E3D Cyclops

Talk about modifications to the printer

E3D Cyclops

Postby praedor » 2014-Dec-Fri-01-Dec

Hi Guys,

I've just ordered an E3D Cyclops switching hotend, (xmas pressy from wife), so will soon have to get to grips with setting up my ramps board (been lying unused in a box for 6 months lol) and mod a new front end to take the Cyclops.

I'm just not sure if I should use a bowden setup or go for dual direct drive's (like the new Simple twin gear extruder).

Just how reliable are the various bowden setups these days, last time I looked, most were having problems getting consistent extruding.

Any comments, suggestions would really help.
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby killbox » 2014-Dec-Fri-17-Dec

it would be very hard to DD a cyclops, it would require at the minimal a totally redesigned extruder with the two gear sets a couple of mm apart from photos i've looked at. better bet would be bowden.

also keep in mind that most software isn't going to like the cyclops. because you have one input and output but two different lines of code. so i'm not sure how you would set up the tool settings. and i don't think multi-material is possible with this set up. you can always try but be careful.
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby praedor » 2014-Dec-Fri-19-Dec

Thanks for responding killbox.

killbox wrote:it would be very hard to DD a cyclops, it would require at the minimal a totally redesigned extruder with the two gear sets a couple of mm apart from photos i've looked at. better bet would be bowden.


I know Direct drive would be a problem, but I'm quite handy with Tinkercad, so I'm sure I could mod an existing extruder to work with the Cyclops if I decide to go the Direct drive route.

killbox wrote:also keep in mind that most software isn't going to like the cyclops. because you have one input and output but two different lines of code. so i'm not sure how you would set up the tool settings. and i don't think multi-material is possible with this set up. you can always try but be careful.


I'm not sure what you mean here, Repetier supports dual extruders with a mixing hot end and will import and slice multi colour files = multi material output I'm guessing.

Has anyone on here tried multi-extruders with Repetier and a Simple for multi-colour prints ?
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby killbox » 2014-Dec-Fri-19-Dec

i'm not talking about the slicing. i'm talking about tool switching.

See the the slicer will put out code for both extruders, the problem is you have two extruder MOTORS but ONE HOTEND. so how do you tell the computer that you are using the same hotend but print with two different extruders? Do you try to tack on a extra lead and plug your temp sensor into the second hotend sensor plug? or is there software out there that can handle this? or can you mess with the firmware to make this happen?

how will the retraction and switching be handled? can you print in two different materials? or even colors? I've had two colors change the printing temp by as much as 50C (same supplier) how will this be handled?

I'm not trying to be negative! I'm trying to be pro-active, I've been eyeing the cyclops too, and I'd love to hear what you think of it!
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby praedor » 2014-Dec-Fri-20-Dec

killbox wrote:i'm not talking about the slicing. i'm talking about tool switching.

See the the slicer will put out code for both extruders, the problem is you have two extruder MOTORS but ONE HOTEND. so how do you tell the computer that you are using the same hotend but print with two different extruders? Do you try to tack on a extra lead and plug your temp sensor into the second hotend sensor plug? or is there software out there that can handle this? or can you mess with the firmware to make this happen?

how will the retraction and switching be handled? can you print in two different materials? or even colors? I've had two colors change the printing temp by as much as 50C (same supplier) how will this be handled?

I'm not trying to be negative! I'm trying to be pro-active, I've been eyeing the cyclops too, and I'd love to hear what you think of it!



Repetier handles the I/O with the 2 extruder motors and "knows" that there is just 1 hot end ( I will be using a ramps board with the printer - not the PB ).

At the moment I can only see a way to use the second extruder to generate support material, (something that will dissolve or be easily removed from the PLA),there are several suggestions on E3D's site.

I've still got to investigate software requirements for multi-colour printing which is my ultimate objective (Repetier doesn't support this as far as I can see) - unless anyone reading this knows better

As for temperature control, the Cyclops only has 1 heater/sensor as far as I know, so there is a requirement to use materials that have a similar operating temperature.

Edit:
I Just discovered how to use Slic3r with Repetier to produce multi-colour prints - IT's VERY LABORIOUS - I hope I can find something easier to use !!!
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby orangefurball » 2014-Dec-Sat-01-Dec

Killbox is right, the software might get confused by only having one temperature sensor. They being said, you can always fool the board into thinking two hotends are hooked.

