I crashed and burned at building the Hot End. And, it had absolutely NOTHING to do with either the quality of the parts or the quality of the documentation.
It had to do with aging eyesight. And, no kit can protect itself from that.
From reading on the web, I already knew that building your own hot end was THE most tricky part of the build process. And, when I opened the parts for the hot end build, I immediately understood why. They are small and they are delicate. That is NOT a good combination for fat fingers and less than perfect vision.
But, I pushed on, aided by a lighted magnifier.
The first hint of trouble came when my first crimp failed to hold and the smaller of the two wired being mated pulled out. Not good. A pure case of operator error and that put me one down when it came to the crimping ferrules. Also not good.
Fortunately, I was in video for years and have a lot of old parts around. So, with a little bit of rummaging around I managed to find what I hoped would be a suitable replacement. I have to say that I thought it was a BRILLIANT idea... even if the part I was trying to use was not exactly like the one I was trying to replace.
But, like many of my brightest and best ideas... especially those I get at the twilight of the day... this one turned out to be just a little less brilliant than first thought. As I crimped, the thermistor lead broke off less than a 1/4" from the thermistor. I was dead in the water.
Now, I have a new plan. This one involves ordering a pre-built hot end. Now, THAT has GOT to be a brilliant idea. Especially, since they are not all that expensive. I'll let some young person, with great eyesight and a lot more experience, put together the hot end that I will count on to do what a RapMan printer is suppose to do.
But, I will not completely cop out. I hope to be able to obtain a thermistor or two and some ferrules and hop right back on the horse from which I have fallen, just to prove to myself that I can do it. The worse thing that can happen is that I end up with an extra hot end that may or may not live up to the quality and performance of the pre-built one.
In the meantime, I will move on to the rest of the build, as much as possible, so that when the hot end arrives it's ready to go to work immediately.
You can probably guess that it will be my recommendation to purchase one of the RapMan models that comes with the pre-built hot end... especially if your eyesight isn't what it used to be and/or you have fat fingers! :)