The Low-Cost HotEnd for Everyone!
Not everybody needs the all-metal high-temperature performance of an E3D-v6. We’ve come to realise that there exists a need for a hotend that is reliable, and puts out great prints, but meets the budget of those who are just getting started in 3D printing.
Lite6 is our answer to that need. By adopting a PTFE-lined “mostly metal” design, we’re able to meet what we think is a really awesome price point of £21.50 for a full kit including electronics.
Think of Lite6 as V6's little brother: it’s a lower-cost Hot End with a more modest specification, but still a great option for beginners and those on a budget. For more information, watch our video or read the blog!
Lite6 cannot offer the same high-temperature performance as E3D-v6, which means that you can’t print higher-performance engineering plastics like Nylon, Polycarbonate, and ColorFabb Carbon-Fiber XT. The PTFE liner in Lite6 means that there is a temperature limit of 240°C.
With that said, Lite6 is aimed at the more standard materials, such as ABS and PLA, and it really does produce beautiful looking prints with outstanding reliability. The full length PTFE liner also means you get great performance with flexible materials like FleXD.
Lite6 has a slightly shorter effective melt-zone than v6, which does mean that print speeds are more modest, but still completely appropriate for all but the very fastest of 3D printers on the market. If you do need to get more speed from your machine then you can of course upgrade to either Volcano or v6 with ease.
The metal body of Lite6 makes it incredibly robust and tolerant of accidents that new users inevitably encounter. If you accidentally crash your Lite6 into a print there is effectively zero chance of it breaking. And unlike HotEnds constructed with PEEK bodies Lite6 is also very tolerant of overheating accidents. Although the PTFE liner may be damaged by the heat, there is no PEEK insulator to melt into a nasty puddle of molten polymer.
The stainless steel parts are incredibly thermally robust and essentially impossible to damage with the supplied heater. This means that in the event of cooking your PTFE liner you can quickly and easily swap it out for a new one and return your Lite6 to full functionality. New PTFE liners only cost £0.33!
We’ve also re-used as many parts from V6 and the rest of the E3D Ecosystem as possible. The beautiful polycarbonate fan duct, the proven 30mm ball-bearing cooling fan. Most importantly we’re using the same highly optimised nozzles and heater blocks. This means that we’re using tried and tested V6 components to deliver great performance in the most important areas of Lite6.