Huge Improvement to your printing for not a lot of money.
With so many extruder variants on the market wether it be on the lower end of the market or higher can be a minefield. I like many others have wasted so much money and time on variants of MK8 extruders. Some were better than others, however none worked particularly well and never solved the under extrusion issue with a bowden setup. Like many out there I begin to play around with the settings whilst banging your head on a table, tighten, loosening, adjusting gears and screws it just gets woefully frustrating and you just become despondent.
Then one day I stumbled across the BIQU extruder Injection Edition, and something clicked with me about the design. The way the bearing is pulled down onto the filament looked like it would the grip the filament better and oh boy what a difference and one hell of a great price point at only £8.99 makes this extra special for its price point.
The extruder is designed out of the box for a bowden setup, however a quick print and it can be a direct drive setup too. Wish is great because if I wanted to change my mind later than there is no need to splash out any more cash on the extruder. Brilliant !
The build quality is actually quite good, presumably made out of ABS and is strong enough to deal with most loads, that said don’t get carried away screwing the top cover down as that is the thinest part. The only possible longterm problem that I can really possibly foresee is the longevity of the springs, only time will tell on that one. Would be nice to be able to source replacement springs from BIQU or simply to supply a spare set included just to add a bit of peace of mind. That said for the price we can’t grumble.
Installaton Step by Step Guide
1) Lets begin by removing your old extruder from your extruder motor, including all the springs and gears so you are back to having nothing more than the extruder motor itself.
2) Undo the two screws holding the Biqu extruder together and remove the top cover.
3) For ease pull out the four long screws. These will later attach to the four screw holes on the Nema stepper motor.
4) Lift out the plastic housing for the retention bearing.
5) Now attach the main part of the extruder housing to your extruder stepper motor with the four screws we removed a moment ago. I found the easiest method was to drop all four screws in place give the housing a wiggle so the screws fall in to place that way you shouldn’t get any screw alignment issues.
Bear in mind the direction of filament travelling through the extruder when you placing your extruder housing.
6) Now lets attach the extruder gear to the extruder mount and for the moment I am simply using the screwdriver to set the height of the base. Make sure the screw sits flat onto the flat part of the spindle and tighten well.
7) On the retention bearing housing there are two screws on the end, simply screw these in until they are about flush, this will make fitting the springs a lot easier.
8) Now grab your two little black springs that are in the package and push into the two holes on the main extruder housing. Now turn your extruder motor onto its side.
9) Whilst gently keeping the springs steady put back the retention bearing housing lining up the springs to the holes in the main part of the extruder. Ensure the bearing is facing the right way up and the circlip that’s holds the bearing in place is facing downwards.
ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET… ALMOST
10) Now place back the top cover and screw it back down DON’T OVER TIGHTEN.
11) We are not done yet. Screw in if you have not already your Pneumatic push fittings for which the PTFE tube will be placed.Image
12) Now let’s check that gear alignment. Cut yourself off a shortish piece of filament and feed it through, by pushing the end of the bearing housing with the two screws towards the bearing. Now if your filament is not quite sitting correctly then remove the top cover, and the bearing housing. Then adjust the gear height and go put it all back together again (Step 7 onwards) and try it again. It can sometime take a few attempts but when it is done it is done.
Now as we have a nice new extruder there may be some changes needed in the printers settings as to how many steps It may sound daunting but it is not at all, the only difficulty is keeping the filament straight to measure it. So before you plug your bowden tube into your heating element setup we need to do is to measure that the amount we ask to extrude is correct. Now if you have not done this before have a read on our post of Calibrating your extruder.