In order to improve PETG printing performance, my open-box Monoprice Maker Select is receiving a hardware upgrade. The print head assembly (filament extruder and hot end) is being replaced with an E3D Titan Aero, a combination all-metal hot end and geared extruder.
For this first pass, the goal is to be as simple and nondestructive as practical so I could revert if things don’t work out. If this works, I can make things nicer later. Obviously, the first step is to remove my existing print head, leaving just the metal X-axis carriage assembly. Since I’m trying to be nondestructive, the goal is to fit into this space in the U-shaped metal and bolt onto existing holes.
To test for fit, I laid out parts for assembly. Some people are squeamish about using the print surface as a work surface, preferring to leave it as pristine as possible. I have no such qualms.
A few quick tests confirmed there is indeed space within the U-shaped metal to accommodate a Titan Aero. The hole for the actual nozzle doesn’t line up, though, which means the Titan Aero nozzle will have to dangle off to the side of the metal bracket. This wish for non-destructiveness will extract a price in the form of a small reduction in print volume. I decided the tradeoff is worthwhile for now. I designed & printed a simple adapter to mount the whole works on the existing metal bracket. The Titan Aero kit does not include a stepper motor, so I reused the existing extruder motor.
When I was just eyeballing the parts, I thought I could use the existing heater cartridge and thermister. The advantage of this approach is reduced wiring work and we wouldn’t have to change print controller configuration. Sadly, the heater cartridge is a tiny fraction of a millimeter too large to fit and thermister is an entirely different shape. So some wiring tasks and controller configuration changes had to be made. Since the long-term plan is to build a better chassis using these parts, I kept most of the wires for the heater and thermister with the hope the wires will be better routed in that future dream chassis. In the short-term, the wires are just coiled on top of the print assembly.
The final modification was to the cooling fan — when it was powered up for the first time, I heard how loud it was and said “Oh hell no.” I replaced it with a 40mm Noctua fan (*) which doesn’t move as much air but is far quieter. If the reduced air volume causes heat creep issues I’ll revisit this fan replacement, but for now I’m grateful for the silence.
Once the upgrade was hacked together, the printer can now easily extrudes PETG at decent print speed with 0.3mm layer height. I was initially worried about the adapter bracket holding up under the heat (it was printed in PLA) but the Noctua cooling fan seemed to be doing its job and things never get hot enough for the bracket to be a problem so I’m happy to leave well enough alone. I’ve got a rover to reprint in PETG.
(*) Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
9 thoughts on “Titan Aero Upgrade for Monoprice Maker Select (Wanhao Duplicator i3)”
Hello. Do you have a working link to the mounting bracket?
I’ve verified the mounting bracket Onshape CAD link in my post is working for me. If you could provide more specific details on how it’s not working for you, we can diagnose from there. Thanks!
Hi Roger, the link only works for people with a commercial Onshape account since they ditched the free plans last year, is it possible to just get the STL uploaded to a dropbox or google drive?
They haven’t ditched their free plans, they just stopped advertising it. https://newscrewdriver.com/2018/12/30/onshape-is-free-for-makers-but-theyre-less-eager-to-say-so-now/
what did you use as your cooling part fan/mount?
This printer is dedicated to printing PETG. Whose layers bond better without cooling, so once I removed the old part cooling fan I did not replace it in the new setup. The only downside that’s been a problem for me personally have been poor bridging, as PETG strings droop in the absence of cooling. For my projects that hasn’t been an important enough issue, but it will be different for other people.
Did you use the titan aero standard version or the mirrored?
Very cool. I’m doing a series of upgrades to my ageing maker select plus (DUET, recessing the screws for a few more mm of print space, and magnetic metal bed). Your Titan Aero adapter saved me a bunch of time! Really appreciate it!
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