This last year or so I have been sort of obsessed with extruders, I hope you will forgive me. Besides the professional interest, it is interesting to see the developments that are taking place in this field. For instance Bondtech validating our choice to have the housing made using SLS printing.
Another thing I found interesting is integration. The way E3D is integrating their hot end experience with extruders, in the new Titan Aero extruder. It is a logical progression for them and I think it will do well.
After seeing the Titan Aero, I felt it would be interesting to see how a hot end that was shaped like that would fit around the Nimble. The answer is, not too badly.
In fact, the Nimble is pretty well hidden inside the Aero heat sink. Only the "ears" and part of the sleeve clamp can be seen in this image.
The whole assembly is shown mounted to a standard x carriage plate and has a small adapter (in green) to hold the Nimble in the correct position. The bracket is no larger than a bracket that would normally be used to mount the Titan Aero.
Here is a better view of the adapter and how it fits inside the Aero heat sink. The Nimble simply bolts to the adapter and heat sink is then screwed to the adapter. It really could not be more simple.
I could split the adapter in 2 pieces, to make it printable on standard printers as well. Now the design is such that I would prefer to print it using SLS.
The whole thing will take about 6 M3 screws to mount and overall weight is very low, as the Nimble is below 27 grams, the adapter is only 15 grams.
The question I had not asked myself, while getting all excited about the fact that it fits so well behind the heat sink is, "Is it worth it?"
Well, as an exercise in designing a small adapter, a little. As a practical solution for a printer, perhaps, in very specific circumstances. The way the Nimble needs to be positioned to easily reach the breech block makes it less effective on a Prusa style printer, as you lose Y space. It does make for an interesting little package.
If you want one, drop me a line and I will complete the design and make the models available.