C-Bot 3D Printer: Supercharging the Volcano

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When I installed the 1.2mm E3D-v6 Volcano nozzle, I noticed that when my PLA cooling fan kicked on, the hotend would have a really hard time maintaining temp running at a ‘high’ (45mm/sec) extrusion speed (for the Volcano):  If starting at 220 deg, when the fan would kick on it would just drop and drop, and I’d stop the print or kill the fan when it hit 200 deg.  If I dropped the speed down to say, 10mm/sec, it could keep up.  This made me think fan+cold filament was too much for the hotend.

After much discussion on Google+ (here, and here), I tried a variety of things, none that got it working 100%.  I re did the Marlin auto-PID with the fan on full blast:  This got it to the point the temp would drop some 10-15 deg, then slowly creep back up.  But this is far from optimal.

The thing that tipped me off was the suggestion to figure out what the power is of the heater-cartridge in my Volcano hot-end:  Measuring the resistance gave me 7.1 ohm, which equal to 20.3w (voltage^2 / resistance = 12v*12v/7.1 = 20.3w).  Checking online, I noticed that there are 40w heater cartridges as well, so I picked one up (I got that one simply because it could be shipped via Amazon Prime…).  Installation ensued:

volcanoUpgrade

And that my friends, is the secret sauce:  After I got the new heater cartridge installed, I re-ran the PID-Autotune in Marlin (via Simplify3D)…

M303 E0 S200 C8

…waited a number of minutes for it to finish, then crammed the three values back into my Configuration.h, uploaded that via the Arduino IDE to the Rumba, and I was in business:  Not only does the hotend heat up faster now (220 deg in 1min 50 sec with full fan compared to 2 min 30 sec with no fan), but I can maintain hotend temp with 100% 24cfm fan kicked on.  It’ll drop maybe 3 deg when the fan blasts on, then pull right back up to temp.

So a note to any of you Volcano users:  Make sure you have the 40w heater cartridge (the one with the red leads) not the 25w one (blue leads).

I measured the new heater before I put it in:  4.1 ohm resistance, which equals 35w, not 40w.  But it works, so I’m happy :)

Another thing learned:  When you issue a M105, and get something like this back:

RECEIVED: ok T:206.1 /220.0 B:26.0 /0.0 T0:206.1 /220.0 @:127 B@:0

The @:127 is the ‘power’ going to the hotend.  Note that 100% = 127, not 255, in this instance.


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