July 26, 2018 | In my last post I talked about upgrading my 3d printer to use a better hotend with interchangeable nozzles. Since then I have broken and fixed my printer again. First the break. The new hotend has one of those pipe fitting clamp things that grabs on to the bowden tube (the tube the filament runs in from the extruder to the hotend). So far, this is the same as the original. But the new hotend has an additional trick: it never lets go of the tube. I was trying to pull out the tube so that I could rotate the cords around to the left of the hotend (this would enable me to install a part cooling fan). But since it wouldn’t budge I escalated. I grabbed the tube with pliers and tried to push down the latch with another pair. In the end it released, but when it did the suddenly released pliers knocked into the other pieces around it–notably the thermistor wire. In one clever move I broke both the bowden tube and the thermistor. The thermistor actually snapped in half and the printer reported that the temperature had dropped to 0°F–neither accurate nor safe. Today the tube and thermistor arrived and I successfully installed them. My printer still looks like C3PO in The Empire Strikes Back, wires and exposed innards all over the place, but it prints. So . . . success?