From time to time, and for many different reasons, you may find yourself needing to replace your hotend (for example, a particularly bad clog, wear from abrasive materials, or need for a new/different size nozzle etc…). Unlike other 3D printers, Bambu Lab hotends can be installed cold and as such, they don't have the issues that other 3D printers & hotends have with oozing or leaking filament between the nozzle and the heat break interface. The reason for this is because Bambu Lab hotends are designed with the heatsink, throat, heater block, and nozzle as a single unit. In addition, a spare hotend is also provided with every new X1/X1C 3D printer.
Bambu Lab hotends are also sold both as a single hotend (consisting of the heatsink, throat, heater block, nozzle, thermal grease, and retaining clip), and as a complete hotend assembly (consisting of everything in the hotend, plus hotend cooling fan, ceramic heater, thermistor(NTC), silicone sock, and all pre-assembled and ready to use in your X1/X1C 3D printer).
NOTE: If you are replacing only the hotend from your printer's complete hotend assembly, you will reuse the ceramic heater, thermistor, retaining clip, silicone sock, and hotend cooling fan. If you are not reusing these items and are not installing a complete hotend assembly, you will need to order those parts from the Bambu Lab Online Store.
¶Removing the complete hotend assembly (see Video 1)
Go to the Temperature/Axis settings and make sure your hotend temperature is at 50c or below; then turn the power OFF.
Open the magnetic cover and move it aside.
Gently remove the bigger 2-pin plug of the ceramic heater, the 4-pin plug of the hotend cooling fan, and the very small 2-pin plug of the thermistor.
Use the H2 Allen key to remove the 2 screws that are near the top of the hotend's heatsink.
Carefully move the wires out of the plastic wire clip and remove the complete hotend assembly.
NOTE: If you are installing another complete hotend assembly, you should now skip to the section titled “Installing the complete hotend assembly” below. Otherwise, please continue.
¶Disassembling the complete hotend assembly (see Video 2)
Remove the 2 screws holding the fan
Remove the silicone sock, noting that the silicone sock wire notch is on the same side as the heatsink wire channel.
Gently pull down and away the retaining clip (the retaining clip is used to hold in place both the ceramic heater and thermistor).
Using your needle nose pliers, gently grab the 2-wires of the ceramic heater and remove.
Using your needle nose pliers, gently grab the 2-wires of the thermistor and remove.
Replacing the hotend/ceramic heater/thermistor(NTC)/hotend cooling fan can also refer to the above instructions.
¶Assembling the hotend as a complete hotend assembly (see Video2)
While holding your brand new hotend, notice the 2 thin raised tabs on one side of the heater block (same side as the heatsink wire channel). Between those 2 thin raised tabs is where the ceramic heater will be installed, and the tabs are there to make sure the heater stays in place. Also notice a tiny hole on the adjacent heater block side. That is where the thermistor will be installed.
Cut the thermal grease package open and squeeze some on one end of your Q-tip.
Apply thermal grease liberally on both the ceramic heater side, as well as in and around the small thermistor hole.
Position the thermistor into the hole, making sure the wires are routed through the heatsink wire channel.
Gently position the ceramic heater, making sure the wires are facing away from the heater block and are routed again through the heatsink wire channel (see Video2).
Slowly move the retaining clip up (notice that the side of the clip that goes over the thermistor has a bulge).
Insert the silicone sock with the silicone wire notch on the same side as the heatsink wire channel (see Video2).
Attach the hotend cooling fan with the 2 screws and your H2 Allen key.
Congratulations!! You just converted your spare hotend into a complete hotend assembly, ready to be installed into your X1/X1C.
¶ Installing the complete hotend assembly (see Video1)
Position the complete hotend assembly so that the 2 screw holes are behind the bracket.
Gently push the 2 screws in and then tighten them equally (but be careful not to overtighten).
Plug in the very small 2-pin thermistor plug, the 4-pin hotend cooling fan plug, and finally, the bigger 2-pin ceramic heater plug.
Route all the loose cables through the plastic wire clip.
The X1/X1C thermistor plug is equipped with a buckle/latch (different than the fan and heater). So please make sure that you press the buckle/latch to open it BEFORE you try to disconnect the thermistor connector. And forgetting to do that could damage the thermistor plug and/or the PCB connector.