Tech Breakdown: Pulse SNAP Toolheads
Not only does the Pulse SNAP simplify maintenance by allowing you to quickly swap out the entire hotend, it makes hotend and nozzle changes even easier.
With any manufacturing tool, downtime is avoided at nearly all costs; a tool that doesn’t work is a tool that will take work to start being useful again. With 3D printers this often comes in the form of nozzle troubles, be it a clog or a swap to better suit material needs. Every newly purchased Pulse 3D printer now features the Pulse SNAP, a toolhead with quick-swap capabilities so you can change your hotend to better suit your 3D printing needs or for general maintenance.
Let's break it down-
Maintenance is an essential part of working with any machine, and 3D printers like the Pulse are no different. For 3D printers, the part that is the most heavily used is the nozzle. No other component will need replacing as often as a nozzle, simply because nozzles get jammed, clogged, and rammed into the bed, all of which will affect the performance of your 3D printer. With the Pulse SNAP, you can easily remove the entire printhead from the X-axis carriage and conveniently work on the hotend or even just get a closer look at your nozzle. In the event of a worst case scenario, quickly swap over to a new SNAP to get your Pulse back up and running while you work on the original toolhead, preventing an accidental print failure from taking your printer with it.
The new SNAP toolhead isn’t just useful for maintenance, it makes it incredibly easy to change out your toolhead in general. SNAP comes in a variety of hotend and nozzle combinations that make each configuration perfect for specific use cases. Have one toolhead dedicated for carbon-fiber NylonX 3D printing with a hardened steel or Olsson ruby nozzle, another for high-flow 0.8mm layers with the Mosquito Magnum hot end and 1.2mm nozzle, and one for general purpose printing with a 0.4mm brass nozzle, all at the ready for whatever your project needs.
A Pulse equipped with SNAP won’t take much time at all to change out toolheads. Start by powering off the Pulse and removing the magnetic wire cover. Remove the reusable ziptie by pressing on the tab that holds it in place and carefully unplug the connector. Undo the thumbscrew that holds the BL-Touch to the toolhead and let the probe hang loose off to the side. With your thumbs on the top of the X-carriage and a firm grip on the SNAP toolhead, press the entire toolhead up to remove it. The magnets holding it together are quite strong and will take considerable force to disconnect. To install a new toolhead, simply reverse the steps while taking care to avoid pinching any wires. In your slicing software of choice, make sure you change your extrusion width and nozzle size before slicing anything new. In MatterControl, you can find this setting under the Printer > General > Extruders menu and can tab through the different options.
Being able to jump from one hotend to another with the Pulse SNAP has a dramatic effect on the usability of a Pulse; it really gives you the freedom to experiment with different hotends without worry or careful technique. Hopefully you have a much better understanding of how the SNAP works and are ready to add this tool to your Pulse arsenal. To learn more and to order your next SNAP toolhead, check out the Pulse here.