#1 split the thermistor wiring into two connections on the ramps board so that it thinks its reading two thermistors that just happen to be at the exact same temperature

#2 attach another thermistor to the cyclops hot end close enough to the melt zone that it thinks its hot enough to extrude (avoid the minimum extrusion temperature error)

These are just what I could think of off the top of my head. Having one heater cartridge hooked up isn't the problem, if there is nothing to draw the current it just won't go anywhere, its all about the temperature reading.

No I would do do not go with DD. I use Bowden on my E3D v6 and it works as well as DD did for just about everything. The way the Cyclops is set up, it is basically designed to be Bowden. I'm not doubting your ability to mod some extruder files into fitting, it's just going to be easier and probably less of a hassle to go Bowden. And PTFE is relatively low cost.

Retraction problems, I would say no retraction should be required, but I'm sure E3D will have more to say on this.

For slicing two color prints, use Cura. Its stupid easy.

Now one BIG issue I see from your post is using dissolving materials. That's a big no with the cyclops. The cyclops is designed to do two color prints, because a bit of the material will get mixed in the melt zone, if you have two different types of plastic they will probably not mix well. To test this, I just left a but of ABS in my hotend and push PLA through, doesn't work well at all, not just because of temperature differences, but because of the fact that different plastic usually don't go well together.

I am really looking forward to your experience and hope all goes well with it
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby praedor » 2014-Dec-Sat-03-Dec

orangefurball wrote:Killbox is right, the software might get confused by only having one temperature sensor. They being said, you can always fool the board into thinking two hotends are hooked.

#1 split the thermistor wiring into two connections on the ramps board so that it thinks its reading two thermistors that just happen to be at the exact same temperature

#2 attach another thermistor to the cyclops hot end close enough to the melt zone that it thinks its hot enough to extrude (avoid the minimum extrusion temperature error)

These are just what I could think of off the top of my head. Having one heater cartridge hooked up isn't the problem, if there is nothing to draw the current it just won't go anywhere, its all about the temperature reading.


There is a setting in Repetier to deal with the dual extruder/single hotend scenario so it's only looking for 1 temp reading.

orangefurball wrote:No I would do do not go with DD. I use Bowden on my E3D v6 and it works as well as DD did for just about everything. The way the Cyclops is set up, it is basically designed to be Bowden. I'm not doubting your ability to mod some extruder files into fitting, it's just going to be easier and probably less of a hassle to go Bowden. And PTFE is relatively low cost.

Retraction problems, I would say no retraction should be required, but I'm sure E3D will have more to say on this.


I would prefer to use a Bowden, just remember a lot of flack about jamming and retraction issues in the past - so thanks for the positive comment based on your setup.

orangefurball wrote:For slicing two color prints, use Cura. Its stupid easy.


I will try Cura later on today - thanks for the heads up.

orangefurball wrote:Now one BIG issue I see from your post is using dissolving materials. That's a big no with the cyclops. The cyclops is designed to do two color prints, because a bit of the material will get mixed in the melt zone, if you have two different types of plastic they will probably not mix well. To test this, I just left a but of ABS in my hotend and push PLA through, doesn't work well at all, not just because of temperature differences, but because of the fact that different plastic usually don't go well together.

I plan to try both dissolving and easyily removeable - E3d's demo print doesn't show much cross contamination from either.

orangefurball wrote:I am really looking forward to your experience and hope all goes well with it


Thanks, hopefully I will be back enthusing about my findings (fingers crossed)
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby praedor » 2015-Jan-Thu-02-Jan

Just a wee update,

I've had a go at designing a dual motor front carriage for my forthcoming (hopefully soon) E3D Cyclops. I've decided to go direct drive at the moment and managed to Mod a thingiverse http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:307218dual%20extruder to accommodate the Cyclops and 2 Nema 14 steppers into a fairly compact front carriage assembly, it uses the same belt fixing point as Jon Lawrence's 300mm Y-axis no sag - so hopefully getting it to move won't be a problem.
I can't weigh the extruder stepper on the Pbot, but I'm guessing that the 2 Nema 14's are are a fair bit lighter (lighter - even in a pair !!). they weigh 133 grams each, the Nema 17's come in at 288 grams each which I reckon is lighter that the pbot extruder stepper.

As you will see in the attached pics, the carriage is located centrally on the Y-axis, because the carriage is only an inch deep, there was room to mount a 40mm fan on the back of the carriage, directly behind the extruder assembly, to keep it all cool - very important as I will be printing it in PLA.

