Wim3rl: A Water-Cooled 3D Printhead

By on January 2nd, 2016 in Hardware

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There’s an unusual piece of hardware available for pre-order: a water-cooled 3D print head designed for delta-style 3D printers. 

The printhead is called the Wim3rl, and is designed by Mathias Dragobert of Vienna, Austria. It includes room for not one, but THREE nozzles for multi-color printing, and is only 80g in weight (but the total weight will be a bit more as this figure apparently doesn’t include the weight of flowing water in tubes and the heaters themselves. 

Tubes carrying the cooling water to the printhead are currently made from PTFE, but they plan to switch to directly attached silicone hoses. 

Many different nozzles can be attached to the Wim3rl, so long as they employ an M6x1 thread pattern. 

There seems to be two objectives in this project: reduce the weight of the moving hot end, but at the same time increase print reliability by providing consistently controlled temperatures. 

The designers have tested a prototype to see how well it handles heat, and you can see the results in this infrared image of the printhead in action. While the hot end blazes hot, the upper portion remains quite cool. According to their testing, they’ve been able to sustain cooling even when raising the temperature to over 300C for long periods. This alone should greatly improve results for long prints that happen so often on large delta 3D printers. 

Of course, you’ll need more than just the printhead to use the Wim3rl. You will need a water pump rated at more than 12L per minute, a radiator of at least 120 x 120mm in size, and a quantity of appropriate hoses. 

For the printhead itself, you can pre-order one from their Kickstarter page at a price of €125 (USD$136). This campaign has a relatively low goal of only €2,500, so it’s quite possible they may hit their target. 

Via Kickstarter

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!