What happened then was that the material seemed to have some sort of rubbery consistency, coming out in blobs that were pushed around a bit but didn't stick cleanly. Halfway through the test print I upped the temperature in stages, up to 230 degrees and then I got near normal performance.

So it looks like a combination of two factors.

 

What I'll try next is to put the ice nozzle back in (I was impatient and wanted to try the everlasts right away) and print again. That'll be tomorrow (CET here). Will post an update and some pics then. Thanks again.

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I recommend turning the 3 screws under the build bed 1/3 turn to the right!
Also check that no cable is broken which goes to the sensor in the head, actually in the door.  
These are in the back, and have been known to brak after opening the door many many times.

 

I recommend turning the screws 1/3 to the right and use manual bed levelling

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