A multi-nozzled, water-cooled, bowden-fed, plastic-extruding monster!
What is The Kraken?
Kraken is our cutting edge 4-Nozzle multiple extrusion hotend product. This means that you have 4 complete hotends in one. Each nozzle is individually temperature controllable, and individually bowden fed. Kraken remains a compact and lightweight package despite its capabilities by using hyper-efficient water cooling, and innovative integrated bowden couplers that are contained within the body of the Kraken. To tackle the all-too-common issues of nozzle levelling Kraken has the ability to individually adjust the height of each nozzle and can in fact almost level itself using the bed as a reference.
What can you do with it?
Kraken lets you push the boundaries of what is possible to 3D print by allowing you to use 4 distinct colours in a single print, 4 separate engineering plastics in a single part, or explore complex geometry by using soluble or breakaway support materials.
Using multiple colours in a single print gives you the ability to convey more visual information in your prototypes, and express more creativity in the visual design of your prints.
Multiple material printing opens up huge possibilities of what is functionally possible from a single print. Instead of being stuck with one set of material properties for each print you can use the best possible material for the job in each part of your object.
Having a separate support material hugely increases the possibilities of what geometries are possible to print. Release your designs from the shackles of limited overhangs and bridges and open up whole new possibilities in freeform printing.
Requirements and Expectations
Although Kraken is now a mature and well tested hardware product with hundreds in the wild and a great deal of excellent community feedback it is worth keeping in mind that the Kraken requires a certain level of work and learning to get running. A working knowledge of firmware configuration, slicer settings and electronics is essential.
Kraken requires an electronics setup that is capable of driving 4 distinct extruders, so far we have had great results and feedback with both the Azteeg X3 Pro and the RepRapPro Duet with DueX4 expansion.
We are currently selling the Kraken as a fully loaded kit, which contains all the machined hotend parts, thermistors, heater cartridges, bowden tubing and couplings, and a water cooling pump with tubing. To complete the setup you will need 4 Bowden extruders of your choice, and a reservoir for the water pump to sit in.
The Kraken enables the user to extrude up to 4 different filaments in a single print, all at different print temperatures. Since the Kraken is water cooled it is highly compact and can be used in a heated chamber. Each of the nozzles on Kraken is individually adjustable in height, and can be set so that they are 100% planar to the bed by referencing the bed itself. Despite all this Kraken is a compact little beast, at only 40mmx35mm in footprint. Kraken uses the same all-metal principles that are behind our successful E3D-v6 all-metal hotends and you can expect similar performance here. The Kraken is exclusively 1.75mm at this point in time and will be supplied with four 0.4mm nozzles as standard.
This kit is a fully equipped version of the Kraken with all 4 nozzles included and enabled - we are including all the needed electronics such as heater cartridges and thermistors. We will also be supplying a water pump with tubing. We won't supply a reservoir for the water - but this is easily self-sourced in the form of any waterproof container. All our testing shows that there is no need for a radiator, and simple passive cooling of the water as it passes through the system seems to cool things effectively. Our standard v5 and v6 1.75mm nozzles are compatible with Kraken. The Kraken was designed for v5 heater blocks (and is supplied with them), however if you want to use v6 heater blocks, this is possible with some clever arrangement.
We have done extensive testing with the Kraken, and are happy with the design and feel it is ready for market However due to it's complexity, we are still releasing it as a beta product. This means that we aren't able to make promises about its capabilities or performance. However, don't be afraid - there is a community of Kraken developers out there that have already started working on the software and hardware support. There are still challenges in software and electronics capabilities, but we are working with software developers and electronics manufacturers towards complete support.
Currently we are only shipping this product as a full kit without the option for a different number of nozzles.
If you require extra tubing for the Bowden or water cooling systems please go and buy the extra amounts you need from the "Mechanical" section of the store - we'll supply the extra tube as a continuous length.
Heat Break: 3.25g
Cooler Block: 59g
Heater Block: 7g
Join us on the E3D Forum if you have any questions.