E3D Hemera

I don’t look at printer upgrades very often. My Geeetech i3 Aluminum has had some small modifications in the last few years, but it’s been pretty rock stable.

I landed on a video about the E3D Hemera today. That looks like a pretty nice print head. I’ve always wanted something that could print the softer filaments. My print head doesn’t have the ability to do it.

Unfortunately, it’s currently out of stock and no indication of when it will be back in stock. The print head would be the second most expensive upgrade I’ve made on this older printer. The first would be the RADDs board I have installed on it.

What print heads are ya’ll running?

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E3DV6 with a direct drive. Only hotend I’ve ever used. It has been very functional and a good workhorse (though I have little to compare it with).

I’ve got 2 prusa i3 clones I built with plywood frames. I run an e3d v6 on one (in the Prusa r4 extruder with the Bondtech gears) and an e3D Titan Aero on the other.

Both have been rock-solid compared to other types I’ve cobbled together from least-cost parts. I spent way too much time messing around with janky hobbed bolts, hand-wound heater elements, and questionable nozzles. I know they’re a bit more expensive, but in my experience the e3d engineering has been worth it.

I have used a wades with various hot ends, Mk8’s with various throats, titan aero, and I have a hemera here that I have not hooked up yet (soon!). I would say ease of fixing an issue is in the order I have them listed, the chances of having an issue are also in thate order. Once I used the microswiss throats on the mk8’s (and 0.5mm nozzle) I really never have any issues. The titan aero was a pain in my butt for a whole year until the bearings died I just replaced them a month or so ago…it has never been better so I have to assume I had a bad set from day one, I am really starting to like it much better enough to get the hemera. I have to say they certainly improved the design by a lot and I did not realize it until I took apart the hemera.

So if I had to choose, a good mk8 with a microswiss works perfectly for anything I have ever needed, but the hemera looks to take it up a notch and overall is much lighter due mostly to the smaller stepper. In the end I think the design is fantastic and if the price is not a deal breaker it really is nice to have the “best” (direct drive) once and a while.

I want to make a z axis bed printer and for that I would certainly want to try a remote drive and go head to head with a hemera and see how much speed you would need to sacrifice to do it.

I never got my MK8 (knockoff) with the microswiss hot end working. I tried it out a year ago or so and could never keep it from jamming. I think when I tried to make it work that my biggest issue was keeping the cold side of the heat brake cold.

Hmmm, all I can think of is how I set them up versus the intended way. I sink the small part of the throat right to the top of the heat block flush, that usually leaves the nozzle out a full turn and you can heat it up and get a nice tight seal. In any deeper and you can get over heating. Then I screw that all the way in to get the base to get the throat right up next to the drive gear and I use the lock nut up inside near the drive gear. For me that has been bullet proof. That gets the cool zone/heat sink as close to the heat block as possible to keep the heat affected zone as small as possible. I also use very minimal retraction (.8mm?).

I’ve been using the titan aero (predecessor to the hermes) for a couple years now. Can’t say enough good things about it. The only dislike is the fan is quite powerful and blows air everywhere but that’s fixed in the hermes plus they’ve made it lighter and simpler (and cheaper I think?). If you don’t mind some extra $$$ their nozzle X nozzle is pretty nice too… tool steel with a nickel plating… smoother inside than the cheap nozzles. I’m hoping it’ll be my last nozzle for quite some time.

I hook up the cooling fan to the other fan port and use marlin to only trigger it above 60C nozzle temp (conf-adv) and to only 90% or so. I had commonly found the cooling fans always running at 100% killed them pretty quick. Since controlling them I have not replaced one since.

It’s also quieter when it’s not printing, but still turned on.

I also have a hemera sitting here. I have a mount printed for it, but I have to make a wire extension, and I am not looking forward to doing that… So it has been here for… Wow, I guess 3 months? I need to stop sleeping and burn some midnight oil on my printers…

I bought nicer Noctua fans. Haven’t had one of those burn out on me… ever.

Now I’m starting to feel really really late to the game on this one.

It’s not one of the ones with the cracked gears is it?

haha. I haven’t ran it, but I did open it to check the gears. I can’t remember where I got it from, but it was after they demanded better inspections from the vendors.

I have the aero with the smallest pancake stepper you can get (20mm?). My limiting factor is not the carriage mass but how fast I can melt the plastic. Might be a different story with a volcano.

With the aero you have to be careful not to try and spin it faster than 24mm/s as well it is over geared. So you start loosing torque at the higher end. I had retraction issues from that, had to slow everything down.

I have used many extruder (cold end) and hot end combinations.

I have settled on a few key elements that I now deem as requirements for my printers now.

  • 1.75 mm filament
  • Dual drive extruder (Bondtech style)
  • Well designed filament path inside the extruder driver gear area. Essential for TPU and NinjaFlex
  • Well designed cooling on the hot end (like the E3D V6 and others)
  • Well designed part cooling.
  • Bed level probe.

With that said here is what I am running now.
I have several Bondtech extruders. These are great because you can use a smaller Stepper motor that weighs less. The knock offs will jam on TPU but are fine otherwise.
I have two Prusa MK3s printers with custom extruders. They use the same metal drive gears from the Bondtech but the plastic housing is 3D printed. It can handle TPU easily. And has a Great cooling design for the hot end and the printed parts. This is my favorite setup right now. https://www.prusaprinters.org/prints/7690
A bunch of E3D V6 hot ends.
And now I have a Prusa mini that I replaced the extruder with a bondtech dual drive upgrade. I am thinking about swapping out the hot end for an E3D V6 as well.
I am building 2 more printers that will use the Bontech extruders and E3D V6 in a Bowden setup.

I really like the idea of the Hemera. But I have watched several YouTube reviews and it looks like it jams too often. So I don’t think I will be trying it out any time soon.


I’m using an LDO motors pancake stepper on a bondtech extruder. I’ve been very happy with it. Someone on the railcore discord said theirs stretched some pla filament when it snagged on the reel! I didn’t know pla could stretch. Filastruder carries them here in the US.

I like the looks of the bondtech DDS with the e3d v6 hot end, but man, that’s some pricey stuff.

True. That is why I have purchased some of the knock off extruders for super cheap. Then I just use the gears and hardware and 3D print a new body like the one I linked to. There are several designs out there the one I linked is just the best for a prusa with an MMU 2s attached.