3D Printer Hotend – The Overview

Make sure you don't break a sweat while reading this page, because it's about a hot topic: 3D printer hotends. I'll list what hotends are on the market, what they can do, and where you can get them.

If you think a hotend is missing, post in the comments and I'll incorporate your tip.

With the hotends presented here you can improve the quality of your prints or print multiple materials or colors.

Hotend structure for a FDM 3D printer
The structure of a 3D printer hotend – infographic by Sercan Kahraman, CC-BY-SA; image source: threedom.net

All Metal Hexagon Hotend

The All Metal Hexagon Hotend is manufactured by Reprapdiscount and comes standard with Lulzbot 3D printers. However, you can also purchase this hotend separately and upgrade almost any printer with it. The hotend weighs just under 25g and thus offers you the possibility to print at a higher speed. The temperature scale reaches up to 300°C, which in turn is very suitable for use with materials such as nylon and PC.

You can use this hotend with 1.75mm or also 2.85mm filament. In addition, it is suitable for Bowden use.

Price: about 50€

Retailer: My Home Fab from DEU

Hexagon 3D Printer Hotend
Image source: Amazon.com

Big Booster “Fat Bertha” J-Head Shaft Hotend

No sooner was the list online than the first reactions came in, such as “You've actually forgotten Fat Bertha”. Thanks to the several messages from the attentive readers, but that's what you're here for. Your eyes see what I screw up 😉 Be that as it may. It's actually hard to get past Fat Bertha when writing about Hotends. This lady is delivered with a silicone protection, so that for example the cooling has no influence on the temperature measurement, whereby such a hotend likes to heat up further because it is cooled down. But you don't have that here. In addition, very high speeds are possible (see video). The Wolfgang still produces every single hotend itself, which means you can be sure that you will be sent high quality. In addition, he is also helpful after the purchase. (Visit the store for more hotends and extruders etc.)

Price: approx. 70€ incl. Shipping

Dealer: RepRap Fab

E3D V6 All Metal Hotend

If you haven't come into contact with 3D printing for the first time right now, you have certainly either seen an E3D V6, held it in your hand (when cold, hopefully) or have a 3D printer with this hotend. The hotend is certainly the most cloned hotend on the market due to open source.

The hotend allows temperatures up to 300°C and is of high quality. Due to the wide distribution of the hotend, you can get a conversion kit to this hotend for almost every 3D printer on the planet. Thus, you hardly have to construct a holder for it yourself.

Price: about 70€

Retailer: E3D Online Shop

E3D V6 Hotend
Image source: E3D

E3D Volcano heating block

Are you literally planning to print a mountain? Then you should take a look at the E3D Volcano heating block. This is compatible with the V6 and allows you to print this mountain quickly with the help of the longer filament path and large diameter nozzles. It is also suitable to be used in a large capacity printer.

Price: about 26€

Retailer: E3D Online Shop

E3D Volcano heating block
Image source: E3D

E3D Titan Aero Extruder and Hotend

If you think of a breeze when you hear the name, that's not true. The Titan Aero from E3D is actually the best example of what the compatibility of different components from one manufacturer can produce. The Aero is a blend of the best and most reliable parts of the E3D universe in a compact package. The short filament path makes it easier to print flexible filament, and if you're in the mood for more power a la Tim Taylor, you can add a Volcano.

Please read E3D's post on BearingGate before you invest.

Price: about 150€

Retailer: E3D Online Shop

E3D Titan Aero Hotend
Image source: E3D

E3D lite6 Hotend

If the E3D V6 is a Tesla Model S, then the E3D lite6 is a kind of Tesla Model 3. The younger brother or sister or fourth cousin's smaller uncle…Stop!

