MK3S Mosquito integration
Following several months of printer testing and research I purchased Prusa's MK3S. WOW, no other plastic filament based printer at any price point has offered better printing performance and value. After returning several printers ($2000-$4000 price point) it's apparent that Prusa’s applied electro-mechanical and software engineering is precisely applied resulting in exceptional print quality. Though I had some disappointment with the provided E3D V6 the Mosquito component corrected all of my extrusion and print quality concerns. The only other issue I had was with too much cooling from the part fan. Easy fix, capped full speed to 70%. No cloak and dagger purchase here. Love this thing.
What issues did the Mosquito solve for you? Just wondering: In the hunt for better quality prints I upgraded pretty much everything on the Mk3 except the E3D v6. I'm rather happy with it now, but your post made me wonder.
Let me first clarify that I'm a hyper perfectionist to the point of sleepless nights. Drives my wife of 35 years crazy. My point of view may have little bearing on the grand design. I've purchased over $7,000 USD in printers and components during this short journey. New (February 2019) to the 3d printer world it surprised me that users are putting up with the status quo design of the threaded heater blocks. Super annoying and way to expensive for something I can make in my garage from scrap…. Have this on my first printer bought in February,, won't mention the brand here.. Even on the more expensive printers I tried it was the same deal. And to be honest the print quality wasn't any better than my $200 what's this all about training wheels printer. Sad.... I knew nozzle changing would continue to be problematic and wouldn't meet the inherent ease of use I was looking for. At least that was the observation. After a bit of Googling up popped the Mosquito hotend ( https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/tech-breakdown-mosquito-hotend) offering a simple screw in screw out alternative? Gave it a try on the Prusa and haven't looked back. As it turns out luck had its way and Murphy was out of town. The Mosquito print performance just happened to be exceptional. For the first time I was truthfully amazed. Still can't figure out why the threaded heartbreak type heater block is still so popular. It is simple but what a pain... Looks like a carry over from the roots of open source hardware. The Mosquito nozzle swap was easily implemented into the Prusa filament change workflow. As it should be… Another issue is during Filament changes the V6 bulb produced when retracted was like a speed bump coming through the extruder gears. Then of course loading the filament I had to trim the end to properly feed, Arguuu! The retracted filament from the Mosquito feeds out smoothly without any resistance. Like the printer was made for it. Inversely during filament change the bulb left on the extracted filament feeds smoothly and is much more reliable as compared to my trim job. Also trying to dial in extrusion when slicing was difficult to observe for small incremental changes. The V6 (E3D) nozzle seems to hide print errors (I would imagine by nozzle design) better than the Slice nozzle. I was having a problem seeing a change in the print. But for myself I'm not interested in the nozzle "smoothing" out the layer as it causes hidden or unwanted print artifacts. I prefer nice smooth observable layers with precision layer adhesion. Nice sharp corners and clean details are much more preferred. Beautiful prints to say the least. PETG is printing like PLA. It's almost like I'm using a .3 instead of a .4 nozzle! I even checked the diameter to make sure it was truly a .4 nozzle. The only issue I am having is super fine cobwebs at certain travel points. Really bugs me but post clean up has been pretty simple. Maybe there's a simple slicer adjustment. And yes the new Prusa Slicer is excellent! In my "opinion" and factually the combination of Prusa and Slice engineering practices makes for the highest value printer combination available on the market today. Bar none…. Period… End of story…. I'm sold…. Not often do I make these kinds of statements. I admire Joseph's apparent strong leadership to keep it simple. The Mosquito just enhances this already well engineered product. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try. You have my word.. Didn't mention the general thermal characteristics as everything stated on the Slice Engineering Site is true. I have personally tested, observed, and confirmed their bold findings. Like Prusa, these guys know their engineering. In the end the print tells the truth….. Another issue was hotend temperature sensing from the kit supplied thermistor. It was consistently reading 10C warmer than the actual temperature. Couldn't believe it… I assumed since it was E3D it was quality? I guess we all have our bad days. But it really tweaked me! Starting with known temperature values are paramount to the proper extrusion of plastics. Swapped out a total of 3 probes on my meter securing the bulbs with heat conductive compound and ran several heat run up tests. All 3 K Type bulbs were within 1C of each other. Wrote down the offsets and continue to use them. Also the Prusa supplied blower for part cooling has started to make noise. Goes away after a few minutes but it drives me crazy. DHL arrived today with a replacement.
I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that your part fan shroud in the original picture still has the support brace (Thin strip between the openings) attached. You should definitely remove that or cooling performance will not be optimal.
I too am considering a mosquito hot end, mainly for the ease of use (Changing nozzles), the higher temperature range (Using slice engineering thermistor) and filament changes (As you stated, the filament withdraws without the bulb).
I could probably get the same result with e3d but have to buy new heat break, new heater block, new PT100 sensor and amp then still have the PITA whist changing nozzles.
What I do see with the mosquito is that it is a simple swap to make it into a mosquito magnum for large less detailed prints and easy swap back to standard mosquito for detailed prints, no need for any firmware changes, nor nozzle height changes.
