3D Printers

E3D releases SuperVolcano 3D printer hotend upgrade

Award winning OEM E3D Online has launched the SuperVolcano 3D printer. An update in the company’s Volcano series, launched in 2014, the SuperVolcano is designed to address slow print times of large scale 3D printers. Compared to standard E3D V6 hotends, this new toolhead has a volumetric throughput up to 11 times higher. The hotend can also save crucial hours in the 3D printing process.

A comparison of the different benchies printed with the different E3D hotends. Image via E3D.
A comparison of the different sized benchies printed with the E3D hotends. Image via E3D.

Putting 3D Benchy to the test

To demonstrated the improvements made in the SuperVolcano, E3D conducted a series of print-tests for each of its hotends using the 3D Benchy model in varying sizes. As a large scale print, the 500% Benchy was the best piece for a like-for-like comparison of the tools. Each with a nozzle orifice diameter of 0.8mm, track width of 0.96 mm and track height of 0.35 – the V6 produced a 500% Benchy in 17h 5 mins, the Volcano in 14 hrs 6 mins, and the SuperVolcano 12 hrs 53 mins – a significant increase in print speed.

Further, in the only demonstration of a 926% scaled Benchy (44cm high) the SuperVolcano was able to achieve a volumetric throughput of 6600 mm³ per minute, taking 19 hrs 45 mins to complete. Full test results across the whole 3D printed fleet can be ssen n the table below.

Table depicting the different benchmarks for E3D's hotends. Image via E3D.
Table depicting the different benchmarks for E3D’s hotends. Image via E3D.

Achieving large scale 3D printing at speed

To achieve the 3D prints in these tests, E3D also implemented a few health and safety precautions as a result of the increased printing speeds. 80W heaters were required in order to prevent under extrusion of the filament. E3D supplied the 12V version of the SuperVolcano with a mosfet switch to stop the printer boards from melting. The SuperVolcano also comes equipped with a nickel plated copper block, which has been tested to remain solid under intense heat, in the event of thermal runaway from the 80W heater. Furthermore, the SuperVolcano features a piece of high temperature fiberglass sleeving, in order to aid the thermal performance. This sleeve insulates the copper block with the ability to withstand continuous operating temperatures of 260°C.

After having completed the test prints for the SuperVolcano, E3D implemented the hotend on a Creality CR-10 S5 3D printer to produce jigs for its assembly lines. The SuperVolcano was able to produce enough jigs and holders for a production line in just a few days, including E3D’s XY plates and X bar storage units. According to E3D, it would have taken an entire week to produce all the parts needed with a single machine unequipped with its SuperVolcano.

The XY plate being used in E3D's assembly lines, 3D printed using the SuperVolcano. Images via E3D.
The XY plate being used in E3D’s assembly lines, 3D printed using the SuperVolcano. Images via E3D.

E3D developing for FDM/FFF 3D printing

Previously, E3D has also developed a range of products for high-temperature 3D printing in order to bring the engineering-grade PAEK filament to desktop 3D printers. The products released include a hotend heater cartridge and heater bed, developed to help FDM/FFF machines to maintain the temperature requirements to print PAEK.

Most recently, the OEM released its skunkworks slicer software Pathio. The company describe Pathio as “A totally new core slicing engine that ‘does things right’ from the outset, built around a 3D first approach and a solid understanding of how extrusion-based 3D printing works at a fundamental level.” Still in its Beta stage, it is currently available to try for free.

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Featured image shows a comparison of the different sized benchies printed with the E3D hotends. Image via E3D.