This article original started off life in Kossel 3D Printer, but was moved to a separate blog, as the section became too large and has nothing particularly to do with Kossel printers, and is about hotends in general.

What is a hotend?

Put simply, a hotend is a device which melts plastic filament and then deposits the melted plastic through a nozzle.

How can I get a hotend?

You can buy a fully assembled hotend, be it either an expensive proved design, such as the E3D v6 for $80, or a cheap Chinese copy from eBay, for $8. You may ask what is the difference? That is a good question…

Alternatively, you can make one yourself, from the separate components, see Can cheap hotend parts sourced from China actually produce good prints?

What are the types of hotend?

There are a number of types:

  • J-Head,
  • E3D

What are the components of a hotend?

The following components make up a hotend:

  • Throat
  • PTFE insert for the throat
  • Nozzle
  • Heatsink
  • Heatblock
  • Heater
  • Thermistor
  • Pneumatic connector
  • Fan
  • Fan enclosure
  • PTFE Bowden tube

What is the cost?

The individual components cost around 99 cents each, when bought individually, so a total of $12. However, if you buy bulk, or get a lucky auction on eBay, you can get parts for as little as 25 cents or even 1 cent! At a dollar for each component, then a cheap Chinese combination for 8 dolars is cheaper. Normally the fan assembly adds significantly to the price.

Various Hotends and parts

An E3D V6 Hotend should be used, de rigeur. However, if you are looking for a cheap(er) option:

No Fan:

With Fan:

3 in 1



M6 *26 mm, 1.75 mm filament

3mm filament

Brass 3 mm Throat
Brass 3 mm Throat
Throat - various sizes
Throat – various sizes


Teflon PTFE tubes

There are short inner tubes available for the hotend throats, but it is cheaper to purchase a meter of PTFE tubing and cut to length


Hotend Heatsink
Hotend Heatsink

Hotend Block

There are at least two type, one of which has a split (and can have one or two locking screws (E3D V6 and Volcano respectively)), and one does not and which is solid (MakerBot, MK7/MK8):


No split

Hotend Block
Hotend Block

Heater Block For Reprap Makerbot 3D Printer MK7 MK8 Extruder HotEnd Screw hole, $1.47




Comes in 12 V or 24 V, and 30 W or 40 W:

Hotend Insulator

5PCS 3mm Thick 3D Printer Heating Block Cotton Hotend Nozzle Heat Insulation EW, £0.99

Hotend Insulator
Hotend Insulator

Combination deals




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