I opted for the aluminum Extruder upgrade for the Ender 3, and I had it printing PLA for some time. I decided to move to PETG some time ago, and when I did the aluminum Extruder was putting horrible grooves into the PETG filament, even ribbing it quite a bit. I decided to replace the idler pulley with the factory one, and made a simple mod that allows me to adjust tension. No more slipping or tearing up your filament on the Ender 3 extruder!
I had upgraded the bed springs as well, so those springs were just laying around; I decided to use one of those instead of the one that come with the Extruder. I removed the tensioner arm, changed out the idler pulley to stock and then found myself a long M3 bolt and M3 washer, and a M3 machine nut. I ran the long M3 bolt through the outside of the extruder, and let it stick through to the inside. Once I had enough threads, I placed the M3 nut onto the bolt. On the idler arm, I used the flat head M3 bolt that come with it, and placed my old bed level spring on it, and lined the washer up with the spring. Then I placed the whole assembly back in place, making sure the washer was on the bolt protruding from outside the unit, and also on the spring. Essentially, it’s now an adjustable tension Extruder; So I threaded up my PETG and tightened down on my bolt until the right amount of tension was there, just enough to grip well and not malform the PETG. Don’t forget the nut you put on the screw is what is holding the washer onto the spring, if it’s not spinning when you are trying to tension your spring you may need to turn it as well.
There is a good chance this could also be done with the stock extruder, if you ran the threads all the way through on the right hand hole.
- M3 Bolt (Atleast 30-40mm)
- M3 Washer, or close to this size.
- M3 Nut (Not a Nylock, these are too tall)
Questions? Leave a comment below, and I will give you some help.