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Installation Instructions for i3-style Printers

Photos of Wanhao Duplicator i3 – your printer may vary slightly

PLEASE READ: These instruction are for mounting blocks with a flat front, which require heatsinks for normal operation. If you have our finned heatsink, then you are in the wrong place. Your instructions are here.

What you will need:

  • 1.5mm, 2mm, and 2.5mm hex wrench.

What you might need:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Crescent wrench
  • Scissors
    • Aluminum foil

Step 1 - Remove old extruder from X-carriage

Remove the fan and motor from the mounting block. Remove the cooling fan from the X-carriage. Remove the mounting block from the X-carriage, and set the screws aside.

Step 2 - Disassemble hotend

Remove thermal sensor (if it is a screw-in thermal sensor like [not shown], be sure to rotate the heater block, not the wire.) If there is a padded washer, save the padding. Loosen the heater cartridge set screw and pull out heater cartridge.

Step 3 - Assemble hotend

Push barrel into mounting block until it stops (not mounting block orientation in photo). Tighten set screw. Install thermal sensor: put end of sensor in the smallest hole it will fit in. Using the supplied screw (and the padding, if you saved one from Step 2), clamp sensor in place. If you have a thread-in screw, rotate the hotend, not the wire.

Step 4 - Install heater

Your heater should fit in the heater block – if it is snug, tighten the clamping screw. If you have a 6mm heater, you will need to use the brass shim. If you have an undersized 1/4″ heater, you will need to wrap it with a single layer of aluminum foil before clamping.

Step 4b - Install insulation

If you plan to use a cooling fan, you should insulate the hotend. Remove the nozzle and barrel (not necessary, but easier). Stretch the red insulator over the heater block. Install the nozzle so that it is tight against the heater block, then back off 1/4 turn. Retighted the nozzle and barrel firmly together with the wrenches – these two parts make a seal so they must be tight.

Step 5 - Prepare motor

Remove the drive assembly from your stepper motor (hold the lever tight when removing the hinge screw). Thread one of the shoulder screws into the stepper motor. If it seats on the face of the motor, go to step 9. If it doesn’t (this is a rare problem), you need to shorten the backside motor screws. Remove the two upper screws, put a washer under each (included in Flexion box under foam), and reinstall screw

Step 6 - Install components to motor

Install Arm to upper-left motor screw with shoulder screw provided. Install Cam to upper-right motor screw with should screw provided. Make sure both screws are seated firmly.

Step 7 - Install assembly to X-carriage

Install lower assembly to the X-carriage with the two screws from Step 1. Insert PTFE tube in the barrel. Slide motor assembly over PTFE tube and install motor screws. (For HT version, install the fan and spacers WITHOUT the heatsink.) You must apply some downward pressure on the motor while tightening the screws – this is by design. Install cooling fan if applicable.

Bonus step - Upper PTFE guide

The upper PTFE feed tube is optional. It helps to align filament when loading, which can be difficult with rigid materials like PLA. Place the PTFE tube sharp-side down, so that the contour fits between the idler and the roller.

For an advanced maneuver, try “hot-swapping” your filament. Put a new length in as the last one is just ending. This is risky, especially if you have high retraction set, but fun.

Bonus step - Replacing Nozzle

Remove the entire extruder assembly from the X-carriage by unscrewing the two mounting block screws. Using the two included wrenches, unscrew the nozzle while applying counter-pressure to the barrel. Thread the new nozzle in until it is in contact with the heater block, then back off 1/4 turn. Use the wrenches to torque the nozzle while applying counter-pressure to the nozzle. The nozzle must be tight because it creates a seal against the barrel to prevent material from oozing out.