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How to upgrade A5 to dual extruder

ThomasThomas Posts: 4Member, Active Member
Lots of time i need 2 colors to do my stuff.
How can i upgrade this FDM printer to dual extruder, dual filament stepper, dual head with heater, etc ???


  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,904Administrator
    In theory the motherboard supports an extra extruder (including second heater, second thermistor, second stepper motor). But, in practice the A5 and A3S are very difficult to modify.  There is very limited space on the X carriage to mount a second nozzle, your best option is probably going to be at Prometheus-style multi filament swapping system, out of the single hot and. Of course this will also require you to make some significant changes to the firmware of the motherboard.  So make sure you’re confident that you have all the required skills, (or at least all the required googling skills!), before you undertake the project! Best of luck! There are several people who have been interested in such a project, if you do give it a go, if you’d like to take some photos and document how you did it, I’m sure many people would really appreciate it too!
  • Nitro66215Nitro66215 Posts: 3Member
    Would it be easy to just have a second extruder mounted next to the original and then feed both into the 1 nozzle? Obviously a purge block would be used and probably waste a lot of filament. The firmware would need to know the length where the 2 filaments merge...so it knows how much to purge from extruder 1 and start extruder 2. Is that the concept anyway?
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,904Administrator
    Yep, that’s the theory! 
  • ThomasThomas Posts: 4Member, Active Member
    No, not really! The theory is the next. I had contact to the JGaurpra china company. They told me the motherboard in the A5 know the 2 extruder 2 filament extruder motor driver (the second stepper not included) 2 head heater and 2 thermistor sensor. The filament run out sensor need to share with the other in paralell. So, my plan is to buy like this:

    And i want to change the stepper drivers and after modify the firmware to remove comment from the second extruder configuring like the first one and i think close to done.
  • sanjibukaisanjibukai Posts: 34🌟 Super Member 🌟
    Very interesting!
    Keep the good work!
  • itisnot_meitisnot_me Posts: 102🌟 Super Member 🌟
    @Thomas Did you happen to get the dual extruder working on your A5? Very curious on this for the future. Also if you did get it to work did you use a tutorial or create one?
  • darthmolendarthmolen Posts: 3Member
    @Thomas inquiring minds want to know. Would love to do this someday! thank you for the research :) :)
  • ThomasThomas Posts: 4Member, Active Member
    I just ordered all the parts and make a plan to how i can build. I wrote to JGAurora company about the firmware. They said: all i need is on the software just i need to remove the comment and change the parameters. I don'nt had time to "destroy" my 3D printer, cause thats the one what i have! :) I will documenting, when i start to build it!
    Thanked by 1darthmolen
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,904Administrator
    Subscribing to watch! :smiley:

  • darthmolendarthmolen Posts: 3Member
    Very excited to see how this turns out. My friend told me about dissolvable PVA that his company uses for supports... and with a dual nozzle extruder that would work perfect for me.
  • ThomasThomas Posts: 4Member, Active Member
    Thats why i want to build dual noze. :)
  • Komet18Komet18 Posts: 1Member
    Also planning to tackle this project, how is it going for you?
  • itisnot_meitisnot_me Posts: 102🌟 Super Member 🌟
    I am not sure about @Thomas but i did find a glaring issue with upgrading to this. the current carriage on the printer is custom machine milled. Meaning that you would have to find a setup where you add the bearings to the hotend in order to attach to the printer.

    JGaurora did not make this easy to swap out. currently the only one that i could find that might work is this one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dual-Extruder-Hotend-for-P802/32799345171.html But there is no gurentee that it will work.

    I really want to upgrade to dual but it doesnt look as easy anymore.
  • I have looked into making this machine dual extrusion.  I think the easiest way is to keep he original nozzle, add a second extruder motor and add a Y splitter.  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3039887
    I will post if it’s successful.
  • itisnot_meitisnot_me Posts: 102🌟 Super Member 🌟
    how will you deal with the purge?
  • I think the best way to deal with the purge is to use a purge block... or a slicer that can purge into infill.  I have also designed a nozzle wiper.... not ready for prime time yet... everything is still in work.  I chose to go with a bondtech clone on thingiverse.  This should add enough force to take care of potential jams.  
  • FreddyGaertnerFreddyGaertner Posts: 11Member
    How's the build going ?
  • scareystevescareysteve Posts: 2Member
    @Darius R. Steele were you able to complete the build successfully? It would be awesome to have a dual extrusion. Please post any updates you have or any problems that arose during this project! Thanks!
  • Jozko RemenJozko Remen Posts: 20🌟 Super Member 🌟
    I bought this:

    Just remove original mounting bracket and install one with extruder. You have to turn extruder upside down but it works great. Set initial extruder speed to 415 and then calibrate it.
  • itisnot_meitisnot_me Posts: 102🌟 Super Member 🌟
    @Jozko Remen We are talking about dual filament extrusion not a dual drive extruder
  • Laser8302Laser8302 Posts: 170Member, 🌟 Super Member 🌟
    I just ordered an extra extruder, bowden tubing and the y-splitter from trianglelab on aliexpress. I'll post details and how-to once I get everything and try it out!
    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
  • AlejoAlejo Posts: 3Member
    edited October 2020
    Alguien tienes novedades sobre este tema??? He hecho varias modificaciones y ahora voy a colocar el Quimera para imprimir con doble boquilla. Tengo el motor que viene y otro que compre von un clon de E3D V6 por Amazon. He tenido ese clon como accionamiento directo durante unos meses y me a ido mejor con el que me venia en la maquina.
    Dejo imagen de como ha quedado montado el Quimera para la A5. Y por cierto, como solo me envían calefactores y ventiladores a 12 v, he decidido poner 2 ventiladores en paralelo para sumar los 24V de nuestra máquina.

    Anyone have news on this topic ??? I have made several modifications and now I am going to place the Chimera to print with double nozzle. I have the next engine and another that I bought from an E3D V6 clone on Amazon. I have had that clone as a direct drive for a few months and I have done better with the one that came in the machine.
    I leave an image of how the Chimera has been assembled for the A5. And by the way, since they only send me 12 v heaters and fans, I have decided to put 2 fans in parallel to add the 24V of our machine.

    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • FelixFelix Posts: 1Member

    I am also thinking about upgrading my A5 to a dual extruder for some time now. Would it be possible, to just order a second extruder and carriage system just like it is in the stock A5 and place it side by side with the first one? That way I wouldn’t have to make a lot of modifications. Of course some minor changes in the firmware. But that’s not a big deal I guess.

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