I have been interested in printing different materials with my Ender 3V2 that the current PTFE lined hot end cannot handle. I finally decided to pick up a Micro-Swiss all metal hot end and install it to my Ender 3. The Micro-Swiss all metal hot end is also compatible with the CR-10, CR10S, CR20, and Ender 2, 3, and 5.
The main benefit of converting your Ender 3’s hot end is the ability to print with materials that have a higher melting point such as Polycarbonate, Nylon, and BASF.
The Micro-Swiss all metal hot end isn’t the only all metal hot end on the market and I am sure there are others that are worth buying but Micro-Swiss seems to be the highest rated as well as the more frequently purchased all metal hot end so that is why i bought it.
The swap is really not too difficult but I know it would have been really helpful for me to have the instructions laid out rather than in video form.
Remove The Fan Shroud.
Remove the fan shroud that covers the hot end assembly by removing the single screw on the back of the printer head and gently moving the fan shroud away from the hot end.
Heat Up The Hot End.
Heat the hot end to 220°C to remove the filament and the bowden tube from the 3D printer.
Unload The Filament From The 3D Printer.
Once the hot end is heated, remove the filament from the 3D printer. You do not have to worry about the filament that might still be in the nozzle.
Remove the filament by releasing the tension from the extruder with the lever and pull the filament through the bowden tube from the extruder end.
Remove The Bowden Tube.
Remove the bowden tube by removing the small blue collar from the bowden tube collet and press down on the collet towards the hot end to release the bowden tube.
Once the bowden tube is released gently pull the bowden tube from the hot end.
Always use caution when the hot end is heated!
I am also replaceing my bowden tube with a Capricorn Bowden tube.
Let The 3D Printer Hot End Cool Down.
To avoid burns, allow the 3D printer 5-10 minutes to cool down before moving on. You will be handling the hot end extensively from this point so allowing the hot end time to cool is important.
Remove Screws From Front Of The Heatsink.
Remove the two screws that are in the face of the stock hot end heatsink. This will release the hot end from the X axis.
Remove Silicone Sock From Heater Block.
Remove the silicone sock from the heater block to access all the screws needed to remove the thermistor and heating cartridge from the heating block.
Remove Thermistor Screw From Heating Block.
Remove the small screw from the right side of the heating block to release the thermistor.
DO NOT REMOVE THE THERMISTOR YET.
The thermistor wires are very small and delicate. If the thermistor cabling is damaged or broken it will have to be replaced.
Loosen Grub Screw On Bottom Of Heating Block.
Loosen the grub screw on the bottom of the heating block to release the heating cartridge from the heating block.
Remove Thermistor and Heating Cartridge.
Gently remove the thermistor and the heating cartridge from the heating block. These components will be reused on the new all metal hot end.
The heating cartridge provides the heat to the hot end and the thermistor reads the heat of the hot end and reports it back to the main board.
Install The Titanium Thermal Break Into The New Heating Block.
Install the titanium thermal break by screwing it into the new heating block and tightening it with the provided tool.
The thermal break should be assembled on the opposite side of the two grub screws on the heat block.
Install The Nozzle Into The New Heating Block.
Screw the nozzle into the new heating block on the opposite side of the titanium thermal break.
Once the nozzle is installed there will be no gap between the nozzle and the thermal break.
Install The New Heatsink Onto The X Axis.
Install the new heatsink onto the X axis carriage with the two screws provided in the kit.
Insert The Heating Cartridge and Thermistor To The New Heat Block.
Insert the heating cartridge into the largest hole in the right side of the new heating block and insert the thermistor into the smallest hole in the right side of the heat block.
The thermistor hole is the not threaded hole and the two wires of the thermistor should go one around each side of the threaded hole.
Lightly Install The Screw To Secure The Thermistor Wires.
Lightly install the screw to the threaded hole on the right side of the heating block with the two thermistor wires around the screw (one on each side of the screw)
The screw should be pressing the wires against the heat block but should not be clamping the wires with excess force.
If the screw is tightened too tight it could damage or break the thermistor wire.
Tighten The Screws On The Bottom Of The Heat Block.
Tighten the two grub screws on the bottom of the heat block to secure the heating cartridge to the heating block.
Install The Heating Block To The Heatsink.
Install the heating block to the heatsink by inserting the thermal break tube into the heatsink and tightening the small grub screw in the front of the heatsink.
Insert The Bowden Tube Into The Heating Block.
Insert the bowden tube into the top of the heating block until it bottoms out. The bowden tube will only go 3-4mm into the heating block.
Attach The Collet Clip To Secure The Bowden Tube.
Lightly pull up on the collet and insert the clip to secure the bowden tube.
Heat Up The Hot End.
Heat the hot end to 240°C.
Tighten The Nozzle And The Screws.
While the nozzle is hot hold the heat block with a wrench and tighten the nozzle with the provided tools.
TIghten the grub screw on the face of the heatsink as well as the two grub screws on the bottom of the heat block.
Always use caution when the nozzle is hot!
Let The 3D Printer Hot End Cool Down.
Let the hot end cool down before performing the following steps.
Replace The Silicone Sock And The Fan Shroud.
Replace the silicone sock to the heat block and replace the fan shroud, securing it with the bolt that was previously removed.
Relevel The 3D Printer Bed.
The installation is complete but now the nozzle may be sitting higher or lower than the previously installed nozzle so always remember to relevel your bed after every nozzle swap.
If you need help leveling your bed you can follow my guide on manually leveling your 3D printer bed.
Does The Ender 3 Come With An All Metal Hot End?
The stock hot end on all Ender 3 Models is a PTFE lined hot end and is not all metal. A PTFE lined hot end is graded for temperatures up to 240°C and if heated beyond 240°C for an extended period of time will cause the PTFE to melt and release toxic fumes.
The stock Ender 3 hot end is a Creality-produced product and comes stock in all Ender 3 machines. It is a basic PTFE lined hot end and is average quality for a PTFE lined hot end.
The Difference Between PTFE Lined And All Metal Hot End.
The difference between a stock PTFE lined hot end and an all metal hot end is that the all metal hot end does not contain any plastics which allows it to be heated to higher temperatures for longer amounts of time.
How Hot Can An All Metal Hot End Get?
In general, the hottest that an all metal hot end on a 3D printer can get is 300°C or 572°F. An all metal hot end can reach temperatures high enough for materials like polycarbonate and nylon. Most stock 3D printers contain PTFE lined hot ends that can only reliably reach 240°C.