Best dual extrusion setup in your opinion?



  • I'm ready to make a change, again. I built my corexy a while back, Duet powered from the beginning, originally with a Titan Aero then switched to Bowden with E3D V6, then added a second extruder and have messed with a 2-1 splitter A LOT but like most people can't get it consistent.

    So, what should I do?

    • get my 2-1 working properly

    • E3D Chimera

    • E3D Cyclops

    • Give up on dual extrusion

    I do lots of multicolor prints and design my parts to faciliate changing color at a specific layer but would rather have some of my stuff true 2 color which is why I keep revisiting this.

    My current setup: 2x SeeMeCNC EZR-struders (love them), 1.9mm PTFE tubing to an SLA printed 2-1 splitter I designed that works great really, genuine E3D V6.

    I can do tool changes one after the other with extrusions between, but when I do an actual print the tip of the filament ends up a different shape and eventually jams in the splitter.


  • administrators

    I have dual extrusion in the form of a single head and 2 nozzles, like the Chimera. I don't recommend this setup because the non-printing nozzle leaves marks on the print. Also if you use this arrangement with all-metal hot ends, oozing from the non-printing head will be a problem (it isn't a problem using the PTFE-lined hot ends on my printer because I can use 10mm retraction with them). If I needed a good multi-extrusion machine, I would choose one of the following:

    • Single mixing extruder such as the Diamond or the Crane Quad. You can have 3, 4 or 5 colours. Good for multi-colour work, even though mixing doesn't work very well. Forum user deckingman is the expert on the Diamond in particular. No good for printing plastic in one material and support using a different material. I don't know whether the Cyclops can do actual mixing.

    • Tool changing, swapping the head depending on what material you want to use. You could even have both a mixing head and a separate head for support material.

    • IDEX, providing 2 heads on separate carriages, so that the non-printing head is moved out of the way. Again, you have the possibility of one mixing and one non-mixing hot end.



  • As @dc42 said:

    Toolchanger is probaly the ultimate setup

    The chimera is good if you need multimaterial

    Stay away from E3D Cyclops if you use PLA - I tried it, and due to the inactive extruder is baked at 200degrees while the other extrudes, it forms some hardend clog, so it dont work with PLA.

    The mixing Diamond / Crane quad, etc is nice for multi color, and mabye a good alternativ - But I would say, stick to 2-in-1 soulution you allready are trying unless your goal is multimaterial - then mabye a chimera



  • Thank you both for the input. IDEX is one option I forgot to include but something I'm not opposed to.



  • Actually you can print multi materials with a Diamond hot end - been there, done that, got the Tee shirt.

    A couple of caveats though. Obviously you have to set the mixing ratio to unity and because all filaments have to be retracted simultaneously, this can cause "unused" filaments to get worn down by the extruder - spring loaded extruders such as E3D Titans suffer from this but Bondtech BMGs don;t have that problem. Also, filaments which normally get printed at lower temperatures will get "cooked" when the temperature is raised to suit other filaments. But it's only that portion of filament in the melt chamber so purging about 30mm as part of the tool change routine will sort that out.

    It's a bit of a pain printing different materials on the same layer as you have to wait for the temperature to stabilise for each material - but you have to do that if you use separate nozzles/hot ends in any case.



  • Don't forget the Mosaic Palette. 4 in 1 out splicer. I have a Palette 2 Pro and it works fantastically well with a Duet when used in "hub" mode. The Palette software/firmware "previews" the G-Code that will ultimately be sent to the printer and decides where to splice. It also adds moves as required for a purge block.

    There are two ways to run a Palette 2nd generation:

    1. Direct mode, where the preview software produces a pair of files, one for the printer and one for the Palette itself. They keep in sync with each other via retracts. I have never made this mode work with the Duet. It would also kinda suck on a Duet because the printer file could be done via Web like always, but the Palette file must be transferred via SD card (in this mode... see below).

    2. Hub* mode, where a copy of Octoprint with a couple of Plugins provided by Mosaic allow the Hub to plug into both the Printer and the Palette. This works GREAT with the Duet. This is extremely easy to use and works very well.

    The Palette can be multi-color, multi-material. One nozzle, so normal caveats on temperature still apply. (To be clear, nothing is baking... no problems there... the colors/materials only need to be reasonably close in temp).

    It also has a mode called "multi-spool" for very long prints. No change to the printer on multi-spool, just put 2 or 3 or 4 spools, including partials, into the palette and tell it on the built in screen to run that way. Obviously works fine with the duet.

    Anyway, I've tried nearly all of the multi extruder, mixing, etc, etc. solutions and IMHO, they suck. Palette is the first thing that I believe I will use, and continue to use, because it works.

    .

    *Note: Mosaic sells a pre-built hub, but the hardware inside it is a Pi Zero. I say "but" because I bought one from them, and while it does work, it is sluggish. I highly recommend building your own on a Pi 3B or 3B+. Octoprint provides pre-built images for the Pi 3, and installing the plugins takes less than 2 minutes, via a menu on the web interface Octoprint. Very easy setup, and works great. Also, if you wish, a B3 will run a Pi camera just fine and produce timelapses, etc, etc.



