Installation Instructions for Replicator-style Printers

PLEASE NOTE: These instructions are for the standard dual extruder. If you have the HT version with a finned mounting block, your procedure will vary slightly:

  • You may install your mounting block first (independently from the hotends).
  • When installing the motors to the mounting block, do not use your stock heatsinks. Continue to use the spacers that previously went between the fan and the heatsink.
  • When installing the hotends, press them up firmly until they stop against the mounting block, and tighten the clamping screw between the fan blades. This may seem like a lot of pressure, but it is correct. NEVER trim the PTFE tube.

These instructions will be update more thoroughly soon.

Photos of Flashforge Creator Pro – your printer may vary slightly

Works with:

  • Makerbot Replicator 2X
  • Flashforge Creator Pro
  • Monoprice Dual Extrusion
  • Powerspec Ultra
  • QiDi 3DP QDA16
  • Malyan M180
  • Flashforge Dreamer
  • Other clones

What you will need:

  • 1.5mm, 2mm, and 2.5mm hex wrench.

What you might need:

  • Crescent wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Scissors
    • 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.

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 5b - 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 6 - Install hotend to mounting block

There are two standard hole spacings for the mounting block of replicator-style printers. Compare the Flexion mounting block to the mounting block you just removed and make sure that the same hole spacings are facing down. The large barrel hole should be toward the front of the printer. Insert the hotend assembly in the bottom of the mounting block and push until it stops (barrel is self-aligning). With the barrel pressed firmly against the mounting block, tighten the set screw (or clamp screw for HT version).

Step 7 - Install assembly to X-carriage

Install lower assembly to the X-carriage with the two screws provided.

Insert PTFE tube in the barrel.

 

Step 8 - 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 9 - 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 10 - 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 11 - Install motor

Slide motor assembly vertically over PTFE tube. Slide fan/heatsink assembly (no heatsink required for HT version) on the mounting block, and begin threading one screw (do not tighten). Thread in and tighten the other screw (you will need to put some downward pressure on the motor – this is by design). Tighten the first screw.

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.)

DOWNLOAD STL

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, or within 1mm. 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.