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How to Install an E3D v6 HotEnd on a Creality CR-10

Upgrade your CR-10 with a shiny new E3D hotend.

  • Author: Tyler Anderson
  • Time estimate: 01:00:00 - 02:00:00
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1 Preperation  ¶ 

Before proceeding, you should first assemble your E3D v6 All Metal HotEnd. Follow E3D's assembly guide. Stop at step 24. The steps after that will be completed as part of this guide.

Step 1 Preperation  ¶ 

  • Before proceeding, you should first assemble your E3D v6 All Metal HotEnd. Follow E3D's assembly guide. Stop at step 24. The steps after that will be completed as part of this guide.

  • Make sure that you have printed all of the necessary parts. We recommend printing the mount in either PETG or ABS due to the heat it may be exposed to.

  • Make sure that you have the necessary nuts and bolts. These are listed in the parts list above. If you don't have any on hand you may need to purchase them from McMaster-Carr.

  • If necessary, heat the hot end in order to remove any filament from the hot end and Bowden tubing. Take any spools off the spool holder.

  • Turn off the printer and unplug the power cord.

Step 2 Flash the bootloader  ¶ 

The bootloader is a chunk of code on the printer's microcontroller that allows for firmware upgrades over USB.

Step 2 Flash the bootloader  ¶ 

  • The bootloader is a chunk of code on the printer's microcontroller that allows for firmware upgrades over USB.

  • Creality neglected to install a bootloader when they built the original CR-10. You will need to install the bootloader yourself in order to upload new firmware to the printer

  • The CR-10S (the new version of the CR-10) already has a bootloader installed. If you have a CR-10S then you can skip this step.

  • Flashing the bootloader requires a special tool capable of programming AVR chips.

  • Follow our separate guide for flashing the bootloader on your printer.

Step 3 Acquire modified firmware  ¶ 

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Step 3 Acquire modified firmware  ¶ 

  • In order for the new hot end to work properly, some configuration changes must be made to the firmware. Specifically, the E3D hot end uses a different type of thermistor. Without a firmware configured to use the correct type of thermistor, the temperature readings will be wrong.

  • The CR-10 uses Marlin Firmware which is GPL v3 licensed. The Creality 3D firmware source for all their printers is available on their web site.

  • For your convenience, MatterHackers has made precompiled firmware images for you. These are based on mainline Marlin 1.1.8. Choose the correct firmware for your specific model of CR-10.

  • If you wish you may compile the firmware yourself. See E3D's instructions on the configuration changes that need to be made and also our guide on compiling and uploading custom firmware.

Step 4 Flash the firmware  ¶ 

If you are using one of our precompiled firmware images then you can flash the firmware through MatterControl. If you do not already have MatterControl then download, install it, and choose the correct profile for your machine. Plug your printer in to the computer. If you installed the bootloader earlier then your machine does not have firmware on it at this point. MatterControl will not be able to connect to the printer. This is fine for now. Skip the connection setup.

Step 4 Flash the firmware  ¶ 

  • If you are using one of our precompiled firmware images then you can flash the firmware through MatterControl.

  • If you do not already have MatterControl then download, install it, and choose the correct profile for your machine. Plug your printer in to the computer.

  • If you installed the bootloader earlier then your machine does not have firmware on it at this point. MatterControl will not be able to connect to the printer. This is fine for now. Skip the connection setup.

  • In MatterControl, make sure that the correct serial port is selected for your printer. Go to Settings & Controls > Settings > Printer > Connection and choose the port.

  • Go to Controls and scroll down to the bottom to find the Firmware Updates section. Click the Change button.

  • Select the .hex file you downloaded earlier.

  • MatterControl will now backup the original firmware (if it has not already been erased) and upload the new firmware. You can monitor the progress by going to View > Terminal.

  • When it is done your printer will reboot and show the splash screen for Marlin.

Step 5 Remove the layer cooling fan  ¶ 

Unscrew the four M2 screws holding the layer cooling fan on. Save the screws and the duct piece for later. Remove the fabric tape around the end of the wire harness sheath.

Step 5 Remove the layer cooling fan  ¶ 

  • Unscrew the four M2 screws holding the layer cooling fan on.

  • Save the screws and the duct piece for later.

  • Remove the fabric tape around the end of the wire harness sheath.

  • Let the layer cooling fan dangle.

Step 6 Remove the heat shrink fan and shroud  ¶ 

Unscrew the two M3 screws that hold the fan shroud on. Cut the yellow and purple wires going to the heat sink fan. Discard the fan and the shroud.

Step 6 Remove the heat shrink fan and shroud  ¶ 

  • Unscrew the two M3 screws that hold the fan shroud on.

