40mm cooling fan duct for Smart Effector - thoughts?

  • I hate the whining noise the small 30mm heatsink cooling fans make so always try to replace them with Noctua fans. I've been working on a set for the SmartEffector - one for the standard e3v6 nozzle and one for the Volcano.

    Mindful that the larger fans cause the probe sensor to trigger for some I was keen to decouple the fan from the probe as much as possible.

    This is my one for the standard nozzle. It attaches underneath the PCB using two of the ball mount screws. It only touches the PCB with 2x 12mm round pads around those screws.

    I haven't yet tested it as I need to convert the fan power to 12V but I thought I'd share to see if anyone can see something I'm missing that will cause problems with this idea. Once I've tested them I'll happily release these if there is interest.


  • Nice design, just thought about designing an 40mm fan duct myself right after powering the annoying 30mm fan on the first time.
    I had an 40mm fan with a duct on my old effector which worked without problems and was much more silent.

    One suggestion: it looks like the 40mm fan is all but blocked about 15mm on the side of the heat block. It looks like there is enough space to make an angle there so its proberly ducted to the heatsink.

    Looks like this was printed in nylon? Would be my preference too, as it reduces vibration an is heat resistant.

    I'm looking forward to the release of your files.
    Which program did you use to design this?

  • I used Designspark Mechanical - a free CAD programme from RS.

    I've just used some old PLA while I prove the design. The final will be printed in PETG - I've not had great success with Nylon.

    My thoughts on the narrowing before opening up again on the duct is that by doing so I force more air into contact with the cooling fins for longer. The inlet hole (where the circular duct meets the triangular bit) is the same area as the outlet so I don't think adds extra resistance. The speed of air through the duct is quite low and the Noctua fans have higher than average static pressure so we'll see how that goes.

    Anyway, this is all about small changes and failing fast so if it doesn't work I'll change it!


  • A preview of the one for the Volcano. It has a mount for a 40x20 layer cooling fan on the one side.

    I wonder if electrical interference from the fans will be an issue….....?


  • administrators

    The side that is sensitive to EMI is the side with the SMD components and the 2x3 programming pads. The other 2 sides are not sensitive. So ideally, keep the fans away from that side. Unfortunately the other 2 sides have connectors on the underside, so that's not easy.

  • Thanks, David, that is the side I'm mounting this over. On the Volcano version the Noctua is near the SMD devices (but just outside the extent of the PCB) but the blower fan further away so I guess it depends on how much EMF the Noctua radiates.

    On the standard v6 version, the Noctua is directly over the SMD devices. This is very easy to redesign and extend further out but will be a good test of the electrical quietness of the Noctua fans.

    I'm looking forward to trying these - the part I'm not looking forward to is opening up the base of my delta to change the fans from 24V to 12V even though the electrical change is simple!


  • Noctua fans with high pressure are my favourites, too. If these were only available in 24V 😞
    It might be possible to use a 12V z-diode attached on the fan cables to reduce the voltage from 24V to 12V, so the other parts can still work with 24V.

  • It is easy with the Duet - all I need do there is remove the jumper on the Duet and add a 12V positive to the centre pin (V_Fan) . It is opening the box up that I'm not looking forward to!


  • one thing else I have just noticed on your effector is that the fibre washer is meant to go on the top side under the nut not where you have it and I suspect your heatsink is very well constrained as you have it cos the 12mm locating ring isn't in the pub.


  • Thanks, Doug, I've sorted it now - I should have checked the manual!


  • administrators

    Noctua makes 5V fans too, so another option is to use 5V fans throughout.

  • @dc42:

    Noctua makes 5V fans too, so another option is to use 5V fans throughout.

    My Duet cooling fans are 12V so it is easy to do - once I get the case opened (and that is nothing to do with the Duet, it is all my own doing!)


  • Here is my 'final' (is anything ever final in 3D printing? 🙂 ) design for the Volcano. Still to be tested on the printer.

    Perspective is misleading in that last photo - the Noctua fan inner edge is parallel with the edge of the board.

    I will add a printed retaining mount to the blower fan and then a set of aluminium tusks for layer cooling.

    The only place this mount touches the PCB is on the 4 11mm nut retaining tabs. It barely touches the heatsink so I'm not expecting it to degrade probing.


  • Now fully loaded and waiting for me to convert the fan supply on the Duet to 12V

    I must only still add the tusks to the fan - a 6mm aluminium tube either side should be easily achievable, I think.

    Should be interesting to test it.


  • as an option i have created 40 mm fan bracket to replace original one (30*30)
    it fits with original model cooling fan duct.


  • Nice!
    I'm just printing one and found two minor problems:

    • Simplify3D hangs up if using more than 2 perimeters (tried multiple times)
    • The text on the side is too small to be printed, there are only artefacts visible

  • Just mounted it and fits perfectly, thx c310!
    Additionally it doesn't interfere with the touch sensor like the 30mm fan did, so no need to turn the fan of during autocalibrating

    I'm slightly worried it could slip down, would be nice if it had a hinge above the top most full cooling fin of the heatsink and prevents it from slipping down.

  • My development and testing is delayed as I'm waiting for a new Nimble for the Volcano. I'll report back once I receive that and get it mounted.


  • @RGN01:

    Now fully loaded and waiting for me to convert the fan supply on the Duet to 12V






    I must only still add the tusks to the fan - a 6mm aluminium tube either side should be easily achievable, I think.

    Should be interesting to test it.


    I'm using a 40mm fan duct adapter , and I noticed that the nimble mount nut below is blocking it from being mounted properly. How are you mounting the nimble?, are you using a nut? Do you have the STL for this ?

  • My Nimble is mounted using one of the adapters from Shapeways, 3mm cap screws and 1/2 nuts below the board. My design incorporates a recess for the one bolt and nut.

    Yes, I have the STL (it is my design) but it is untested at this time as I need to wait for another Nimble and have to convert the fan voltage to 12V from 24V. I hope to do that this weekend.

    I'm happy to put the STL on Thingiverse on the understanding it is still WIP. Which one are you interested in? The one for the v6, or the Volcano one with layer fan?



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