DIY Dual Extrusion

Dual extrusion 3D printers are not as uncommon as they used to be, but there are still a lot of single-extruder machines. [Paul Lang] wanted to refit his printer to take two MK8 extruders, and he documented his experience with a blog post that has a few good tips if you want to try it yourself.

[Paul] used Fusion 360 to design a holder for the extruders that would fit his printer. Since he had accidentally ordered a spool of pink PLA, the whole assembly is shocking pink — not subtle at all. He shares a few design tips about using PLA near the hot areas and making everything fit and level.

The results speak for themselves (see right). [Paul] says he still needs better offset calibration and he isn’t quite happy with the head changeover in the G-code. Still, the resulting prints look pretty good.

[Paul] did you an existing design for the Prusa-style backplate, and your printer might be different anyway. So his post is less of a how-to and more of the steps he took and the difficulties he had to work through. Your hacked printer will probably vary.

If you don’t want to do the work, you can just lie and say you did. That actually can fool the printer. Either way, if you need help creating multicolor models, we covered that earlier.

8 thoughts on “DIY Dual Extrusion

  1. I did one too a couple of years ago.
    I used 2x E3D V6 bowden extruders, a single fan and the holder is printed in ABS, has a mount for a servo auto bed leveling probe and slots for the wiring.
    http://www.makercentral.net/media/forum/CustomHotEnd.png

    I must admit I don’t really use it all that much. It’s difficult to get the height for both of them correctly as the holder can rotate a little bit. The software to produce dual color or material was very buggy and crash prone at the time. Maybe things have improved since then. I usually print functional stuff like mounts and adapters mostly so there’s not much point in more colors. Multi material can be interesting though. Flex and ABS for flex joints etc but I don’t have a real use for it that I can think of yet.

    1. Or PVA for water-soluble supports. We use our second extruder on our FF Creator Pro here at work for that – works great, as long as you get the heads aligned and offsets correct

    1. I got a range of colored PLA in small quantities, and a load of black 2.5KG and a load of white 1.5KG. that have lasted me years of modorate use. I tend to use black for most projects, and white + perminant marker for colored stuff. that said pink is great for test prints and test fittings where you need defects to stand out, I printed replacement retention clips and end caps for my restored SX64 in pink, and was half tempted to keep them on there. Historiacal accuracy won out on that one though.

  2. I also tried a dual extruder mod, involved replacing my melzi board with a ramps which I thought had poorer thermal management and was less relaible. v hard to collaborate also, Prusia has it right for dual extrusion, pump the materials all into the same nozzle, sames a lot of tinkering and works with a simple 3 point levelling process with a sheet of paper.

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