  • Cut the yellow and purple wires going to the heat sink fan.

  • Discard the fan and the shroud.

Step 7 Disconnect the original hot end  ¶ 

Remove the bowden tube by pushing the white collet ring down while pulling the tube up. You will not be able to remove the tube if you have left filament in the printer. Cut the red wires going to the heater.

Step 7 Disconnect the original hot end  ¶ 

  • Remove the bowden tube by pushing the white collet ring down while pulling the tube up.

  • You will not be able to remove the tube if you have left filament in the printer.

  • Cut the red wires going to the heater.

  • Cut the white wires going to the thermistor.

Step 8 Remove the original hot end  ¶ 

Unscrew the two M3 screws that hold the hot end on. Discard the old hot end.

Step 8 Remove the original hot end  ¶ 

  • Unscrew the two M3 screws that hold the hot end on.

  • Discard the old hot end.

Step 9 Install heat set inserts  ¶ 

Use the soldering iron to press in the two M3 heat set inserts in the front of the base piece. These are for attaching the hot end clamp.

Step 9 Install heat set inserts  ¶ 

  • Use the soldering iron to press in the two M3 heat set inserts in the front of the base piece.

  • These are for attaching the hot end clamp.

  • Use a knife to cut away any excess plastic that gets pushed out around the edge of the insert.

  • See our article for more information on how to use heat set inserts.

Step 10  ¶ 

Press in the two M2 inserts in the side of the base piece. These are for holding the layer cooling fan.

Step 10  ¶ 

  • Press in the two M2 inserts in the side of the base piece.

  • These are for holding the layer cooling fan.

Step 11 Attach the base piece  ¶ 

Place the base piece on the carriage and screw it in place using three M3x6 screws. You can reuse some screws from the original hot end.

Step 11 Attach the base piece  ¶ 

  • Place the base piece on the carriage and screw it in place using three M3x6 screws.

  • You can reuse some screws from the original hot end.

Step 12 Attach the new hot end and clamp  ¶ 

Fit the new E3D hot end into the groove mount. Orient the hot end so that the wires are coming out the left side. Fit the clamp piece in place and screw it down using two M3x14 screws.

Step 12 Attach the new hot end and clamp  ¶ 

  • Fit the new E3D hot end into the groove mount.

  • Orient the hot end so that the wires are coming out the left side.

  • Fit the clamp piece in place and screw it down using two M3x14 screws.

Step 13 Connect the bowden tube  ¶ 

Check the end of the bowden tube and make sure that it is not plugged with plastic. Also ensure that the end is cut square. If your bowden tube is worn, then you may consider replacing it with the new tube provided in your E3D kit.

Step 13 Connect the bowden tube  ¶ 

  • Check the end of the bowden tube and make sure that it is not plugged with plastic. Also ensure that the end is cut square.

  • If your bowden tube is worn, then you may consider replacing it with the new tube provided in your E3D kit.

  • Insert the tube into the new hot end. Make sure that it goes all the way in.

  • Put the blue locking clip in place under the black ring.

Step 14 Install the layer cooling fan  ¶ 

Use an M2x6 screw in the top right of the layer cooling fan to attach it to the mount. Slide the duct onto the bottom of the fan and use another M2 screw to attach the bottom right side of the fan to the mount. Use a third M2 screw and an M2 nut to hold the left side of the duct to the fan.

Step 14 Install the layer cooling fan  ¶ 

  • Use an M2x6 screw in the top right of the layer cooling fan to attach it to the mount.

  • Slide the duct onto the bottom of the fan and use another M2 screw to attach the bottom right side of the fan to the mount.

  • Use a third M2 screw and an M2 nut to hold the left side of the duct to the fan.

  • You can reuse the screws that originally held the fan on.

Step 15 Prepare wires for splicing  ¶ 

We now need to splice the proper connectors onto the printers wiring. We will use the connectors from the wires that came in the E3D kit. You can use a zip tie to hold the sheath out of the way while you work. Take the two wires provided in your E3D kit and cut a 10 cm length from each. Use the end with the large connector.

Step 15 Prepare wires for splicing  ¶ 

  • We now need to splice the proper connectors onto the printers wiring. We will use the connectors from the wires that came in the E3D kit.

  • You can use a zip tie to hold the sheath out of the way while you work.

  • Take the two wires provided in your E3D kit and cut a 10 cm length from each. Use the end with the large connector.

  • Strip 2 cm from the ends of the wires.

Step 16 Splice the heat sink fan wires  ¶ 

Strip 2 cm from the ends of the yellow and purple wires that were connected to the original heat sink fan. Cut two pieces of 3 cm long heat shrink tubing and slide them onto the yellow and purple wires. Twist the yellow and purple wires to the red and black wires from a connector you prepared in the last step.

