Installation Instructions for i3-style Printers

Photos of Wanhao Duplicator i3 – your printer may vary slightly

PLEASE READ: The instructions below are for i3-style units with our “finned mounting block”. If you have the flat mounting block, please see our original instructions here: v1 instructions

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

Install thermal sensor: put end of sensor in the smallest hole it will fit in (there is another hole hiding under the red silicone flap.) Using the supplied screw and silicone washer, clamp sensor in place. If you have a thread-in screw, there are M3, M4, and M5 holes available to you. Slide heater in place and clamp it down so that it doesn’t slip.

Step 4 - 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 5 - 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 6 - Install drive roller 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 7 - Install assembly to X-carriage

Install the mounting block to the X-carriage with the two screws from Step 1. Install motor assembly WITHOUT the stock heatsink. Insert hotend, applying upward pressure, and tighten the clamping screw between fan blades. This may seem like a lot of pressure, but it is correct. NEVER trim the PTFE tube.

Step 8 - 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. Remember to use both wrenches to hold the barrel and nozzle simultaneously. If you have a clamping mounting block, you can use just one wrench to tighten the nozzle. 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 - 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.