Cyclops & Chimera Documentation
This page will guide you through what constitutes the Cyclops, Chimera, and Legends Pack kits. As well as how to assemble these kits and guidelines for the use of them. It is imperative that this documentation is read in full as the steps do need to be followed in a very particular order, and there are certain actions that must be avoided in order to prevent failures or even damaging your parts.
What’s In the Box
|Cyclops Cold Side||Cyclops Hot Side||Chimera Hot Side|
Generic Assembly Guidelines
See Cyclops & Chimera Assembly for the assembly instructions. Please follow them to the letter!
Printer Specific Guidelines
There is £25 store credit available for any guide produced which conforms to E3D's Acceptable Guide Standard.
- Cyclops/Chimera on IndieLC
- Cyclops/Chimera on Kossel pro/Kossel mini
- Cyclops/Chimera on Makibox
- Cyclops/Chimera on Mendel 90
- Cyclops/Chimera on Prusa i3
- Cyclops/Chimera on Rigidbot
- Cyclops/Chimera on RoBo3D
- Cyclops/Chimera on Rostock Max
- Cyclops/Chimera on Solidoodle
- Cyclops/Chimera on Ultimaker 1
- Cyclops/Chimera on Ultimaker 2
- Cyclops/Chimera on Velleman k8200
The heatsink has 3 mounting holes on the back face, opposite the fan, and also 3 mounting holes available on the top face. These are provided to allow easy design of mounting systems for most printers. You should only need to use one set of the three holes. It is important to respect the airflow from the fan and over the heatsink. The air must be able to enter the fan from the front face, and crucially it must be able to exit from the side of the heatsink without being impeded. If the airflow over the fins is restricted then the hotend will overheat, and will fail to function.
The heatbreaks slide into the heatsink and are adjustable to an extent, by loosening the grub screws that clamp the heatbreaks inside the heatsink the heatbreaks will be able to slide in and out of the heatsink. In Chimera this is useful as the nozzles can each be individually levelled with respect to the axes. However it is important not to set the heatbreaks so that they are too far out of the heatsink. Any more than 1mm of the smooth portion of the heatsink protruding from the heatsink can cause issues. If using the 3x mounting screws on the back face of the heatsink do remember to provide access for an allen key to be able to undo the heatbreak securing grub-screws.
Software and Printing Guidelines.
Our preferred software stack is to use Repetier-Firmware on the printer, Cura to produce GCode, with Repetier-Host to arrange and pre-process multi-material 3D models. As ever, there are a plethora of other software options that you may wish to experiment with, however we have found the above combination to be the easiest to get great results from.
Repetier firmware is easily configured with a graphical interface through the web config tool here:  which supports the configuration of single nozzle, dual extruder systems.
Marlin does not easily or safely support single nozzle, multiple extruder systems as of February 2015.
Chimera can be broadly treated as a pair of standard hotends, and does not require any particular special treatment. It is important to ensure that your bed, axes, and nozzles are all tram and correctly aligned to ensure that nozzles do not collide with prints. Large amounts of retraction on tool change can cause issues with restarting extrusion; if a large retraction value (5mm+) is used soft filament is pulled into cold zones where it can freeze into place.
Cyclops requires some care and precautions with regards to slicing settings and setup. The main point to understand is that if a filament is not present in both heatbreaks and fully towards the bottom of the heatbreaks into the heated zone then there nothing stopping liquid plastic from back-flowing up the empty heatbreak and making a horrible mess of the cold side of the hotend. Always ensure filament is present in both heatbreaks before attempting to extrude in order to prevent back-flow.
Cyclops requires somewhat more extrusion force than a standard hotend will normally, and geared extruders are our recommendation. Particularly http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:60531 which is what we use internally for bowden extrusion.
When inserting filament for the first time it is a good idea to insert the filament into the hotend as far as they will go when cold, and then heat up the hotend to printing temperature.
When configuring your slicer for dual extrusion pay attention to the length of retraction used on tool change. Slicers often assume that you are using a fairly conventional hotend and attempt to fully retract the filament out of the hot zone of the hotend with a long retraction when switching hotends. This can cause the filament to be retracted too far out of the idle heatbreak and allow back-flow.
In general we have found that a 1mm standard retraction works well for most situations. Retraction on tool change works well when set to a value of around 1.5-2mm. Any longer than this and back-flow may occurr.
Cura has a useful dual extrusion feature called “Wipe and Prime Tower”. This feature creates a sacrificial tower-object which when the printer has to change extruders the printer will use to purge out the old colour before continuing with the next part of the print. Cyclops works well with values of around 25-35 mm^3 depending on the type of filament being used and the strength of the colours, if you see slow transitions a purge volume of 50 mm^3 may help. In general we find ABS produces much crisper switches than PLA with lower purge volumes, and also seems to produce slightly better quality prints.