We sometimes forget that 3D printers are just CNC platforms with an attached hotend and that there are quite a few alternative tool heads out there. [Jón Schone] did just that and needed a way to quickly and completely disconnect his hotend from his printer, so he 3D printed his own custom D-Sub connector for filament and wires. (Video, embedded below.)
[Jon] added a number of upgrades for his Creality CR10 3D printer including a quick change tool holder so he can use a laser engraver and even a small spindle as well. When the hotend is removed there is no way to quickly disconnect the wiring, so the printhead will usually remain connected and placed on one side of the printer. For a quick solution for both the cabling and the Bowden tube, he first modified a commercially available D-Sub connector. The connector was relatively expensive and the hose tended to pop out, causing some failed prints.
[Jon] wanted to use proper bowden tube fittings in the connector so he designed and printed his own D-sub connector and bought loose contacts. Sliding the contacts into the housing turned out to be quite difficult without breaking them, so he’s working to make this process easier. This is just one of many examples of 3D printing upgrades from 3D printers that have been a central feature of the RepRap project from the start. Check out the video after the break
We have no shortage of 3D printer hacks, and many more are to come. The cool novelties include the Jubilee CNC, which was developed from the start with automatic tool changing in mind, and a printer that fits in your backpack.