TLDR: The SuperVolcano has up to 11x the volumetric throughput of the V6, boasts a very long heatzone, extra powerful heater, and is now available in our full range of nozzles.
Let's rewind back to 2014, almost a lifetime ago in 3D printing years, back to when we introduced the Volcano to the E3D ecosystem.
At this time we were seeing increasingly large machines which had the ability to print massive objects but the problem was speed! The Volcano was our answer to your slow printing prayers, bringing a huge boost in the speed that your HotEnd melted and extruded filament and opening up the practicality of using larger nozzle diameters.
The past 5 years have seen the industry develop tremendously and these large scale high precision printers are now being used to create gigantic prints for markets such as automotive and aerospace where conventional desktop FDM printers are not suitable. The downside with these ground breaking large scale printers?
They now have the ability to outpace the volumetric flow rate of the HotEnd. This is where the SuperVolcano comes in, for those times where you just simply need it bigger and faster...
'Vase' by CES printed on the SuperVolcano
On top of increased prints speeds, the SuperVolcano’s high flow rate gives you the ability to print wider and higher tracks. This provides a greater area for these tracks to bond to each other, and in turn increases the interlayer adhesion creating very strong parts.
These wide tracks also help with bed adhesion, reducing the chance of prints warping and breaking off the bed mid print. Available in Brass, Nickel Plated Copper and Hardened Steel we have SuperVolcano nozzles in the following sizes: 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, and 1.4 (for when your motion system is high speed and your build volume is large enough).
As a result of our extensive testing we have found that a 1.0mm nozzle is the optimum nozzle size and has a great speed to detail ratio. For more product information please see our SuperVolcano Datasheet.
To aid the thermal performance of the SuperVolcano a piece of high temperature fibreglass sleeving replaces our normal sock, insulating the block and keeping the heat in. This sleeving can withstand continuous operating temperatures of 260°C with the ability to go even higher, however bear in mind that this will reduce the life.
If extra redundancy/monitoring of your HotEnd performance is what you you’re after then feel free to add another temperature sensor into the equation (not that it's required).
Red hot SuperVolcano block
SuperVolcano mounted to a Titan Aero on our test printer
How quick are we talking?
We completed a range of comparative prints to highlight the speed differences between V6, Volcano and SuperVolcano. This happened in the form of a 3DBenchy (thing:763622) Armada...
All of these prints were completed using the same settings in terms of speeds/accelerations/infil %/perimeters etc with the data being captured in the table below.
As you can see, there is a significant increase in volumetric throughput of a SuperVolcano over both a V6 and Volcano. A standard Benchy could be printed in 1hr 4 mins on a V6, a Volcano could print a benchy 2.83 times the volume (135% scale) in the same amount of time, impressive right?
Well our SuperVolcano managed to print a benchy 11.92 times the volume (225% scale) of the V6 in approximately the same amount of time.
Benchy test results:
Comparative Benchy print test results
*These figures are from our internal testing, please note yours may vary.
Taken aback by all the numbers? All you really need to know is that the SuperVolcano has upto 11x the volumetric throughput of the market leading V6 HotEnd.
To finish the speed tests we went big, REALLY BIG. We printed a 925% benchy which stands at 44cm tall. This was printed with a 1.4mm nozzle on a SuperVolcano with 1.65mm track widths and 1.00mm layer heights and took only 19hrs 45mins. For perspective, a standard 0.4mm V6 took 27hrs 6mins to print a 500% benchy.
100% scale to 925% scale Benchy test prints
Real world printing
As soon as the final test print came off the bed, the SuperVolcano was put straight into action on a CR-10 S5 (500x500x500mm build volume), printing jigs for our assembly lines.
As you may be aware, we are currently developing our Motion System which will be assembled in house. This process requires a variety of jigs and holders - a perfect use case for the SuperVolcano. The pictures below show our XY plate jig to hold it upright during assembly and also our X bar storage units.
Even if you had a printer large enough, each of these parts would take about a full working day to complete, and so creating enough for a production line would take well over a week with a single machine. However, with the SuperVolcano we were able to produce all the parts we needed in just a few days on only one printer. The XY plate jig and X bar storage units only took 3hrs 5mins and 1hr 45mins respectively to print.
Motion System XY plate assembly jigs
Motion System XY plate assembly jigs in use
Motion System X bar assembly jigs
Motion System X bar assembly jigs in use
Health and safety precautions
In order to keep up with the printing speeds we had to beef up the heaters to 80W, without this the filament would sap too much heat from the HotEnd causing under extrusion. As a result of this we’ve had to add extra safety features into the design.
First off, the 12V version draws current to a point where a high percentage of printer boards would melt their connectors if you tried to power it. We’ve negated this by supplying all 12V heaters with a mosfet switch.
Secondly, if you were to get thermal runaway with an 80W heater in an aluminium block, the aluminium would get dangerously soft. To overcome this, the SuperVolcano comes as standard with a nickel plated copper block. This has been thoroughly tested and even when glowing red hot due to the heater being plugged directly into an overclocked PSU, the block remains solid. Full health and safety information can be found in the product Datasheet.