TL;DR:

Groovemount is okay, but it's a hangover from when 3D printers were made in sheds. They aren’t any more, so we’re offering an alternative, using screw threads. If you think this would suit your printer better you can buy one here (1.75mm, suitable for bowden or direct systems).

We’d also really like to get your feedback. Establishing a standard is not something that should be taken lightly. In order to create a healthy enduring standard we want to consult and involve the whole community.

If you want to know more about the issues with groovemount and why we’re offering a threaded alternative, read on.

What’s the problem?

Here at E3D we’ve used always used groovemount on our HotEnds as the means of attachment. It's been the standard way to mount a HotEnd on a printer since the makergear standard was introduced. When introduced, it was intended for attaching a HotEnd to a piece of laser cut wood (an application that isn’t especially common any more). It’s a method well-suited to making prototypes as it needs a minimum of skills and lathing tools, but it does have a few issues:

  • Relying on 2 parts that simply push together requires that the parts are really precisely made. Even slight variation can result in a poor fit, with heat sinks that are either hard to push into a bracket or that wobble around during printing. We do our best to avoid this by using good machinists and doing random spot checks, but it’s still an issue we’d like to eliminate completely.
  • Mounting brackets can wear down from repeated removal and replacement of the HotEnd, leading to a once well-fitting HotEnd becoming wobbly.

While these issues don’t make groovemount unusable, we think it might be time for a new approach.

Apart from anything else, it looks great.

The solution

We’ve thrown around a few ideas, but one that we’d like to take forward is a little… screwy. And by that we mean that we’ve put a screw thread on to the top of the heatsink. It’s hardly a candidate for the hackaday prize, we know, but by god it is just so much better! Using a screw thread has several advantages.

  • They can be very reliably and repeatably machined and quality controlled.
  • They wear incredibly slowly, so you can take out the hotend, tinker and replace as much as you want and the hotend will still be held securely.
  • We think threads give you more versatility in mounting options, giving you the choice of mounting through a plate of any thickness you want (up to 5 mm) or screwing into a 3d printed socket (tapped or printed threads).

Some data about the parts:

  • Identical performance to standard heatsinks
  • Uses M12x1.5 thread for the main thread (this could change depending on feedback)
  • Same overall height as a standard heatsink

We’ve already done some alpha testing, and there are threaded V6 heat sinks being put to the test out in the wild. Check out David Crocker’s PCB delta printer, which has been using this HotEnd for a while now.

However, we sadly don’t have every type and make of 3D printer available in-house to test our new mounting solution on, and that’s where you come in.

We need you!

We are releasing this product in beta (1.75mm only, suitable for bowden or direct systems), and want to hear from you the user how you want to mount your HotEnds . We’ve chosen threads as we think they are a versatile solution and translate well to manufacture but are open to more suggestions. Use the hashtag #screwyV6 on Twitter to tell us what you think, or feel free to message us on Facebook!