The question I do have is, you state that you are getting better prints with the mosquito, is this with the slice engineering nozzle?, and as you obviously already have some e3d nozzles, have you tried an e3d nozzle on the mosquito, and if you have is there any noticeable difference in print quality?, preferably show some pictures please.
I've got on order the following bits (will take some time to reach my in Oz via a transhipper).
- 1 x Mosquito Magnum Hotend (24v)
- 1 x Mosquito Hotend Thermistor
- 1 x Mosquito Hotend Heater Cartridge, 24v 50w
- 1 x Boron Nitride Thermal Paste
Looking forward to fitting it to my Mk3s/MMU2s especially with the easy of swapping nozzles. I've got a Tungstun Carbide nozzle I'm keen to try out on this setup. Should have decent heat transfer and plenty of abrasion resistance.
The only other issue I had was with too much cooling from the part fan. Easy fix, capped full speed to 70%. No cloak and dagger purchase here. Love this thing.
have you tried the blue silicone sock from e3d that goes over the hotend?
i had issues too in the beginning after upgrading from mk3 to mk3s with the part cooling fan cooling down the hotend too much, especially when fan comes on suddenly.
adding the sock helped a lot.
Removed the support and did a few prints to determine if any artifacts were reduced. Yes it did...,, and again thanks. I'm still amazed how nicely the prints were turning out with the cooling duct support in place. I'm not sure how much or if the Slice Engineering nozzle contributed to a successful print with poor cooling. But then again on many of the test prints conducted with the support I had to turn down the fan for layer adhesion.
Shown below; Left - with support Prusa 2.0 slicer @ .1 100% fan 215C, Center - without support Prusa 2.0 slicer @ .1 100% fan 215C. Right - without support PRUSA Sliced (SD Card) .15 100% fan 215C. Material is kit supplied Prusament Silver PLA.
Air going where it's not supposed to can cause all kinds of havoc 🙂
Yes, all testing is being done with a Slice Engineering .4 Nozzle. In truth I prefer the Slice nozzle for several reasons. Concerning print quality this very much depends on the users point of view (lots of brand loyalty). When starting out with 3D printing I had an interest in printing mechanical prototypes. Continuing down the path of 3D printing it was evident high strength materials would erode the nozzles. Also there was all this information on the Web about hotend tinkering and fiddling. Half of the Web concerning 3D printing seems to be about hotend issues and buy this new thing to address various problems and needs. Arghhh, are you kidding me! I wanted one hotend, one nozzle for all materials, and most importantly ease of use. If I'm not mistaken the Base Mosquito can be upgrade to higher temperatures? Due to the initial cost of Slice Engineering products it did kind of hold me back initially. But I can tell you I'll never go back to the screw in block/heatbreak architecture.
Shown below is a closeup of the Benchy Bow. The one on the left is at .2, the one on the Right is at .15
Here's a better picture showing the Benchy's:
No I didn't try that. Definitely makes sense... If I ever use the screw in heat block architecture again I'll give it a try. I'm looking to "upgrade" my first printer that's still virgin stock. Maybe I'll have the opportunity to try it then. Actually after collecting all this stuff from my obsessive compulsive personality maybe a garage sale is in order for the whole lot. I'm glad the hotend journey is over....
Yes, sure learned that the hard way. Thanks to Vojtech-p6 for pointing this out to me. My face is still a bit crinkled up 😉 The good thing is though slightly, print quality was improved. I'm sure this would have been intermittently problematic as to effecting some prints and not others. Would have driven me nuts.
O that was you (Vintagepc) that pointed out the support! Thanks! This form seems to not track the reply strings as I would expect? Is it me? Maybe there's a setting?
I think it only supports one reply; I've hit that a few times when trying to reply to multiple people in the same post.
Glad it helped; I could definitely see that deflecting a LOT of air upwards and onto the heat block instead of the part 🙂
Still trying to figure out how to properly upload photos to the forum. It appears that that the uploaded content is compressed regardless of the file size. For the last few photos the uploaded files where already sized and compressed. For this upload the initial file is 4.73M. .4 Slice nozzle on the right
Thanks for the update James.
I've got a few more bits to reprint and change before replacing the hot end. The PSU is nearly ready to be swapped, just got to design and print a new cover for it (LRS-350-24) with a different fan attached, with EMI shielding and fan cover (Separate modifiable part for customisation).
I have to replace the Y axis drive assembly with the Taurus Y axis and I have two OMC-Stepperonline 0.9 steppers to replace both X and Y axis steppers. All sitting in a box awaiting time.
Have to print the modified parts for the mosquito to fit the skelestruder.
Have to fine tune linear advance.
etc etc etc. So many things to do, so little time...
But alas, day job gets in the way.
Your Mod selection seems to hit most of my concerns as well. Though functional I'm not a fan of the stock Y Axis tensioner. Also you address Bondtech drive ratio. Would like to see these addressed in the MK4. My biggest concern is the Extruder Stepper runs warm, or dare I say hot. You mentioned the .9 X and Y stepper upgrades, aren't the Prusa supplied steppers .9? The prints I'm getting are excellent in the Mosquito config, I'm wondering if I'd be putting that to risk with the skelestruder? Thoughts?
Thank you for sharing..