A few months back, we reported that Deltaprintr was developing a new, compact hotend that would heat faster, be very lightweight and affordable. After a lot of tweaking to get things just right, Deltaprintr is taking pre-orders for the Mini Hotend. What makes the Mini Hotend so special and why was it developed in the first place? Well, according to Deltaprintr CEO Shai Schechter, while working on their compact printer the Delta Go, which was unveiled at Makerfaire last fall, the development team realized that a bulky, groove mounted hotend would mar the looks of the small printer, and it would also sacrifice a lot of build space. Not only is the Mini Hotend compact and attractive, but it has several design features that really stand out, while remaining more affordable than the typical all-metal hotend.
According to Schechter, “We’re able to offer a low price for it for several reasons. One being that we actually use less parts in the hotend than a traditional hotend. We don’t have a heater block. Rather, we use a cylindrical ceramic heater that is actually better because it provides uniform heating. This also allows the hotend to heat up super fast (under a minute) and cool down really fast because there’s not much mass. Another benefit is that there is not heat radiation onto the print when you’re printing really small items – unlike a bulky heater block, which would radiate heat.”
Nozzles are interchangeable on the Mini Hotend, which customers are sure to love, making it easy to clean and to switch to different size nozzles. Deltaprintr is also developing a sapphire gem nozzle that is meant for printing abrasive materials such as carbon fiber. The Mini Hotend features an aluminum heatsink and a stainless steel heat break, and has a maximum operating temperature of 300° Celsius. An earlier version of the hotend used a steel tip, but that was replaced with a brass 0.4mm tip that has dual thermistor capabilities.
The Mini Hotend comes with a pre-crimped thermistor and heater, making for an easy installation. It can be used with other printers and can be used in a direct drive or bowden setup. To switch over from the bowden setup to direct drive you need to remove the push-fit and insert a small PTFE liner or spacer. The heatsink has a chamfer under the push-fit to ensure that your filament transitions smoothly into the channel, should you decide to use it as direct drive.
Normally priced at $49.00, the Mini Hotend is available for pre-order for $39. The Delta Go is also available for pre-order for $449 (price will go up after sale to $499). It should be interesting to see how the Mini Hotend performs compared to traditional hotends. It certainly seems like a good solution for delta printers and anyone looking to shave some weight from their hotend setup.
The video below shows how well heat is contained under the heat break (note that the image of the hotend and thermal image is slightly misaligned):