So, the Lite 6 is a stripped down version of the V6 and is not made entirely of metal, which means you should only print temperatures around 200°C with this hotend. Sounds meager at first, but don't worry. As mentioned, the E3D universe is almost as compatible with each other as Lego's. You can buy the Lite 6 now and just replace some components over time and you'll be in the league of big and strong hotends. This does not work even with the Tesla 3…

Price: about 40€

Retailer: E3D Online Shop

E3D Lite6
Image source: E3D

E3D Cyclops Dual Hotend

A Cyclops like the one in the book of a Greek legend in the farthest corner of the City and State Library in Dortmund. You have with the E3D Cyclops Dual Hotend in All Metal the possibility to use two colors or materials with only one nozzle. What is not possible here, however, is the fact of printing materials with a high temperature difference. You couldn't print PLA and ABS well together, for example.

Price: approx. 140€

Hotend: E3D Online Shop

E3D Cyclops Hotend
Image source: E3D

E3D Chimera Hotend

Continuing with the sagas and legends… The E3D Chimera All Metal Hotend, like the Cyclops, also gives you the chance to print multiple materials and colors, with Chimera having the advantage. You have two separate nozzles with their own heating block. Printing the example with PLA and ABS would therefore be possible without any problems.

Price: approx. 130€

Retailer: E3D Online Shop

E3D Chimera Hotend
Image source: E3D

E3D Kraken Quad Hotend

You were always the person who wanted more. Motorcycles with two wheels were never good enough for you, you wanted a quad because there are more wheels on it.

Well, then the E3D Kraken Quad Hotend is exactly what you need. The hotend offers you what the Chimera hotend can do, only x 2 🙂 And since you want more, you are welcome to have that. Add the Volcano to this hotend and you'll be printing filament faster than you can get supplies.

Price: about 200€

Retailer: E3D Online Shop

E3D Kraken Quad Head Hotend
Image source: E3D

Diamond Hotend

Diamonds are foreveeeer…Once again out of the E3D jungle and into the diamond mine. The principle of the Diamon Hotend is a great idea. As you know, almost every color consists of the three primary colors. These are added to a certain part and a new color or just a different gradation of a certain color is created. This is also possible with the Diamon hotend. You can use it to display color gradients, for example.

It sounds and looks easy, but if just one filament lags by a millimeter, all subsequent layers will never have the color you wanted. Do you have your 3D printer perfectly tuned and do you have the confidence to do the conversion?

Then let's see what you can do 🙂 I look forward to seeing pictures of it, by the way.

Price: 40€

Dealers: Can be found on Amazon*

Hotend DICE-V2

Another German-made hotend from Well-Engineered. The company is also behind the DICE printer and has a large fan community because other approaches are also implemented with high quality. With the hotend DICE-V2 you are not bound to the products of Well-Engineered. For example, you can freely decide not to use the heatbreaks and nozzles of the E3D V6. With its light weight and included silicone cover, you can print quickly and with temperature stability. If you have built the DICE printer and would like to present it, please contact me 🙂

Price: approx. 40€ incl. Shipping

Dealer: Well-Engineered

DICE V2 Hotend
Image source: Well Engineered

J Head Hotend

The J Head Hotend has a PEEK inliner, which allows you to reach temperatures up to approx. 250°C. Due to the small size of the hotend, you can add up to 1 cm of pressure height compared to other hotends. If you've been thinking that there was always a piece missing at the top, you should check out the hotend here. In addition, the weight is very low and allows printing at higher speeds. Furthermore, this hotend is also suitable for a Bowden systen.

Price: about 50€

Dealer: Hotends.com

J Head Hotend
Image source: hotends.com

Microswiss CR10 All Metal Hotend

I am someone who leaves his 3D printer kitin its original state until he sees potential for optimization and is so annoyed by some things that something has to be done. So far I haven't had any problems with the hotend on my Creality CR 10, but if I ever need a replacement I'll take a close look at the All Metal Hotend Kit for the CR 10. You can reach temperatures of up to 300°C with it and thanks to the use of titanium, the heat distribution is supposed to be optimized in such a way that clogging is almost impossible. Sounds good, very good 🙂

Price: $64 + shipping

Retailer: MicroSwiss Online Shop

Do you have experience with one or more of the featured hotends?

Are you missing some 3D printer hotend?

Then let me know!

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