How to Install the Prusa i3 (MK2.5/3/3S/3S+) Copperhead® Upgrade Kit
The Prusa i3 Upgrade Kit has all the necessary components to replace your stock i3 hotend with a new Slice Engineering® hotend. This kit utilizes the existing heat sink, heater, and sensor on the i3 and provides a value-added upgrade to the hot side of the hotend.
Follow along with this guide to see all the steps included in completing this upgrade. These instructions were created and photographed with a Prusa i3 MK3S+ printer. Some steps may not be applicable if upgrading an older model i3 printer.
Prusa i3 (MK2.5/3/3S/3S+) - Copperhead®
- Copperhead® Hotend (RepRap) w/ Dowel Pin Spacer
- Copperhead® Silicone Boot
- BridgeMaster® 0.4 mm Nozzle
- Boron Nitride Paste (5cc) w/ Applicator Swabs
- 1.5 mm hex key
- 2.0 mm hex key
- 2.5 mm hex key
- Adjustable wrench and/or pliers
Removal and Disassembly of the Existing Hotend
Prior to removing the current hotend, you may find it easier to remove any filament that is currently loaded. While this is not required, it will make the process easier. Follow all standard safety steps while removing filament from the hotend.
- Ensure the hotend has been allowed to cool down to ambient temperatures.
- Turn off the power to the printer and remove the power cord.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, remove the two screws attaching the part cooling fan to the extruder body.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, remove the four screws attaching the hotend cooling fan to the extruder body.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, remove the two screws directly under the extruder stepper motor securing the extruder cover to the extruder body. Remove the extruder cover and set it aside.
- Using a 1.5 and 2.0 mm hex key, loosen the two screws on the underside of the hot block securing the thermistor/heater cartridges to the stock hot block. You may need to hold the hot block with a wrench or pliers to loosen the screws successfully.
- Remove the heater and sensor cartridge from the hot block.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, remove the screw located on the top of the extruder body attaching the filament sensor cover to the extruder body. Once the screw is removed, set the cover to the side.
- Using a 1.5 mm hex key, remove the screw located on the top of the IR filament sensor. Once the screw is removed, gently remove the sensor from the extruder body and move it out of the way.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, unscrew the top two screws on the back side of the x-carriage. These do not need to be fully removed, only unscrewed from the stepper motor as shown in image 2.
- Gently pull the extruder stepper motor away from the extruder body and set it aside.
- Remove the stock hotend from the extruder body.
- Unscrew the heat break and hot block from the heat sink. You may need to use pliers or an adjustable wrench to remove the heat break from the heat sink.
- Congratulations!!! Disassembly is now complete. We're halfway there!!
Installation of the Copperhead® Hotend
- Remove the Copperhead® Silicone boot from the hotend.
- Gently thread the Copperhead® Hotend fully into the stock heat sink. The bottom of the cold side of the heat break should be flush with or slightly inset from, the bottom of the heat sink when fully threaded in. No tools should be used when threading in the Copperhead® Hotend, as excess force can damage the bimetallic heat break.
- Push the PTFE tubing down into the heatsink to ensure there is no gap.
Using a 2.0 mm hex key, while griping the Copperhead® Hot Block, remove the retaining screw located on the side of the hot block, to the left of the Slice Engineering logo.
Care must be taken not to lose the dowel pin inside the hot block. Only the indicated retaining screw should be removed, pictured below. This will ensure the heater and sensor are routed correctly to allow proper installation of the hotend into the heat sink/printer. Do not grip the heat break when removing the retaining screw as doing so may cause damage to the heat break.
- Remove the cap from the syringe of Boron Nitride Paste and dispense a pea-sized amount of Boron Nitride Paste onto an applicator swab.
- Using the Boron Nitride Paste on the applicator swab, coat the heater and sensor cartridges with paste.
- Insert the heater and temperature sensor into the hot block. An applicator swab can be used to clean up any excess Boron Nitride Paste on the exterior of the hot block.
- Using a 2.0 mm hex key, insert and tighten the hot block retaining screw. Care should be taken not to damage the heat break while tightening the retaining screw.
- Put the Copperhead® Silicone Boot bot on the Copperhead® Hot Block.
- Place the newly assembled hotend into the extruder body mount. The Slice Engineering logo should be facing forward.
- Install the extruder stepper motor/housing. Ensure all printed parts are aligned when reinstalling. Using a 2.5 mm hex key, tighten the two screws at the back of the x-carriage.
- Using a 1.5 mm hex key, install the IR filament sensor by tightening the indicated screw. Do not overtighten this screw when reinstalling this part.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, install the filament sensor cover by tightening the indicated screw. Do not overtighten this screw when reinstalling this part.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, install the extruder cover by tightening the two indicated screws.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, tighten the four screws used to secure the hotend cooling fan.
- Line the part cooling fan up in the housing and using a 2.5 mm hex key, tighten the two screws to secure the part cooling fan to the printhead.
- Using a 2.5 mm hex key, loosen the screw used to secure the PINDA probe. Once loosened, move the probe down such that if the nozzles were touching the bed the probe would be a few mm above the bed. If the probe is level with, or lower than the bottom of the nozzle you have moved it too far. Once the position is set, use a 2.5 mm hex key to tighten the screw securing the PINDA probe.
- We made it to the final step. Great job! Now all that's left is to perform a PID tune, calibrate your Z axis (I suggest running "Calibrate Z" and the "First layer cal." under "Calibration" on the main menu), and start printing.
When changing the nozzle, we recommend using our 1.5 nm Nozzle Torque Wrench™ to prevent plastic leakage. To change nozzles, grasp the Hot Block wrench flats shown below with a wrench, and then tighten, or loosen, the nozzle. The hot block must be held in place when changing nozzles to prevent any accidental damage to the hotend.
Congratulations on your newly installed Copperhead® Hotend