  • I had a magnetic dual tool parking tool based on one from thingiverse https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1446731
    modified to work on my old anycubic prusa i3 clone without losing print area.
    It was working very good once the tool offset was adjusted correctly.
    Here are a few pictures of it (bowden): https://imgur.com/a/ZCPiut0
    I used it with direct extruder too: https://www.thingiverse.com/make:462322

    I have changed to a core xy with a bigger print area and using a y-adapter for now as I would have to change a lot on the carriage system to get a magnetic tool change working again similar to the one I had on my anycubic.
    Haven't used the dual y-adapter a lot but seems to be working ok.
    The magnetic one was a lot more fun and less settings (less retraction on tool change, no puge/prime) to care about.



  • @scachi said in Best dual extrusion setup in your opinion?:

    I had a magnetic dual tool parking tool based on one from thingiverse https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1446731
    modified to work on my old anycubic prusa i3 clone without losing print area.
    It was working very good once the tool offset was adjusted correctly.
    Here are a few pictures of it (bowden): https://imgur.com/a/ZCPiut0
    I used it with direct extruder too: https://www.thingiverse.com/make:462322

    I have changed to a core xy with a bigger print area and using a y-adapter for now as I would have to change a lot on the carriage system to get a magnetic tool change working again similar to the one I had on my anycubic.
    Haven't used the dual y-adapter a lot but seems to be working ok.
    The magnetic one was a lot more fun and less settings (less retraction on tool change, no puge/prime) to care about.

    @Scachi Can you share your tfree/pre/post files so I can compare against them?



  • @danal Yeah, Palette is super nice but a bit beyond what I'm wanting to spend right now - I'm revamping my lens collection as I'm getting more serious about photography.



  • @superjett Using this adapter: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3039887
    this are the settings I am using at the moment, only tested with petg.
    free

    ;tfree_Y.g - for Y-Adapter
    
    M83 		; relative extruder moves
    G1 E-4 F1000	; retract
    G90 		; absolute moves
    ;G1 X0 Y300 F12000 ; move to back left side of the bed
    ;
    ; purge bucket at X64 Y-18
    G1 X0 Y100 F12000 ; move to left side
    M400
    G1 X64 Y-18	; move to purge bucket
    M400
    G4 S2 		; pause two seconds
    G1 E-16 F1200 	; retract 16mm fairly slow (20mm in total)
    G1 E18 F3600 	; extrude 18mm to "pack" the stringing
    G1 E-200 F10000	; immediately pull back as fast as the extruder allows
    

    post

    ;tpost_Y.g - for Y-Adapter
    ;
    
    M83 ;relative extruder moves
    G1 E210 F8000; extruder from mm cool position to the tip
    G1 E5 F500; extruder slower
    G1 E5 F200; extruder even slower into the tip
    ; purge bucket at X64 Y-18
    G1 E20 F200; extrude old material
    G4 S1 		; pause 1 second
    G1 E-5 F1000 ; retract same amount as the slicer
    G1 X64 Y0 F6000 ; move over silicon lip
    G91		; relative moves
    


  • @scachi Thank you for the links and your code.

    I yank 3mm, ram it back in just under 3, wait 2 seconds, then yank 20 and ram 20 then yank 110mm total.

    During testing it works great, the filament ends looks great, everything is very smooth, but during printing it eventually has a bad stringing change at some point, normally once it gets out of the bottom solid layers so the layers print much quicker which may be part of the problem.



  • @danal Great information on the Mosaic Pallet, I have been interested in multi colored or a splicer for long prints. Their site says they currently do not communicate with Duet but as you say they can work together. Thanks, I will give it a try. I have been waiting for the E3D Tool Changer but the splicer appears to be a better option. Thanks, Ed



  • @dc42 said in Best dual extrusion setup in your opinion?:

    • Single mixing extruder such as the Diamond or the Crane Quad. ... No good for printing plastic in one material and support using a different material.

    Why no good for multi-material (switching, not mixing)?



  • @plasticmetal said in Best dual extrusion setup in your opinion?:

    @dc42 said in Best dual extrusion setup in your opinion?:

    • Single mixing extruder such as the Diamond or the Crane Quad. ... No good for printing plastic in one material and support using a different material.

    Why no good for multi-material (switching, not mixing)?

    See my post above (18 Jan, 14:24)



  • I've given up on dual extrusion for now, even went into config.g and commented out all of the lines related to the second extruder.

    I tried a different 2-1 adapter (linked above by @Scachi ) but same results - likely from my all metal hot end but who knows. I have done exactly 1 dual color print successfully, about a year ago, and I think that was luck because there are just so many variables to deal with when trying a 2-1 setup.

    A dual nozzle hot end won't work for a lot of the stuff I sell (I do some stuff on Etsy, custom personalized designs) because they tend to have flat tops and the second nozzle would mess up the finish too much for me.

    I'll revisit IDEX one day when I feel like completely redesigning my printer. Thankfully I have a printer in my office if I need to make parts while mine is down.

    Thanks everyone for the help/suggestions.



  • another option is a nozzle lifting mechanism -
    this is something that i have been working on, to address similar issues with dual nozzles on a delta printer (can probably be mounted on most printer carriages with some modifications or adapter) -

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3335003

    -the unused nozzle doesn't ooze or scrape the print
    -no waiting for temperature changes
    -no prime tower needed (with correct settings, not consistent yet)
    relatively light and compact

    so far i have it working nicely for dual colors and support materials


 

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