Arcol blog Just another RepRap weblog


Recommended extruder setup


Grab the complete setup here.

Many people ask me what setup I am using with the v4 hotend,
or what setup I recommend for it.

I bit the bullet, and I wrote this detailed article.

I am always trying to push the envelop of 3D printing, therefore my machine
is evolving all the time, so you can expect more articles in the future:)

The extruder shown here will also be available as a kit through the website.

This recommendation is for 2012 december, although it could have been built since around 2012 march.

Partlist (with pictures) hotend v4.1.1:

Go grab one! or Grab the complete setup! hyena v1.1:

Go grab one! or Grab the complete setup!

M8 nut with M3 grubscrew:

Go grab one! or Grab the complete setup! spring kit:

Go grab one! or Grab the complete setup!

40mm fan:
Are you wondering why is a cap there?: Maglev carriage fan

Wade's accessible extruder body:

Carriage with 2 fan holders:

Satchet of nuts and bolts:

608 bearings and linear bearings (LM08UU):

Just to see it in perspective:)

Downloading the .stl file of the RP parts

All of the RP parts, are from thingiverse.
However I have modified almost all of them. I will publish one .stl file per
week on thingiverse, referring back to the original thing and its author.

Assembly of the carriage

Here is the carriage one more time:

The linear bearings goes in there:

The two fans on the sides, and it looks like this when mounted on a machine:
(Note: There is one bar clamp missing from the above picture)

The modell of this print is available on thingiverse, as thing:39923. It is basically a touchup of thing:15534, which is based on thing:9869.


This is the idler of the Wade extruder pusher:

It has an integrated guide, so you dont need the grooved 608 bearing,
to guide the filament, its mere cost saving.
You can still have the grooved 608 bearing, it does not make things worse, this idler just duplicates the grooved 608 bearing feature.

The modell of this print is available on thingiverse, as thing:39933. It is basically a touchup of thing:17030 and thing:6703.

I have RP parts available in three different colors: white, green and black.
Here is a comparison between green and white print:


Here is the gears I use:

You may be wondering why I am not using herringbone gears.
Herringbone gears run a little quiter, and have a tiny bit less backlash.
Also they can handle higher torque.

However it does not affect print quality.
The filament has a backlash due to its inertia, and we compensate
for backlash anyway. It has the same number of teeth, so no additional
resolution either (not that we need it).

But the main reason is that it is more troublesome to print out, for no real
advantage, so I kept the traditional spur gears. You can print a
herringbone if you wish as an upgrade.

Wade pusher (extruder upper body)

Here we go:

It is a modified Accessible Wade extruder, mainly the holes were adjusted.
It is more accurate and compatible with
v4 hotend.

Here is how the gears, idler and wade upper body will come together:

The complete setup

The complete extruder assembled with carriage. Everything mounted:

You can see the setup is standing on two M8 nuts, so the
hotend is lower by just enough distance then the two fans.
It is optimised for the minimum height, so you have the
maximum printing height possible*.

Here are some more pictures, it is kind of rotating:)


You could have build this extruder setup from about february of this year (2012).
If someone would have published this extruder setup back in time, it
would have saved me some unnecessary circles.
So I hope you (dear Reader) find this article equally useful,
what I would have found it, if it was existed back then.

Printing quality

If you want to check what is possible
with our v4
hotend in regard of printing quality, or you want a trouble free
extruder setup, then go get one!

As a remainder, here it is the wade pusher printed in white:
(the white is the easiest to photograph, every irregularities are shown)

Im fairly happy with the overall printing quality, you can see it as
our current state of the art at 0.3mm layer height.

No worries, even finer layer height is possible, so it is not the
limit of what v4 is capable of.


Grab the complete setup here.

I think Im able to print one full set per week, and for start I have
3 full sets. I know it is limited, but it is not intended for general
public, just for the quality enthusiastic and those who want
a working printer first and a DIY machine second.

I have some leftover pictures, which would be too bad to miss out:)

And even moar:

I change slightly the commenting policy. I will close the commenting after a week of the date of publishing to prevent spams leaking through.

But in all occasion, please prefer the mailing list.

After the above deadline, any further discussion can only happen on the mailing list, in this thread.

Comments (6) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Nice setup, I am really happy I found this detailed article, thank you!
    I still fear the hotend is fragile, at least that tiny tube looks fragile.

  2. Tomom:
    First of all, thank you for your kind words!

    Every hotend has a weak point, this one requires a well and correctly set up machine to operate. But as really beautiful prints do require precise machine, it is not a disadvantage imho.

    Stay tuned for my next articles! I hope you find them equally enjoyable.


  3. Hi Laszio,

    I’m curious about the heat shield around the hot end. Is there an advantage to having it extend all the way up to the heatsink? I would have thought the cooling effect of the fan would assist the thermal break. Does insulating it cause any adverse heating effect on the filament?

  4. Hi Marco,

    Thank you for your interest, and your question.
    The insulating tube is glass insulated rubber tube, which is fine (depending on manufacturer) from 450C to 800C.

    It does not have any bad effect on the filament itself. The stainless steel tube heat dissipation is negligible compared to the aluminium heatsink. So covering the stainless steel tube or not does not make any difference at all, besides it is metal-connected to the heatsink and more heat can crawl that way, rather then through air.

    It has many advantages. First, you dont burn your finger, accidentally or not. Second it stabilize the condition around the nozzle and heater block, so no matter how hard you blow air (fan at max speed) at the nozzle, the temperature stays stable, and you dont need any software counteraction/optimization.

    That is an awesome feature, because it means if you print something really small (like the top of a Xmas tree), you can have the fan at high speed without worrying affecting the filament flow.

    So in summary, I can only list postivie things, and I have not noticed any side-effect or thermal performance decrease.

    Look at the prints on this page, each of it was printed with the hotend v4.1.1. Also look at my flickr gallery to see more prints.


  5. Hi Laszio,

    I can see your prints look amazing. What about the fans cooling the heat bed? When ever I use a fan, I notice it cools the heat bed and eventually the print comes unstuck. Do you do anything special with the fan control settings in your host or with the bed temperature to counter this?

  6. Marco: I do vary the fan speed through G-code (M104). At the first two layers it is at minimum.
    Also I print ABS on a bed of 140-145C (first layer), then lower.

    You can try brim too. But imho if you start with PLA, it is a tad easier to print with.