In this post, I will write about my experience with Titan Aero extruder.
Titan Aero extruder combines Titan extruder and V6 hotend into a compact system reducing 25mm in the z-axis. Due to its compact/reduced length, it is also rigid, i.e. less prone to nozzle movement due to bumps while printing. By having a short, well-constrained filament path there is less room for filament to bend, so it is great for printing flexible filaments like Ninjaflex. Titan Aero seemed attractive to me because of these advantages. Moreover, I had no bad experiences with Titan, so I thought why not give it a try.
Accommodating an Aero as a direct drive extruder for delta printer is a bit tricky. You have to design a custom effector. In this custom effector, the nozzle will be located well below the effector plane, so a minor effector tilt will be accentuated at the nozzle tip. Anyways, I designed an effector like in the picture below and the CAD file is available here.
The printed effector will attach to the laser cut aluminium effector plate. For fan mount, I used the design here in thingiverse. The mounting instructions for titan aero are given at E3D website. The picture below shows the effector and extruder assembly.
The Aero extruder is assembled with a hardened steel nozzle because I wanted to try different filaments. In the following video, I was printing colorfabb xt-cf20 filament, one of the difficult filaments to print. CF-20 is difficult to print because of high viscosity increase due to presence of short fibers in the polymer melt. At the same time, the fibers can also clog the nozzle orifice during extrusion.
Due to the large difference in height between nozzle and effector plane, high mass of the effector (motor+titan+aero+blower fan) and difficult filaments, I reduced the printing speed to 20mm/s. The usual printing speed for PLA is 60mm/s. You can notice that in the video below.
The print quality of CF-20 was much better with minimal effort compared to other extruders/printers. I wanted to print other different materials, so I ordered colorfabb sample pack which contains Ngen, Ngen flex, XT, glowfill etc. You can see those parts in the pictures below.
Titan Aero coupled with hardened steel nozzle is a versatile combination. It could print most of the common filaments, even the difficult to print XT-CF20. At some point, I started hearing creaking noises from Aero, then it had a difficult time in extruding filaments, I had to increase the motor current and reduce the speed. When I mentioned it to the support team, many users were complaining about the same issue. This led to a blog post called BearingGate, which is about the bearing lubricant affecting the titan case. I opened my titan aero and found the bearing to be rusty which was causing the creaking noise. It was also listed as one of the problems. I lost motivation to move further with this extruder. It was good when it worked.
As I mentioned earlier, the titan aero on a delta printer is very tricky due to large height difference between nozzle and effector plane. Even if it is used, I have to reduce the speed a lot. I don’t think Aero gave me a huge advantage compared to Titan in the context of delta printer. In fact, I prefer Titan for delta compared to Titan Aero because of low height difference between nozzle and effector plane. Titan Aero, while it worked was versatile in handling a wide variety of filaments. I never had any issue with quality of the prints.
In the next post, I will write about my experience with Bondtech BMG extruder.