SuperPack Instructions v1
These instructions are for use with the V2 Hybrid GrooveMount or a solid PEEK GrooveMount. If you are assembling a SuperPack that contains a V3 Hybrid GrooveMount, please use these instructions.
Tools of the Trade
Assembling your Plastruder
You'll need a finished HeatCore and modular thermistor to complete this process.
Step 1: Attach the nozzle to the heater barrel
Pliers (2 pairs)
Socket Wrench with 7/16" socket (optional but recommended)
M6 nuts (2x)
How the barrel goes into the nozzle depends on the insulator type. If your insulator is solid PEEK then both ends of the barrel are turned-down. The longer end goes into the insulator (see photo). If you are using a hybrid insulator, the turned-down end goes into the nozzle. (This may be contrary to instructions you've read at other sites. PTFE is soft, easily threaded and this way there won't be a gap between the side of the barrel and the insulator).
Thread the M6 nuts onto the heater barrel near where it will attach to
the nozzle.Then use the two pairs of pliers to tighten the nuts together. Tighten them but don't use excessive force as it is possible to damage the barrel. If the nuts end up being too loose you can tighten them again later. (The barrel is hollow and if you twist it too hard you'll bend or break it!!)
Hand tighten the barrel into the nozzle. Then using the socket on the nozzle and pliers on the outside nut, give it another quarter turn. You want it nice and tight so that it doesn't leak. If the pinch nuts are too loose, the nuts will move rather than tightening the nozzle. If this happens just tighten the nuts then tighten the nozzle.
Step 2: Add the HeatCore
Thread the HeatCore down to the nozzle with the wires pointing towards the insulator. Tighten the HeatCore against the nozzle. If anything (like excess ceramic) prevents the HeatCore from making a flush, tight connection with the nozzle, remove the HeatCore and inspect it. If necessary , sand the surface that will press against the nozzle. You want a tight connection and good thermal contact. If the HeatCore comes loose from the nozzle the plastruder may need to run hot in order for the thermistor to show the desired temperature. While an increase of a few degrees won't damage the plastruder it can cause the PEEK to get too hot. If the PEEK gets too hot then filament can clog at the top. Clogging like this should not happen during normal operating conditions - it indicates there is a problem with the plastruder (like a warning light on your car).
Step 3: Attach the Insulator
Small File or narrow drill bit
Attaching a PEEK insulator
PEEK is tough stuff so all you need to do is twist the insulator on the end of the barrel. Put the nozzle into the socket wrench, hold the insulator in your hand and tighten it. Don't go crazy tightening it as the barrel can be bent or broken. Just twist until it is nice and tight. Do inspect the barrel/PEEK connection and remove any bits of PEEK that are sticking out. I use a small file, brush and tweezers for this process but other people use a small drill bit. There will probably be a noticeable ridge where the PEEK meets the barrel after you clean it. The PEEK is drilled a little wider than the barrel. The ridge is not a problem - you don't need to try and remove it.
Attaching a Hybrid Insulator
Since there is PTFE inside the hybrid insulator, attaching it is more a matter of finesse than brute force. Thread the insulator onto the barrel until it is tight. Then using a tool with a fine point - a file, small hex wrench, etc - probe where the PTFE meets the barrel. You don't want a gap between the barrel and the insulator.
After you've tightened the insulator, the heater barrel will likely be somewhat blocked with squeezed PTFE. Using a small file (or some people prefer a 1/8" or 3mm drill bit) gently clean out the opening to the barrel. Tweezers and a small brush are also quite handy during this operation. There will probably be a noticeable ridge where the PTFE meets the barrel after you clean it. The PTFE and PEEK are drilled a little wider than the barrel. The ridge is not a problem - you don't need to try and remove it.
It should look similar to this when you are finished. When I make fully assembled Plastruders I take my time working on this step so that there is a tight, clean insulator/barrel connection.
[At the risk of poor form (instructions out of order) - you can do this step before attaching the nozzle and then remove the insulator to attach the nozzle then put the insulator on again.The reason for doing it beforehand is that with the nozzle off you can get a much better view of what you are doing. And, if you use a small brush, you can run the brush all of the way through the barrel.]
Step 4: Attach the Thermistor
Tape the thermistor to the nozzle. Use enough Kapton tape so that you get four or five wraps - so the thermistor is secure and doesn't fall off. You don't have to use one continuous piece though! Two or three pieces is fine. [If your thermistor falls off - depending on the firmware you are using - the heater might get cranked up because the temperature is dropping. This is very bad. You really do not want this to happen. So, make sure that thermistor is nice and secure.
Step 5: Add Insulation
Your SuperPack includes two sizes of a rubber coated fiberglass insulation. The short, narrower piece goes around the nozzle and the longer piece covers the nozzle, HeatCore and exposed barrel.
There you go! A fully assembled MakerGear Plastruder ready to print!!