So here are the pics - in this bunch just a general view of the assembly including non printed parts, the long rods at each and represent the filament path through the assembly.
PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 1.jpg

PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 2.jpg

PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 4.jpg

PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 3.jpg


Next - my pride and joy - not as organic and lovely as a Jon Lawrence creation, but I'm still chuffed with my main carriage.
PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 5.jpg


This is the modded extruder - it was originally for larger motors so I had a lot of modding to do on it to get it working with a Nema 14.
PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 6.jpg

PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 7.jpg


Next - the bit that holds every thing together and in line - and hopefully it won't melt on me. - it connects the extruder and hotend to each other and attaches to the main carriage.
PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 8.jpg


The arm for holding pressure on the filament via a bearing.
PB Simple Nema 14 Carriage Part 9.jpg

Just in case the Nema 14.'s don't have the oomph, I've also created a version for Nema 17's - problem there is that this may make the head too heavy - I won't know till I get it all together - just waiting on the Cyclops - every thing else is on the workbench.

Any comments or suggestions appreciated.
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby ppsieradzki » 2015-Jan-Thu-10-Jan

Please do post lots of pics!

I'm dying to know what the internal structure of the Cyclops is like.. is is just two holes drilled at angles? Since anything more complex wouldn't be able to be done with a CNC and a solid block of Aluminum..
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby praedor » 2015-Jan-Thu-16-Jan

ppsieradzki wrote:Please do post lots of pics!

I'm dying to know what the internal structure of the Cyclops is like.. is is just two holes drilled at angles? Since anything more complex wouldn't be able to be done with a CNC and a solid block of Aluminum..


The drawings are available here:- http://e3d-online.com/Multi-Extrusion/Cyclops - enjoy

PS - just finished printing it all - the bits seem to fit together OK and the Nema 14's look tiny on it.
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby rhercher » 2015-Jan-Mon-19-Jan

Looks gorgeous! Any ETA on the cyclops? Would love to see assembly pics
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby rhercher » 2015-Jan-Mon-19-Jan

ppsieradzki wrote:I'm dying to know what the internal structure of the Cyclops is like.. is is just two holes drilled at angles? Since anything more complex wouldn't be able to be done with a CNC and a solid block of Aluminum..

I couldn't find the pics Praedor mentioned, but the assembly instructions shows the user putting ball bearings into the heater block while at temp. In the announcement video they admit they can't drill sideways yet, so they drill in from the sides, and the ball bearings plug the heater block from leaking.

For the longest time, I thought the thermister under the black screw was a micro servo that opened and closed channels to two different melt chambers. :oops: I kept beating my head trying to figure out how you get the controller board to "switch" the filament path. KISS
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby wd5gnr » 2015-Jan-Tue-00-Jan

I've had my eye on this too. So how does it work? I have assumed it just pushes both filaments into one heater block and you'd retract the one you don't want before switching tools and then start pushing out the other material. When you switch back you retract again on the other side. I hadn't thought about the mixing of support but that's a negative. I am actually more interested in support than 2 color.
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby orangefurball » 2015-Jan-Tue-04-Jan

wd5gnr wrote:I've had my eye on this too. So how does it work? I have assumed it just pushes both filaments into one heater block and you'd retract the one you don't want before switching tools and then start pushing out the other material. When you switch back you retract again on the other side. I hadn't thought about the mixing of support but that's a negative. I am actually more interested in support than 2 color.


It does use a single heater block. Basically what happens is both filaments are pushed through a sort of Y shaped chamber, and the one not in use is slightly retracted to clear a path.

Now the problem comes when you actually start printing two materials/colors. There is always a little bit of plastic left in the nozzle that cannot get retracted because its too soft, so it just sticks around. So either one of two things happen.

1) your hotend will go to an area outside of your build plate and dump plastic until the color it needs comes trough (the length is predetermined by the user and remains somewhat consistent)

Or

2) there is a secondary object (usually a cube of some sort) where the plastic is dumped, except this time its into a shape and not just off of a build platform.

There is some wasted material but not much, I've never seen this exact hotend run but I did watch a video of a homemade one where it was basically two separate tubes going into one heater block. Same thing as the E3D but more DIY. I can't find the video now of course!
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby mechanizedmedic » 2015-Jan-Tue-13-Jan

richrap.blogspot.com has an old post about making and experimentation with a three-way hotend. Some if his results are really stunning, I highly suggest giving it a look.
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Re: E3D Cyclops

Postby wsguy » 2017-Jan-Tue-13-Jan

Any updates on your Cyclops installation? I've designed and built extruder for the Cyclops and tested it successfully with single extrusion but unfortunately my printrboard expansion was bad so was unable to drive the second extruder. Going to try again in the future. I have the extruder mothers set at 45% angle with short boden to each side of the Cyclops this allowed mounting on the Simple Metal without modification of the printrbot.
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