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Trying to find a proper Heating Block/Heat Cartridge for my MK10-based Wanhao i3

Posted by Cyber Akuma 
Trying to find a proper Heating Block/Heat Cartridge for my MK10-based Wanhao i3
February 22, 2018 12:29PM
I have a pre-version 2.1 Wanhao that I have been performing upgrades and maintenance to. Since I am already replacing the Extruder, Coldend, and Hotend with an all-metal version, I figured I might as well just replace the MK10 Heatingblock too since that would be the only part of the entire printhead that would not be replaced otherwise. That, and it's also using an old style of thermistor that is both very fragile and annoying to install (not to mention the fabric washer it uses is caked in PLA and might be unusable now), is leaking pretty badly, and it has been caked in PLA multiple times from it oozing into many exposed holes/components.

Finding a replacement screw-in style thermistor, and a new MK10 Heatblock is not hard (is there even any difference whatsoever of the "brand"/manufacturer of MK10 block used? Not sure which one would be the best to get, if there even is a difference) and originally I was confused about what "Heater Cartridge" to get, since the ones I saw designed for my printer were 6.3mm in diameter while others were 5.9mm. I figured they were mis-measured since 6mm is standard.... but apparently not. Seems that my MK10 heatblocvk DOES use a 6.35mm cartridge (or more accurately, a 1/4" one... odd how that one part is standard when the rest if metric). Finding a 6.35mm Heater Cartridge ALSO isn't hard, if not a little trickier.... but what I am unsure about now is if I should bother...

The 3D printing parts store Uncle Chuck seems to have created a "universal" Heater Block that will accept both 6mm and 6.35mm Heater Cartridges:


Issue is, I can't find any installation instructions or videos on it, and I am new to printing. What most worries me is that it mentions compatibility with M4 and M5 threaded thermisters... but the original MK10 is designed for M3 thermistors, I don't know if this means this heatblock will not work with existing thermistors. Has anyone here used this heat block?

Even more annoyingly, the M3 thermistors (the good ones at least that use a NTC 3950) also seem to be sold out everywhere as well:


The only ones I can find are the lower-quality Semitec EPCOS ones:


And the manufacturer's own website has had it's store closed for renovations for about 1-2 months now.....

I am still rather new to 3D printing so I would not be able to use a different thermistor that would require any sort of change to the firmware, I am not even sure how to reflash the firmware in the first place.

Also, is there any easy way to somehow "slot" or put some sort of connector on the cartridge in case I ever need to change it again in the future? Having to route the long cable through several cable-chains and cable-holders and all the way from the hotend to the control-box to hard-wire it to a motherboard connector is kind of a pain. Every other motor, fan, and even the thermistor on the print head is using a detachable connector, is there any decent way I can do that with the heating cartridge too? And is there any reason I should NOT do that for whatever reason?

Any advice on this would be appreciated.
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