[I really hate the limited space I have for writing about stuff here so all updates about the current state of my projects will soon be found on my new blog: http://chopmeister.blogspot.com so take a look now and then if you're interested]
Why NanoBlock? Well, because it's really small considering the implemented features, and it generally fits into a block. :)
This design was done with the help of my friend and colleague Bruno Blazinc aka odvratno.zgodan, so my thanks go to him for the support.
The current prototype's outer dimensions are around 42x50x58 mm, which makes it slightly larger than the smallest NEMA17 based direct drive extruders. Fully assembled it weighs around 180 grams - that's around 40-50 grams less than just the NEMA17 steppers I have, without any bolts, drive gears or plastic parts!
Actively cooled NEMA11 motor with 20:1 worm gear reduction, which makes it really precise, and strong enough, but also capable of pretty high speeds.
Spring tension adjustment
Easy lock/unlock lever, unlike most direct drive extruders, this one stays open if you want it to.
Easy manual extrusion possible (not in this current version, but already solved)
- Just six parts to print (1 big and 5 really small ones). The whole body prints in one piece and everything prints without support.
There are no real files here as of yet (except the mandatory one, but that's just a placeholder) because this is still heavily in progress, and the design and BOM changes pretty rapidly. It has been tested extensively though in many iterations (I think I made around 20 or more prototypes so far) and it works wonderfully. I am not completely satisfied with everything, because I want the whole user experience to be flawless, and for every part to perform just as it should. There are still a few optimizations to be made here and there, but it's getting close, so I couldn't wait any more to show it to the public. :)
The problem with this design is that in order for everything to be so small it relies on very specific parts, which could be hard to get and/or expensive. What I would love to do in the future is launch a campaign (given sufficient interest, of course) and have the parts factory produced, which would make the whole thing even smaller and lighter, yet more durable. We'll see... :)
In the meantime, give me a shout on what you think about the whole concept!
On a side note, no this is not the H4 extruder most people have been asking me about. The work on the H4 continues though, it's just that it's a huge hassle to switch from a bowden to non-bowden setup all the time. Guess I really need another Ultimaker, haha.
PS. I'm sorry for showing you the blue tape bundled wires and the overall crappy state of my printer, but that's how stuff looks while you experiment with... you know... stuff. :D