mandag 11. april 2011 - New v6 hot end and positive experience.

I cringed when I read Camiels post at the blog the other day. It's easy to see the frustration, and he does have a valid point about the negative feedback getting the most attention. As I received a package from mendel-parts today, I'd like to share my positive experience with you, while I make a first-impression preview on their new v6 hot end design.

My order was in the €100+ range, which included a 5mm alu printbed and a few spares of the older simpler hotends (now discontinued?), because I know I can get that to work (at least for a day or two). I also ordered a bunch of bootlace ferrules, as I only seem to find insulated ones on ebay for some reason.

The most interesting item though, is this.

This is the newest v6 hot end design from, and it looks like it has great potensial. It's machined beautifully, and has a good deal of weight to it. The added weight might have an impact on a theoretical maximum speed, but my main goal is stability over speed anyway.

The only part I don't like is the thermistor attachment, as I don't trust kapton tape, and neither would I like to glue the thermistor permanently to the block. We'll see if I manage to build up the courage to tap a new hole and use a ring terminal with the thermistor on instead.

Another thing I'm a bit curious about is the gap inside the heater block, between the nozzle and the inlet. I have always understood the inside of the hot end needed to be a smooth as possible to decrease the pressure needed to push plastic through. This design have some pretty big threads where the plastic will pack up, and most of us have probably fought with hardened PLA. Yes, I understand they get the design to work very well, though I don't know if this gap has any down sides, especially regarding long time reliability and cleaning.

Edit: I have the peek block the wrong way around in these pictures. More info from araspitfire here.

Back to the order and lead time discussion.

I put in the order 3/26, got a manual order confirmation 3/31, and the package was shipped 4/6. According to the excellent UPS tracking system, it took less than 8 hours to ship the package the ~1000km from the Netherlands to Oslo. It then took 4 days to ship it the last ~100km from Oslo to me, let's blame the weekend for that. All in all I must say it was pretty good!

In total it took 16 days to receive my order, of which 5 days was in transit. I ordered on a Saturday, so the first working day was 28/3. Is 9 days of lead time something to make a fuzz about? I really don't see why people complain. I'd also like to add that they sent me a new printed baseplate for the v6 hotend for free, which they really weren't obliged to do. That's great service!

Some people will probably mention it, and I'd like to agree in advance; this wasn't a complete mendel kit, which may have a longer lead time. But for those of us who have a mendel in our possession, it's irrelevant, because we're mainly interested in fast dispatching of spare parts anyway. And in that regard, I approve of, and recommend them as a webshop who delivers what they promise: high quality parts, and a decent lead time.

Update 01.09.2012: Mendel-parts has been getting a lot of bad press over a long period of time, and although the grief is mostly about Orcas, I can not recommend shopping with them until they fix their issues. For high quality extruder hot ends, check out J-heads at and Arcol versions at

Now I'm looking forward to trying out the slick v6 hot end! A proper review is coming up when I have some experience with it running, and made up my mind about it.