Can You Add A Dual Extruder To Any 3D Printer?

Adding a dual extruder to a compatible 3D printer is doable. The top reason users decide to add a dual extruder to their 3D printers is to print an object with two color schemes.

In this quick article, let’s briefly discuss what a single extruder does and how to upgrade to a dual extruder step by step.

How Does A Single Extruder Work?

An extruder consists of a cold end and a hot end.

Cold end houses the following components to hold the filament:

  • Step motor
  • Gear
  • Spring loaded idler
  • PTFE tube (Guides the filament into the hot end)

Hot end melts the filament and extrudes the material out of the nozzle. There are two types:

  • Bowden (Can print fast with low moving mass to produce high quality parts by eliminate vibration & jerking movement)
  • Direct drive (Extrusion and retraction commands are more immediate to have morr stable material deposition control)

Step By Step – Upgrading A Single Extruder System To A Dual Bowden Extruder System

The main upgrade is to add an extruder motor and a mixing hot end. This modification will give the user the ability to use two filament colors.

Buy The Following Components

Please get the following component compatible with your 3D printer’s model

  • Spool holder – For the second filament
  • Stepper motor – Use for feeding the second filament spool
  • Extruder – Buy the same extruder as the factory original to have the same e-steps
  • Hot end – Buy dual extruder kit that can switch between 2 colors
  • Control board – Must have to control the additional stepper motor

Setting Up A Dual Extruder

  1. Installing a spool holder
  2. Install extruder and stepper motor
  3. Replace default hot end with the dual extruder hot end kit
  4. Replace control board with the new one that enables 5 five stepper motor driver slots
  5. Use Marlin firmware to support a wide variety of controller boards , then PID autotune on the new hot end for calibration
  6. Change Slicer setting to “2” extruders, then reconfigure each extruder individually

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