Installation Instructions for Replicator-style Printers
PLEASE NOTE: These instructions are for the finned mounting block. If you have a flat mounting block (original dual extruder kits and Makerbox 2x kits), please find your instructions here
Photos of Flashforge Creator Pro – your printer may vary slightly
What you will need:
- 1.5mm, 2mm, and 2.5mm hex wrench.
What you might need:
- Crescent wrench
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Aluminum Foil
Step 1 - Remove old extruder from X-carriage
Detach the extruder assembly from the X-carriage by removing 2 screws from underneath the carriage. Remove the motor connector.
Step 2 - Remove motor from mounting block
Remove the motor mounting screws. Make sure you don’t lose the fan/heatsink spacers. You can wrap some tape around the screws to prevent the parts from falling off.
Step 3 - Disassemble hotend
Completely remove the heater cartridge set screw and pull out heater cartridge. Remove barrel set screw and separate mounting block from barrel (this can be difficult if the barrel has been damaged by the screw. Heating up the mounting block will help.) Remove thermal sensor (if it is a screw-in thermal sensor like the one shown here, be sure to rotate the heater block, not the wire.)
Step 4 - Install temperature sensor
Make sure you are installing the temperature sensor on the correct side. Look at your old heater block and try to match it. There are a number of different mounting methods, and the Flexion heater block should be compatible with all of them. If your sensor sits loosely in the hole, we recommend using the screw provided to clamp it in place. If the sensor is a screw-in type, rotate the heater block, not the wire. Hotend shown here without insulation. Insulation comes pre-installed.
Step 5 - Install heater cartridge
Try to put your heater in the heater block with the brass sleeve. If it is snug (6mm heater), go ahead and clamp it in place. If it pushes out the brass sleeve and is snug without it (0.25″ heater, seen on Makerbots), then clamp. If your heater is too big for the sleeve but is loose in the hole without it (0.25″ undersized heater), wrap the heater with a single layer of aluminum foil and insert it. It should be snug.
Step 6 - Install mounting block and hotend
The mounting block is reversible, with two different hole spacings. Find the side that fits your printer and bolt it to your carriage. Insert the hotend assembly in the bottom of the mounting block and push until it stops (barrel is self-aligning). The top of the barrel should be flush with the top of the mounting block. With the barrel pressed firmly upward, tighten the clamp screw.
Step 7 - 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, 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 8 - 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 9 - Install drive gear to motor
Slide drive gear onto motor shaft. Rotate cam to position 4 and insert a length of filament between drive gear and idler (it may be necessary to tighten one of the set screws and rotate the shaft with the crescent wrench). Tighten the Cam adjust screw so that the filament is held tightly. Rotate the drive gear so that a set screw is aligned with the flat of the shaft and tighten the set screw. If the shaft is round, tighten both set screws.
Step 10 - Install motor
Slide motor assembly vertically over the PTFE tube. Discard the heatsink that came with your fan assembly, and install the fans and spacers to the mounting block, tightening the screws into the stepper motor. It is OK if you need to put some downward pressure on the stepper motor (moving the cam to position 4 will ease this). This is by design to ensure that the PTFE maintains pressure against the nip point.
Step 11 - Sealing your Hotend
Hotends come torqued out-of-the-box, but it is still recommended to heat your extruder to ~200°C and retighten the barrel to the nozzle. This will eliminate any chance that the hotend could leak. It is OK if it doesn’t rotate. Don’t overtighten – you could break the barrel at the heat break.
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 - Feed tube and wire harness holder
You might have a feed tube for a filament spool mounted low. There is a threaded hole on the Arm designed to allow the installation of a feed tube holder and/or harness strain relief. We recommend using Semiflex for the print. You download the STL file below. (There is no screw provided for this.)
Bonus step - Replacing Nozzle
Heat up the hotend to 200C. Unscrew the nozzle with the supplied wrench. Thread the new nozzle in until it is in contact with the heater block, or within 1mm. Use the wrench to torque the nozzle while the hotend is hot. The nozzle must be tight because it creates a seal against the barrel to prevent material from oozing out.