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BCN3D Technologies is a leading Barcelona-based desktop 3D printer manufacturer. In 2017, they released the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer – a dual extrusion machine with a large build volume of 420 x 297 x 210mm.

Early release of the BCN3D Sigma was limited by a design flaw that caused the HotEnd to ooze filament, which could sabotage an otherwise perfect 3D print. At this point, BCN3D approached E3D to design a HotEnd with improved functionality.

BCN3D Sigma

 

HotEnd design optimisations

HotEnd oozing is a common problem – it’s something that keeps our engineering team quite busy! After an initial consultation, BCN3D’s specification became clear. Their new HotEnd design needed to:

  • Operate with the high performance and reliability of the E3D V6
  • Retain the same mounting as previous BCN3D HotEnds to maintain compatibility with other BCN3D printers

 

Prototyping

In a few months, we had designed a custom V6 HotEnd built exclusively for BCN3D printers – the ‘BCN3D HotEnd’.

This HotEnd includes an all-metal design, plus the same proven nozzle and heatbreak geometry as the E3D V6. To keep compatibility with other BCN3D printers, it uses a different shape, heatsink, and mounting system.

Early prototypes of the BCN HotEnd

 

Product validation

The main design goal of the BCN3D HotEnd was reliability. We validated the product with extensive torture testing, which involved hundreds of hours of extruding filament to ensure it would maintain its performance over time.

When BCN3D were satisfied with the data, we scaled up production to meet their customer demand.

 

QA testing nozzles to ensure they are in spec

 

We’re able to manufacture different variants of the BCN3D HotEnd for different 3D printing use cases, including brass nozzles of various sizes, plus a wear-resistant hardened steel nozzle for advanced fibre-filled filaments.

BCN3D HotEnd with brass nozzle (left) BCN3D HotEnd with hardened steel nozzle (right)

 

Abrasive filaments like carbon fibre will wear away brass nozzles (left), whereas a hardened steel nozzle (right) is more resistant to wear

 

A growing partnership

As of 2018, all BCN3D HotEnds are assembled, hot tightened, and tested at E3D’s headquarters near Oxford, UK. We use custom-built assembly equipment to automate parts of the production process, so we can ensure each HotEnd performs to the same high standard every time. We also capture production data so we can trace each HotEnd individually if support is needed from BCN3D.

Automated testing means we can maintain a production output in line with BCN3D’s demand. If demand should increase, we have the production capacity to scale-up as needed.

Our custom testing rig automates product testing by heating multiple BCN3D HotEnds at once to test everything works as expected

 

A batch of BCN3D HotEnds ready to ship to Barcelona

 

Every FDM machine BCN3D produces now contains E3D technology, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the coming years. Read more about the BCN3D HotEnd on BCN3D's website.

 

“E3D provided improved HotEnds, but they also equipped us with important machining and engineering know-how. By partnering with top global manufacturers like E3D, we can equip our 3D printers with highest quality components available in the 3D printing industry. This gives our customers reliable extrusion in a range of different 3D printing environments.”

– Xavier Martinez, CEO, BCN3D

 

Partner with E3D

We have plenty of experience developing high quality extrusion systems for FDM 3D printing, and we can help you, too.

We can assist with extrusion system design, validation, quality assurance, marketing, and lots of other things. Explore our case studies to find out more, or get in touch with us for a no-obligation quote.

 

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