Voxelab Aquila has made some upgrades to the Voxelab Aquila in response to consumer comments and ideas.
These Voxelab Aquila upgrades are mostly available on AliExpress, Amazon and Banggood. So, let us checkout what these are and how they bring more finesse to the Aquila 3D printer.
a. Better Performance Hotend
A better hotend is one of the first Voxelab Aquila modifications to check out. The original hotend lined with PTFE works great but lacks good thermal efficiency. So Voxelab Aquila has developed a noisy fan for the hotend to compensate.
One may already be aware, but placing the PTFE tube in contact with the nozzle may deteriorate it over time. This will require regular inspection, particularly if using ABS or PETG type high temperature materials.
A pop-in substitute like the acclaimed Micro Swiss hotend or the NF-Smart CR-10, Trianglelab Spiral Tower is highly recommended.
These are identical to what one receives with a Creality 3D printer. Any of these hotends should allow users to handle materials supporting high-temperature printing. Much more consistently while reducing the frequency with which one needs to service the printer.
One can also change the fan on the hotend with a quieter one for either of the bi-metal hotends.
A heat break, such as those from Trianglelab or Slice Engineering, can also be used to replace the original hotend.
When the Z motor is not active, the X gantry on the Voxelab Aquila can quickly collapse due to the weight.
Adding a POM supportive nut is a good way to address this. This will prevent the Z axis from drooping by itself, as well one will not have to grease the Z rod.
The POM nuts are an inexpensive $2 enhancement, so all the more reason for users to go for it.
c. Noiseless Cooling Fans
The buzzing fans used by the Voxelab Aquila are one of greatest gripes with users. The printer is quiet when it is running, however the loud fans it uses detract from that silence.
One might change the fans with quieter options, but please remember that they may have much less airflow than the default model.
The Noctua and Sunon fans are silent, however they run on 12V, so users will need a power converter to use them. It is advisable to change the hotend fan if one is upgrading the hotend, to ensure that heatcreep does not become an issue.
d. Dual Gear Metal Extruder
The Voxelab Aquila has a standard extruder with single gear that does a respectable job. It could do better with a high performance hotend.
Something that won’t need as much retraction and will make filament feeding to the nozzle much easier.
If one opts to replace the extruder, it is advisable obtaining an inexpensive twin-gear fully metallic extruder. This will improve grip on the filament while also do away with the chance of breaking current stock.
HICTOP Upgraded Replacement Aluminum MK8 Extruder Drive Feed for Creality 3D Printer Ender 3/3Pro CR-10, CR-10S, CR-10 S4, and CR-10 S5 (Dual Gear Extruder) (Misc.)
The key advantage of changing to this extruder is that no firmware changes are required. Yet, the flow rate and extruder settings will need calibrating.
Give the BMG extruder copy a try if one needs a superior extruder for the Voxelab Aquila.
It comes with twin gears and also has a gear ratio of 3-to-1. This will improve the quality of extrusion and allow not overload the extruder motor.
Users will need to adjust the direction of the motor direction using the firmware or exchange the motor wires with the BMG extruder.
The following online video online that walks one through the installation process for the above twin extruders:
e. Bed Mounts of Silicone
Replacing the original bed springs with bed mounts made of silicone is another inexpensive and significant upgrade for the Voxelab Aquila.
FEYRINX Hot Bed Leveling Column 3D Printer Silicone Stable Heat Bed Mounts Column Heat-Resistant Silicone Buffer for CR-10/ CR10S Ender-3, 4 PCS Black
The objective behind switching to these silicone mounts is to keep the bed in position. This will avoid messing up the leveling or Z offset during removal of prints.
One could duplicate something similar with some patience and some screw nuts. But the silicone mounts are quite inexpensive and offer a quicker fix.
This is an improvement that is highly advisable as it offers smoother leveling of the bed. It does away with the need for BLTouch like an automatic leveling system.
f. Print surface of Magnetic PEI sheet
Using a magnetic PEI sheet rather than the original glass print surface is another improvement for the Voxelab Aquila.
The weight of the bed will be reduced, and adhesion of prints with the bed will be much better.
