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Ultimaker is a leading Dutch 3D printer OEM with customers all over the world. They commissioned E3D to design, develop, and deliver a new generation of HotEnd components for their range of professional 3D printers.

The new print core CC 0.4 (Image courtesy of Ultimaker)

 

Custom HotEnd designs for OEMs

Ultimaker’s 3D printing ecosystem uses ‘print cores’ – HotEnds that can be quickly swapped without tools to adapt Ultimaker machines to different use cases.

The print core CC is the key to industrial 3D printing applications with Ultimaker machines. It adds compatibility for abrasive and composite materials, which are often used in industrial processes like injection moulding or for robust parts that need to withstand industrial conditions.

Ultimaker’s project goals were to improve performance, robustness, and lifetime of the print core CC, and working together with them, we did just that.

He seems to like it! (Image courtesy of Ultimaker)

 

Design optimisations

The new print core CC we’ve engineered doesn’t have a ruby tip – it’s machined from one piece of hardened steel for better flow properties and reduced risk of clogging, while improving print quality and repeatability.

Ultimaker print core CC 0.4 by E3D
Ultimaker print core CC 0.6 by E3D

We’ve produced two print core CC variants: 0.4mm and 0.6mm (Images courtesy of Ultimaker)

Other noteworthy improvements:

All-metal design. An all-metal HotEnd with no PTFE lining increases the durability and lifetime of the unit.

Two nozzle sizes. The original print core CC was available with a 0.6mm orifice only. We’ve added a new 0.4mm variant that makes it easier to 3D print parts that are tough and durable, but still beautiful.

Aluminium HeaterBlock. For better thermal conductivity and faster heat up times, we've upgraded the print core CC to use an aluminium HeaterBlock instead of brass.

Cooler than before. Cooling an all-metal HotEnd can be demanding, and Ultimaker’s small print core size presented a significant challenge. We iterated the heatsink geometry to get optimal cooling in the smallest possible space, and applied a durable anodised black finish so it looks cool, too.

Titanium HeatBreak. We’ve upgraded the print core CC with a grade 5 titanium HeatBreak that's twice as thick as the old print core CC. A titanium HeatBreak maintains a sharp transition zone while simultaneously making the HeatBreak stronger.

Abrasive wear resistance. A tool steel nozzle produces better print quality and consistency, and prevents a widened nozzle orifice after printing abrasive materials for extended periods. A ceramic nozzle coating gives wear comparable to ruby, and enhances the print process with non-stick properties so material won't stick to the nozzle. Plus, this coating makes the print core easy to clean after prolonged use.

 

We selected E3D to help us improve the robustness and the lifetime of our print core CC. E3D has the right capabilities to support us; they have a lot of knowledge of FFF extrusion systems and a very good supply chain setup. For us, all the project requirements were met – which resulted in a fruitful cooperation with E3D.”

Silvester van Voorthuisen, Project Manager, Ultimaker

 

We’ve enjoyed developing the new print core CC with Ultimaker and we’re looking forward to seeing what their customers do with it. You can find out more about it in Ultimaker’s blog.

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