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Introducing the LM Nano Tool Head for the LulzBot Mini 3D Printer


The Birth of the LM Nano


 Bold Machines'  Medieval Castle  printed at 30% scale with the LM Nano 0.25mm Hotend

Bold Machines' Medieval Castle printed at 30% scale with the LM Nano 0.25mm Hotend

We here at Hydra Research are always looking for ways to streamline the efficiency and quality of the 3D printing experience. When we expanded our printer profile in late 2016 we had some frustration because our printers used different sized filaments 1.75mm and 2.85mm. This meant we had to stock all our materials in both sizes, or only be able to print certain materials on certain printers. Thus, we began to look into converting our LulzBot Mini to 1.75mm. The Mini was a great option for this thanks to LulzBot's dedication to open source development. We found models for a mounting bracket using e3D hardware on Thingiverse by user (Stephanie). We proceeded to build a new tool head for the Mini. However, in doing so we recognized some opportunities to improve upon the feature set of the standard Mini tool heads. We added a hardened steel nozzle and drive gear and because we switched to 1.75mm we were able to use a small lightweight 22mm 0.9º step angle motor. Additional e3D’s Titan extruder offers a fully enclosed filament path, which allows for improved printing of flexible materials and rigid ones all through the same tool head.

This was turning into quite a versatile replacement for the stock tool head. We began to think that if we wanted a tool head that brought 1.75 compatibility to the Mini and could print just about any material on the market with a print temperature less than 295ºC, that others might benefit from it as well. So we made some modifications to Stephanie's designs for the printed parts and began to source parts.

 Reusable can lid printed in NinjaTek NinjaFlex

Reusable can lid printed in NinjaTek NinjaFlex

User experience is extremely important to us, thus we knew we needed a full support system for this tool head. When someone buys our fully assembled tool head dubbed the LM Nano, they will receive installation and start up instructions, custom firmware to load on their Mini, all the source files for the tool head, and a Simplify3D profile tuned for the LM Nano. This means when you receive your LM Nano, installation will be identical to any of the other tool heads for the Mini. We have done all the configuration and tuning in firmware so that all you have to do is load our firmware onto the Mini via Cura LulzBot Edition and you’re ready to rock!

LulzBot is a Registered Trademark of Aleph Objects, Inc