As it is a top end costly upgrade, if there aren’t any adhesion concerns, one might as well avoid this. But, if one is going for Voxelab Aquila upgrades then the Energetic PEI Sprint Steel Sheet is the best option available.
e. Automatic Bed Leveling using BLTouch
The BLTouch is a universally recommended upgrade for the Aquila 3D printer.
ANTCLABS BLTouch : Auto Bed Leveling Sensor/to be a Premium 3D Printer (with 2M Extension Cable Set) (Misc.)
This addition to the Aquila offers faster bed leveling, but not a must in case the print surface has no issues. Also if one does not want to mess around with MBL.
Free Upgrades to Voxelab Aquila
Let us now check out which of the upgrades for the Voxelab Aquila come for free.
a. Knob for the Extruder
The presence of a knob for the extruder as part of the packing list is one of the competing Ender 3 V2’s distinctive features.
This is useful for filament loading or extruding a little after changing an outdated filament spool.
Download the file for the extruder knob from the following link and start printing if you want to build the same capabilities to the Voxelab Aquila.
A similar model of the knob can be located also on the SD memory card.
b. Firmware with additional features
The original firmware for the Voxelab Aquila is fantastic. But there are modified builds available that can give it much more capabilities.
The Firmware from Alex’s for the Voxelab Aquila is quite a popular one. He did an amazing job compiling several firmware versions, allowing one to quickly download and flash the version one needs.
It is recommended downloading the ManualMesh-4.bin file if one has a standard stock model.
This will provide the printer a manual mesh leveling for the bed. This will be a great improvement for Aquila, if one were to discover that the bed isn’t exactly flat and could use some tweaking.
c. Straight out LCD mount
If one wants to flash a homebrew firmware on the Aquila, one will find that mounting the LCD in a vertical configuration is advised.
The vertical LCD mount from Thingiverse should suffice. Modifying the screen orientation will not assist if one does not change the firmware. Print it from Thingiverse
d. Covers for the V-Slot
The minute bits of filament that get caught in the aluminum extrusions at the bottom of any 3D printer is a big irritation. A V-slot cover printing is a great Voxelab Aquila improvement that will help keep the printer clear.
e. Guide for the Filament
The position of the filament spool does not provide a clear path for the filament to enter the extruder.
The extruder will produce filament flakes as a result of the filament inclination. This changes its breadth and makes the prints seem quite worse.
As a result, a simple repair would be to build a filament guide to facilitate feeding of the filament into the extruder at a different angle. This should eliminate the faking problem and a must -have for a standard printer such as the Aquila.
f. Better Cooling fan duct
The 3510 rotary fan does a good job of chilling the layers being printed. But it has one major flaw as it only blows air from one side.
A twin-head component cooling duct can be printed to help with this. If one wants to make more improvements, they may change the fan to a 5015 model. This will allow for better airflow and greatly improved prints using PLA filament. Link to this model file is here
There’s also the option of printing this mount with an additional 3510 radial fan to provide the printer much more cooling using a twin-fan.
g. Go for a Direct drive System
Some individuals despise bowden configurations. They prefer to switch their printers to direct-drive configurations. Mostly for greater filament control and reduced retraction.
It also enhances print quality for adaptable filaments like TPU. Print this model to get this mount
So it could be a worthwhile update for the Aquila, especially since it costs nothing but just some grams of filament.
If one wants to convert their Aquila to direct drive, print this mount first and then get to work.
h. Holder for Tools
A location to keep all of the tools that come with the printer is another feature absent from the Voxelab Aquila. One can print the holder for the Aquila and store the tools on the printer’s top.
Remember to double-check that there is a print file on the SD memory stick that is already pre-sliced and good for printing.
i. Octoprint Installation
Novice users may not be aware of Octoprint software that can be loaded on a Raspberry Pi. This software allows one to control the Aquila remotely from a web browser.
Aside from that, one can utilize a variety of plugins to enhance the 3D printer’s functionality.
Octoprint is a wonderful addition to Aquila’s list of free upgrades. If one has a Raspberry Pi hanging around, there’s no reason for not trying it out. It is quite an adorable upgrade!
Conclusion on the Voxelab Aquila Upgrades
The above upgrades are appropriate for the Aquila 3D printer. A well-configured slicer profile can certainly enhance print quality. Thus not having to make any alterations to the stock printer.