Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

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Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby Th3W0lf3 » 2016-Oct-Tue-12-Oct

I have owned my Metal Plus for over a year now. We have had great struggles and great triumphs together. I can happily say that I can print most anything without a worry and am very much satisfied and astounded with the quality and precision of my prints now.

So, time to shake things up.

I want to upgrade to a dual extruder setup so that I can print water soluble filament. I am getting really into printing miniatures. I have had fantastic results with minis that don't require much support material, but of course this isn't good enough. I want to be able to print anything using all the support material in the world without a loss in quality.
So, to the point..

Does anyone have any information or knowledge to share on upgrading to a dual extruder Metal Plus? The kit is no longer available, but I imagine the parts are still there. Should I print my own mounting bracket? How is my gcode going to change? How do you "tell" each extruder which part of the print it is going to be doing?

Forgive me if these questions have been answered before. I would really like to put together a comprehensive guide after all of this, since I can't seem to find one anywhere since Printrbot stopped supporting the upgrade. I appreciate any and all responses!
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby Swood333 » 2016-Oct-Wed-12-Oct

Disclaimer: I have no actual experience with this process but I have looked into it in depth as of late myself for the same reasons as you.

From my understanding on the slicing side you increase the number of extruders in your software and tell the slicer which "color/material" or which to use for support in your prepared model. If you're printing multi colored model the model itself has to be blended/stacked together from multiple stl's. See the Youtube vid "Making a dual material AMF file with Cura" for an example.


You can print the required components but I've never been a fan of printed components holding my hotend. Just seems like flirting with eventual disaster. From my research the hardest part is calculating the offsets for each extruder in XY&Z.

I, personally, decided to hold off till after Nov and see how the Prusa multi extruder board and system works out. It allows up to 4 color material combinations through one extruder nozzle so no loss of print bed or hours of calibrating offsets. Albeit I'd have to convert to bowden extrusion which isn't ideal but worth it for the added capabilities. I'm hoping it can be modded to work with the Metal Plus. We'll see. You can look it up on YouTube under the title "Original Prusa i3 MK2 Multi Material upgrade release - dual/quad extrusion" I evidently don't have enough cred to post url's..lol
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby musk » 2016-Oct-Wed-19-Oct

I have the bracket and probably the probe available, PM sent.
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Oct-Wed-20-Oct

Swood333 wrote:I evidently don't have enough cred to post url's..lol

Thank your friendly neighborhood spammer man for that.

I'd try starting with a two color version of the single hot end extruder, lots easier to get to work, and you don't need to pay the whole new controller board tax along with the 3 extra driver chip board. Then, if you like it, go whole hog and spend the time and money to Rambo.

I plan to try the 2 color version on a Thingybot using the spare pololu on it's RAMPS board, but wonder just what can-o-worms that will open up with the firmware, what with one hot end thermistor but two motors...

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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby Th3W0lf3 » 2016-Oct-Thu-08-Oct

Swood333 wrote:From my understanding on the slicing side you increase the number of extruders in your software and tell the slicer which "color/material" or which to use for support in your prepared model.

Yes! I did a bit of easy research and tinkered with Repetier to find those settings. As fun as the whole multicolor business seems, I probably won't be messing with that since I paint all of my minis by hand. Looks easy enough to just tell the software "make all support material come from Extruder 2".

Swood333 wrote:You can print the required components but I've never been a fan of printed components holding my hotend. Just seems like flirting with eventual disaster.

Very much agree with this. I've had my fan shroud melt before- that was a real treat. Would hate to see that happen to any structural component.

Swood333 wrote:I, personally, decided to hold off till after Nov and see how the Prusa multi extruder board and system works out. It allows up to 4 color material combinations through one extruder nozzle so no loss of print bed or hours of calibrating offsets.

As awesome as that sounds (really awesome!), I think I'd like to keep separate temp control over the support material. I'm grabbing a metal bracket from musk over here and should be on my way to getting this rig going soon!
I'm sure I'll be back with more questions (:
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby carre55 » 2016-Nov-Tue-16-Nov

I'm just in the process of removing my second head because is catches the print often either chipping it off or ruins the whole thIngearly on
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby KD6HQ » 2016-Nov-Mon-14-Nov

For what it's worth.

So far I have found that there are at least two very critical things when trying to use dual hot ends. 1. Your bed has to be very level, I don't think the standard aluminum bed will be level enough. Unless you have it specifically machined to be level. 2. The Z height of the nozzles must be the same, not almost the same but the same. This may take several hours to accomplish. So do some research and see what others have done as far as hot end mounting goes for your printer.

This is perhaps the best reason to try one of the Y adapters or hot ends such as the Cyclops type of hot end. It allows for two filaments but only one nozzle. Therefore only one nozzle to adjust.

https://www.filastruder.com/products/chimera-cyclops

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1494026

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:330757


Not available yet but worth a look.
https://www.distechautomation.com/produ ... eus-system

good luck.
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby pellhall » 2017-Mar-Sat-13-Mar

Bumping the thread here- Has anyone collected any documentation or info for the firmware/software setup for the Dual Extruder install?

I bought the kit when it was available, but by the time I got around to installing it, the boys at PB had taken down the instructions for the kit, if they were ever posted. I'm mostly interested in using it for soluble supports. I've done the mechanical parts of the install, and am pretty confident I have the Extrudrboard wired up right, but don't know what, if any, firmware and/or software changes need to be made. so far I'm thinking I'll need to-
- reset my probe offsets
-add build area start code to M211 X230 Y254 Z254
-Tell R/H or Cura there's another extruder
-Get a bigger single rail ATX power supply, as the existing can hardly heat the bed as it is, let alone with another hot end.

But I can't help but wonder if the Printrboard needs a firmware change to recognize the Extrudrboard. I've not seen a dual extruder firmware listed though.

Anyone been here & done this that has any advice? I'm running a model 1412 with the F5 printrboard.
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Re: Metal Plus Dual Extruder Upgrade

Postby PxT » 2017-Mar-Sun-23-Mar

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