Putting on the Extruder PDF Print Email

If you need to assemble the cold end of the extruder, you will need :

  • 3x M3 Nuts
  • 2x M4 Nuts
  • 1x M8 Lock Nut with Nylon Insert
  • 6x M3 Washers
  • 2x M8 Washers
  • 3x M3x10mm Cap Screws
  • 2x M3x40mm Cap Screws
  • 1x M3x8mm Grub Screw
  • 2x M4x20mm Cap Screws
  • 1x M8 Hobbed Bolt
  • 1x 8mm Smooth Rod, 18mm Length
  • 1x Small Spring
  • 3x 608ZZ Skate Bearings
  • 1x NEMA 17 Stepper Motor
  • 1x Assembled MakerGear Hot End
  • 1x Hot End Mounting Plate, Wood
  • 1x Hot End Mounting Plate Circle, Wood
  • 1x wades-small printed piece
  • 1x wades-large printed piece
  • 1x wades printed piece with idler


If your cold end of the extruder is already assembled, you will need:

  •  2x M4 Nuts
  • 2x M4x20mm Cap Screws
  • 1x Assembled Cold End of the extruder
  • 1x Assembled MakerGear Hot End
  • 1x Hot End Mounting Plate, Wood
  • 1x Hot End Mounting Plate Circle, Wood


In this part you will be assembling the extruder if you need to and putting it onto the x-carriage.  You will need a 2.5mm allen wrench to tighten the M3 cap screws into the motor, a 1.5mm allen wrench to tighten the grub screw, a 3mm allen wrench to tighten the M4 cap screws, and a 13mm wrench to tighten the M8 lock nut.  If your cold end is already assembled, you will only need a 3mm allen wrench for the M4 cap screws.  This is what the x-carriage will look like with the extruder on:


 If you do not need to assemble the cold end, you do not need to do this part, skip down to right below the next picture.  If you need to assemble it, you will start by getting the idler for the extruder ready and put it on.  You can reference the picture below to see how everything is supposed to go together in this part.  Put the 18mm long chunk of 8mm smooth rod through one of the 608ZZ skate bearings and press it into the center of the idler plastic piece.  The bearing should spin freely when it's in place.  The plastic should hold the 8mm smooth rod in and also press against the inner-most ring of the bearing.  To put the idler onto the extruder you will use a M3x40mm cap screw, M3 washer, and M3 nut.  Put the idler onto the extruder and line up the holes, then put the cap screw through the hole.  Make sure that the head of the cap screw is on the side that the gears will go or else it will be in the way.  Put the M3 washer onto the cap screw, then the M3 nut and snug it up against the plastic.  Make sure that your idler pivots up and down.

Next, you will put the small printed gear onto the motor shaft.  Do this the same way you have in previous steps with two M3 nuts and two M3 grub screws, but don't tighten the gear onto the shaft yet.  The gear will go most the way onto the shaft.  Leave about a 1/2 inch gap between it and the motor.  Position the wire of the motor towards the top and line up three of the holes on it with the three slotted holes on the extruder.  Get the three M3x10mm cap screws, put a M3 washer on each, and screw the cap screws into the motor through the base.  Leave the cap screws slightly loose and slide the motor along the slotted holes towards to outer part of the extruder.  You need to have a little clearance to get the big gear on.

Put a 608ZZ bearing into the outside hole(that's the same size) on the extruder.  Put the hobbed bolt through the big gear from the end with the hexagon pocket in the middle.  This is where the head of the hobbed bolt goes down into.  Line of the head of the bolt and put is down into the hexagonal hole as much as you can.  You don't need to worry if you don't get it in all the way, when it's tightened down it will pull the head in the rest of the way.  The important part is that it's lined up and in the hole.  Next, put three M8 washers onto the hobbed bolt and then feed the bolt through the 608ZZ bearing you just put onto extruder.  On the other side of the extruder, put a M8 washer, then 608ZZ bearing onto the other end.  Push the bearing into the spot that it fits, then put on another M8 washer and the M8 lock nut that has the nylon insert.  Tighten down the lock nut with you wrench and hold the gear with your hand.  As you do so, everything should pull into place.  Be careful not to overtighten it or the gear won't spin easily enough and you could break the extruder.  To put this on, you may have to play around a bit with the small gear on the motor shaft if it's in the way a little.  You goal is to have a freely spinning gear that isn't loose and the hobbed part of the bolt lines up with the hole in the extruder.  If the hole does not line up, you may have to try out fewer/more washers or even just different washers(sometimes washers have a slight difference in thickness).

Now, the motor and the small gear needs to be positioned and tighened down.  Start by positioning the gear so that it lines up with the teeth on the large gear, then tightening down the grub screws.  Slide the motor in so that when the small gear turns it will turn the large gear, then tighten down the three cap screws going into the motor.  You can reach one of the cap screws by rotating the large gear and putting the allen wrenches through a hole in it.  It does not need to be as close as you can push it to the gear, this could make it hard to turn the gears.  Once this is all tightened down, turn the large gear around a few times to make sure that everything turns smoothly.  If not, you have to adjust the motor in/out or the small gear in/out on the motor shaft.

You just need to put the idler up and you'll be done with the cold end.  Put a M3 nut down into the hole on the top of the extruder that's near the large gear.  Flip the idler into it's "up" position.  Put a M3 washer onto the M3x40mm cap screw and push it a little ways through the top hole in the idler that's closest to the large gear.  On the end that's sticking through, put on a M3 washer and the spring.  You will need to push the idler "down" a little bit to do so.  Compress the spring and push the cap screw into the hole that leads to where you put the nut in.  Once it's in, tighten down the cap screw into the nut.  This is your assembled cold end.  You may want to try turning the gears and feeding plastic through it right now to make sure it works properly.


Here you will take the cold end and hot end, put them together, then put them onto the x-carriage.  Start by sliding the grooved end of the hot end into the larger wooden mounting piece.  It should look like the lower-right section in the picture above.  Once it's in the wooden piece, put the top end of the hot end into the bottom of the cold end and make sure that the holes in the wood will line up with the holes on the extruder.  Put the two M4 nuts into the hexagonal slots on the top part of the bottom of the cold end(the holes that you just lined up on the mounting plate).  One of them will be easy, but the other is under the motor.  Put a circle into that hole on the bottom of the extruder and then put the hot end back onto the bottom.  Try to make sure the holes on the mounting plate stay lined up with the ones in the exrtuder.  Hold it all together and place it onto the x-carriage, with the hot end going through the big hole in the middle of it.  Line up the holes with the center set of holes on the x-carriage and make sure the the motor faces towards the from of the machine(the belt will be in the way if you put it on the wrong way).  Push one of the M4 cap screws up through one of the holes in the bottom of the x-carriage, mounting plate, extruder, and start threading it into the nut you just put in.  Once it's started, put the other M4 cap screw through the hole on the opposite end of the big hole in the x-carriage and do the same thing.  After they've both been started, you can tighten them down, and you're done with this step.  You may want to try feeding plastic through it to make sure all the holes are lined up, but it may be hard to tell if the plastic is going into the hot end or not.

In the next article, you put on the heatbed