Air Pump Part Cooler *UPDATE*

One of many free print tests available on Thingiverse

The air pump part cooler returns! Well not really, the pump burnt out after about 2 days of continuous printing. This is why rigorous testing is required when trying something new. So after some closer inspection of the winding of the transformer, I noticed that this unit did not have an inline fuse installed in the transformer and the winding wire was very thin.

So I removed the old winding and replaced it with another one I had on hand. This newer winding has a bit of a heavier gauge wire so it shouldn’t burn out so quick. The reason why this happened to begin with was the removal of the triac circuit. This isn’t really a big deal, if I have this happen again I’ll switch back to the triac circuit and use the duet to control the circuit instead of controlling the transformer directly.

Back in place for more testing.

Now another thing I think I could easily improve with this pump is the overall sound level. I have an aluminum extrusion case(for an old grow light) that I could place the pump into for an overall improvement in noise and heat dissipation. Anyway that’s all I got for today, happy printing!

The Air Pump Part Cooler

This is where it started, a 30l/min Pond Pump(air, not water)

Stock part cooling for 3D printers has always left me wanting something, more, you know? The fans that come with the printers are not always the best and sometimes(depending on the configuration) they really suck. Then there are printers that don’t include them at all(yes it does happen and kits like this still exist), so loving to experiment with different techniques for additive manufacturing I decided to try and see if I could find a better solution.

This is the new pump I’ve been testing to replace the colossal pond pump.

Now there is a concept that is kind of similar to this and that’s beard air cooling(which is pretty great), but I think this will preform much better(and be more efficient) in terms of affordability and overall performance. So what is it? An air pump of course. The model in question consumes about 3 watts and it’s not running on DC but AC(even better), but before using I plan to make some slight modifications to the output lines and wiring inside the pump.

Original Fan setup

So I started there by taking the pump apart and removing the front ports mounted to the case. Then I cut the silicone tubing on both sides to connect in with a 1/4″ pneumatic fitting. I chose to use a “Tee” fitting and combine the output of both diaphragm pumps to one outlet. This worked well, but I figured the output could be a little bit better.

So I decided to remove to triac circuit for adjusting the air flow. This circuit was for manual control of the pump via a turn pot on the front of the case. This will increase the overall output by about 5-20%. So now instead of reading 3 watts power consumption, it read more like 3.6-3.7 watts.

Water test, checking to output of the new pump

So with this done I’m about to start testing, overall I expect it to preform quite well. Honestly though, it may now be powerful enough. Aha the pond pump was too much now this one might not be enough. Aw well, I’m going to do some prints, starting with PLA and then PETG. After those I’ll try some abs.

Check back soon for results! Comment and let me know how you think it’ll preform, I’d really like to hear what you guys think. Happy Printing!

DIY Water Cooling

The Hotend and extruder motor both have water cooling now.

So after printing for a while and using fans for part cooling and hotend cooling, I really wanted to try something new and see if removing fans from the carrier would actually make a difference in print quality.

New version. Water reservoir with peltier block, pump and some fans.

For this project I had to have a way of treating the water that had been heated up and in general move said water around. So I chose to use a simple hydroponic water pump. This would turn out to do an excellent job at circulating water.

Old version.

So after using a basic tuperware to hold the coolant(water) and using a pump to circulate the water and then I also incorporated a peltier unit I had on hand. This is basically a radiator for the reservoir. Then this all runs through the hot end and extruder motor.

After some testing I decided to add water wetter to the reservoir to further cool the water and keep anything from growing in there.

I will be posting more about the hotend coil and the extruder cooling block in the future and how I went about making them(both of which are made from off the shelf parts).

Now does it improve print quality? So far it seems like its not a huge difference in quality unless you’re going fairly fast. Although I would say that it’ll increase the life of the extruder motor for sure, the temperature of the extruder motor used to run quite hot. Now it’s cool to the touch, same with the heat-break on the hotend. A lot quieter too, overall a very cool upgrade/modification.

Here are a couple of shot of a certain model I printed(about 7-8 hours). Anyway I hope you guys liked this one and there will be more about it in the future!

Happy Printing!