I’ve just finished the first round of mods on my Wanhao i3 Plus, and thought it’d be useful to document them, as I don’t think many of these have been done before:
- Slice Engineering Copperhead hotend (mk10 variant)
- TCMUK 40W 6mm dia. heater cartridge (as the standard Wanhao one is 6.35mm, incompatible with the Copperhead)
- TCMUK B3950 brass thermistor cartridge
- E3D 0.6mm brass nozzle
- Extruder PCB modified to place thermistor connector on the bottom, and replace heater connector with a Molex Micro-Fit 3.0, for plug-&-play with the above components
- Lower extruder PCB bracket modified to accomodate above changes. Top cover ommitted.
- Boron nitride paste used on hot side
- Arctic silver Ceramique thermal paste used on cold side (heat break and heatsink)
- Lightly lapped build plate with 600-grit paper (revealing quite some unevenness)
- Countersunk bores in build plate, to allow another plate (eg. glass) to be placed on top without worrying about the corners
- Levelling springs replaced with stronger (8.92N/mm) and slightly longer (22mm) ones, to prevent the bed moving while printing, and allow a greater range of adjustment
- 35mm high-tensile steel bolts to suit above mods, with 5mm POM spacers placed inside the springs to help with alignment.
- Locking nuts omitted – the springs on their own provide enough friction!
- M6 minimalist rear Z braces (martin_au on Thingiverse), with grade 8.8 high-tensile threaded rod
- Replaced all accessible cap-head screws with self-colour high-tensile button-head ones
The hotend makes a massive difference over stock. Extrusion is much smoother, and it warms up instantly.
After completing the hotend and bed mods, I printed the cross-brace brackets in ABS at 0.3mm layer height, 0.9mm line width, and 70mm/s with a 0.6mm nozzle, and the results were impressive to say the least.
I’m yet to tune retractions, so that’s next on the list. Longer term, I’d like to:
- Design a custom cooling fan shroud
- Replace the extruder fan with something that’s less disruptive of surrounding air
- Replace the stepper drivers for quieter/smoother ones
I have a twitter thread with a more detailed runthrough of what I’ve done and how, but I’m not sure if posting a link to that is allowed?