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Routing extruder and hot end wires

Posted by GITRDUN 
Routing extruder and hot end wires
June 17, 2013 08:55PM
Ive been stumped on what is the best way to route the extruder and hot end wires from the X carriage. Do most people just run it through a plastic wire loom to get the flex or what? I have two printers and tidying up the messy wires would go a long way in making them look a little less like printers made from scrap pieces.
Re: Routing extruder and hot end wires
June 17, 2013 10:20PM
Spiral wrap works pretty good.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2013 10:25PM by Bruce.
open | download - SpiralWrap.JPG (324.6 KB)
Re: Routing extruder and hot end wires
June 17, 2013 11:46PM
You could use heatshrink and cable sleeving, which could make it look AWESOME

Also use connectors for everything (I dont suggest power supply motherboard connectors, molex connectors, or sata connectors, they could get bulky; use ones that have very close spacing and use the crimp pin things)

I haven't tried 3d printing the connectors though (try for 0.05" pitch or less if it's doable)
Re: Routing extruder and hot end wires
June 18, 2013 12:39PM
I think the best solution is good quality rainbow-ribbon cable - this is one of my Mendel90's with a single neat ribbon serving all the needs of the extruder, the X Axis and the heated bed.

Reasons I like this:

It enforces a minimum bend radius of sorts all by itself, less kinking of wires that are being constantly moved means more reliability and less fire. If you want more bend-radius enforcement you can use a thin strip of polypropylene sheet plastic, or I have also used LDPE cut from a plastic milk-bottle.

It's neat as hell.

It's easy to wire up and understand your wiring loom. The colours make a huge difference.

Amphenol spectrastrip brand cable is capable of a lot of current. If you need more you can bond two lines next to each other. This is useful for hotends and other parts that move like the heated bed, where you can bond even more lines together to get 10A rating easily, while still keeping nice bend-radius enforcement and tidiness by having the thermistor wires on the same ribbon. Bend radius enforcement is really quite important if you don't want a fire on a 10A cable.

It's easily connected to 0.1" headers with no soldering, stripping, or fuss using these wonderful things called IDC's (Insulation Displacement Connectors) - you just place the connector over the cable and clamp it down, pins in the connector push little forked teeth through the ribbon cable making an electrical connection. This is how your old IDE cables are made with many connectors coming off one strip.

All credit for this idea goes to Nophead who first pointed it out in his Mendel90 development blogs.

I Design/Sell all-metal hotends. My company is called e3d-online - you can buy at [www.e3d-online.com]
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