Step 16 Splice the heat sink fan wires  ¶ 

  • Strip 2 cm from the ends of the yellow and purple wires that were connected to the original heat sink fan.

  • Cut two pieces of 3 cm long heat shrink tubing and slide them onto the yellow and purple wires.

  • Twist the yellow and purple wires to the red and black wires from a connector you prepared in the last step.

  • Yellow goes to red.

  • Purple goes to black.

  • Solder the connections.

  • Slide the heat shrink tubing down over the connections and use a heat gun to shrink it.

Step 17 Splice the thermistor wires  ¶ 

Repeat the process for the last step by soldering the other connector to the two white wires for the thermistor. The thermistor wires are nonpolarized, which means it does not matter which wire you connect to which.

Step 17 Splice the thermistor wires  ¶ 

  • Repeat the process for the last step by soldering the other connector to the two white wires for the thermistor.

  • The thermistor wires are nonpolarized, which means it does not matter which wire you connect to which.

Step 18 Splice the heater wires  ¶ 

The heater cartridge does not have a connector. It gets spliced in directly. Cut the blue wires from the heater down so that they can easily connect to the red wires. Solder the blue and red wires together using the same process as the last two steps.

Step 18 Splice the heater wires  ¶ 

  • The heater cartridge does not have a connector. It gets spliced in directly.

  • Cut the blue wires from the heater down so that they can easily connect to the red wires.

  • Solder the blue and red wires together using the same process as the last two steps.

Step 19 Cable management  ¶ 

Plug in the connectors for the thermistor and the heat sink fan. Make sure that the thermistor goes to the white wires and the layer cooling fan goes to the purple/yellow wires. You may want to mark the connectors with a sharpie so they do not get confused in the future. Slide the sheath down over the wires and wrap the end with the original fabric tape, if you still have it.

Step 19 Cable management  ¶ 

  • Plug in the connectors for the thermistor and the heat sink fan. Make sure that the thermistor goes to the white wires and the layer cooling fan goes to the purple/yellow wires.

  • You may want to mark the connectors with a sharpie so they do not get confused in the future.

  • Slide the sheath down over the wires and wrap the end with the original fabric tape, if you still have it.

  • Secure the wire harness to the bowden tube using a zip tie.

  • Also use a zip tie on the hot end wires to organize them and hold them together.

Step 20 Tighten the nozzle  ¶ 

Turn on the printer. Check and make sure that the temperature reading for the hot end is accurate. It should be reading room temperature. If it reads 0, or a high number, then there is an electrical problem. Check and make sure that the heat sink fan is running.

Step 20 Tighten the nozzle  ¶ 

  • Turn on the printer.

  • Check and make sure that the temperature reading for the hot end is accurate. It should be reading room temperature. If it reads 0, or a high number, then there is an electrical problem.

  • Check and make sure that the heat sink fan is running.

  • Hot-tightening is the last mechanical step before your V6 is ready to go! Hot-tightening is essential to sealing the nozzle and heatsink together to ensure that molten plastic cannot leak out of the hotend in use.

  • Set the hotend temperature to 270°C. Allow the hotend to reach 270°C and wait one minute to allow all components to equalise in temperature.

  • Use an adjustable wrench to hold the heater block in place while you tighten the nozzle using a 7 mm crescent wrench.

  • Do not overtighten the nozzle. You want to aim for 3 Nm of torque on the hot nozzle. This is about as much pressure as you can apply with one finger on a small wrench.

Step 21 Install the silicone sock  ¶ 

Set the hot end temperature to 0 and wait for it to cool off.

Step 21 Install the silicone sock  ¶ 

  • Set the hot end temperature to 0 and wait for it to cool off.

  • Fit the silicone sock over the heater block.

Step 22 Run PID tuning  ¶ 

Proper PID settings ensure that your hot end will reach the correct temperature and it will not fluctuate.

Step 22 Run PID tuning  ¶ 

  • Proper PID settings ensure that your hot end will reach the correct temperature and it will not fluctuate.

  • Follow our separate guide for running PID tuning.

Step 23 Recalibrate your bed leveling  ¶ 

Our hot end mount is designed to hold the new nozzle at the same height as the old one. However, there are still likely to be minor differences.

Step 23 Recalibrate your bed leveling  ¶ 

  • Our hot end mount is designed to hold the new nozzle at the same height as the old one. However, there are still likely to be minor differences.

  • Double check your bed leveling and adjust it if necessary.

Step 24 Print!  ¶ 

Run a test print! Run a test print!

Step 24 Print!  ¶ 

  • Run a test print!