Wednesday 24 September 2014

More Mini Kossel Updates

After nearly 4 months of supplying Mini Kossel kits we have had a lot of fantastic feedback from all the makers who have put the kits together. This is the third post on additions, changes and improvements (the first one is here, and the heated bed one here).

Simple second extruder fan mount

We have had a number of requests for a solution to allow a second, PWM controlled fan to blow on the part being printed, so I designed this modified J_head extruder mount:

This mounts on the end effector plate in the same way as the original one, with the exception that it is rotated by 60 degrees (one hole) to allow the z-probe to clear the second fan:

To minimise the air blowing on the heated bed from the existing, always-on, fan cooling the thermal break on the J-head, I added a strip of aluminium tape to the bottom of the always-on fan mount. The tape can withstand the hot-end temperature so I sealed all the way to the hot-end heater block insulation.

As the fan mount has to be rotated 60 degrees to allow the probe to clear the fan, one of the probe mount screws needs a nut adding:

The second fan is prepared with a male connector pin so it can be plugged and unplugged at the same point as the rest of the end effector wiring loom. In the long run the end effector wiring loom may move to a 2x5 pin plug.

The screws self tap into the plastic of the mount.

The fan wiring follows the same route as the remainder of the end effector/hotend wiring loom, with a plug lined up with the existing plug:

It connects to the RAMPS via screw terminal D9, between the extruder and heated bed (not connected in the picture below), allowing for PWM control when Motherboard number 33 is selected within Marlin configuration.h.

No firmware changes should be required from the standard setup and the cooling settings within Slic3r and Cura will turn the fan on after a specified number of layers.

The source files for the updated hot-end fan mount are on Github. and its also a "thing" on Youmagine!

New PSU for Heated Bed

After an issue with sourcing reliable and economical high current laptop power supplies, James Clutterbuck suggested the Dell DA-2; a 12V 18A power supply:

This beast is capable of providing enough power for the whole printer and heated bed so from now on complete printer kits ordered with heated beds will be supplied with just this power supply. Unfortunately although the DA2 is supplied with what appears to be a 2x4-way Molex Minifit plug, the housing doesn't mate correctly with the standard Molex 2x4 Minifit socket, and so needs to be changed (part numbers below).

Roland designed a new face plate that accommodates the Molex socket along with a power switch and the USB plug.

The power supply cable is wired to both sides of the RAMPS plug:

The assembled faceplate installed:

The documentation will be updated shortly. The source files are available on our Kossel Mini Repository on Github (USB-power-8way-V2). If you want to source the parts for the upgrade, along with the printed plate, you need:

Dell DA-2 Power supply (12V 18A)
8 way connectors: Molex 39-01-2080 and 39-01-2081
16AWG crimp pins for molex 39-00-0078 and 39-00-0082.
Standard case rocker switch such as this one.

Marlin improvements

The Think3dPrint3d Kossel fork of the Marlin firmware is available on github and comes pre-configured as a good starting point for Marlin on a Mini Kossel. I have recently implemented a couple of improvements. Firstly David LapeŇ° pointed out this feature request/ bug fix for the main version of Marlin which allows for negative position numbers to be correctly displayed on the PanelOne screen:

The second change is to add 4 menu items for filament management. Within the "Prepare" menu you can now choose to prime or retract the filament by a small amount (default 3mm) as well as either load or unload the filament completely (default 560mm).

The default values can be changed within configuration.h, line 399 onwards:

#define EASY_LOAD
#define BOWDEN_LENGTH 560


You can also set the feed rate for each action (in mm/minute)

This based on Lajos's changes to Marlin for the Tantilus printer, I changed his implementation to make it work with the delta firmware and simplify the options a bit.

You can upgrade to these changes by downloading the Think3dPrint3d version of Marlin and uploading it. Make sure you copy across any changes you have made to configuration.h such as the Z height and delta radius after calibration.

Sleeker cable management

Mark Burton has added "Go Faster" stripes to his Kossel mini in the form of these extrusion insets, which nicely hide away the endstop cables.

4 of the strips fit in each extrusion tower. The scad and stl files are on github.

 Thanks to everyone who has sent feedback and design improvements!


  1. Any recommended settings for the cooling fan?

    1. I set the print cooling fan to come on after 1 layer at 100%


Comments are now moderated to reduce spam, please excuse the additional time this will entail.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.