Today we’re going to take a look at how to coil up a 3D atomizer. The 3D is a really cool and unique piece. It’s a dripper (RDA) designed to screw directly into a Nemesis making it into a hybrid. Of course you can also get a 510 extension piece for it, but let’s face it – we pretty much all have a Nemesis at this point, and it would be kind of a mockery to use this thing on anything other than a Nemesis. Plus it is fairly clunky to begin with so taking away the hybrid aspect of it isn’t going to help. But I digress…
Upon the first look, the 3D can seem pretty daunting. It has a totally unique design and functions differently than any other RDA you’ve ever seen. I had to watch a couple tutorials myself to get a good feel for how to make a solid build on this thing.
So before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at the pieces, and get a basic overview of how this works.
Here’s a picture of the inside of a 3D
The exact 3D I am using for this tutorial, I bought from Fasttech here for about $14. If you have the same one, the inside should look exactly like the above. What we have is a typical 3 post setup. This will make it easy for you to do a single or dual coil setup. Rather than having holes in the posts, the 3D features washers on each post to help secure fatter Kanthal.
Right above the posts, you will also see a small flathead screw with a hole in it. This is where you fill the tank, which sits below the atty.
So here’s how this works. You fill up the tank using the fill hole, then when you put the top cap on, you will notice it has a plunger-like action. Whenever you press/plunge the top cap down, it will lower the atty deck into the juice well allowing the juice to fully coat your wick. So basically, instead of dripping, all you ever have to do is press in the top cap whenever your wick starts getting dry. Brilliant!
Now, as you can see, the top cap has 3 different airflow options. Personally, I think even the largest setting is only suitable for a single coil build. You could try a dual coil setup, but you may well find that you don’t have enough airflow to support it without drilling an additional hole – which you could easily do if you wanted to.
So for this build, my goal is to make one really badass coil and get this baby singing like a canary.
What You’ll Need
- A 3D atomizer. I bought from Fasttech here for about $14
- A Nemesis – personally, I like the plain old stainless steel one to give you a perfect match with the atty. I got mine here for about $24
- Kanthal – I used 28 gauge twisted kanthal. This is the exact kind I buy, from Temco on eBay.
- Cotton – I use either organic or sterile cotton balls
- 1/8 drill bit – pick these up super cheap from any hardware store or walmart
- Nail clipper
- Ceramic Tweezers, if you want to make your life easier
Setting up the Coil
NOTE – this tutorial is for a sub-ohm build. Please do not attempt to build this if you don’t have the proper knowledge or equipment to support it. Sub ohm vaping is extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.
As I mentioned above, my preference without having to drill extra holes or anything, is to make one really good coil. For this build I decided to go with a 28 gauge twisted kanthal coil. If you have never twisted kanthal before, you should really give it a try. I already posted a super easy guide to twisting your own kanthal. Otherwise you could always do this with a regular old microcoil.
For this build, I am going to be doing 5 wraps of 28 gauge twisted kanthal around a 1/8 drill bit. This ended up coming out to about 0.6 ohms for me.
So take your drill bit and make 5 wraps of kanthal with both leads ending pointed in the same direction. It should look something like this:
Note that my coils aren’t perfectly touching each other – that’s totally fine for now.
The next step is probably the trickiest part of the whole process – you need to attach it to the 3D.
First off, make sure you keep your drill bit threaded through the coil during this process.
Start by laying the drill bit flat on the atomizer deck, and position both leads inside the positive post and one of the negative posts. Wrap the negative lead around the negative post – make sure you wrap it in between the washers so it will hold better. Then wrap the positive lead around the positive post, also making sure to stay inside the washers.
Carefully tighten each lead down. You want to make absolutely sure they are firmly in place.
Your coil should be close to the posts, but not touching them.
Once you are confident both leads are firmly secure, you can clip off the excess with a nail clipper.
Now you need to TEST YOUR OHMS.
Because this is a hybrid, you will either need to use a multimeter, or have a 510 connector so that you can test it on an ohm reader or an APV that reads ohms. It should come out somewhere between 0.5 and 1 ohm.
Once your ohms check out, you will want to dry fire the device until the coils glow orange, then carefully compress them together with a pliers – or even better, if you have a heat resistant tweezer like I suggested above, you can actually compress them WHILE dry firing and get an even more accurate effect – just be careful not to overdo it.
You should end up with something that looks close to this:
Setting up the Wick
What I have really started to learn over recent weeks is that your wick is equally as important as your coil. I have been using an adapted #ITeo wick method and it works wonderfully for this build and others.
First off, you will want to take a chunk of a cotton ball, carefully unroll it and flatten it out. It should look something like this:
It is impossible to ever make it perfect, but you want it to be relatively even.
Once you have that, you will want to take your juice and wet the top portion in a straight line – you will probably want to do this over a towel or something you can wash off afterwards.
It should end up looking like this:
Now fold the wet portion over, and run your juice over it again to get it fully saturated. Then roll over again and continue repeating until the entire piece of cotton has been rolled into a cylinder. Then roll it in your fingers to make it as even as possible. You should end up with something that looks similar to a joint:
It should be as firm and even as you can possibly get it. Once yours looks close to the one above, roll one end into a fine point and thread it through the coil until it won’t go any further, then stick both ends down into the chamber. I didn’t end up needing to trim either end on mine for this build.
You should end up with your wick and coil looking like this:
Now, if you haven’t already filled up the tank below, this is your last chance to do it. Unscrew the flathead screw with the hole in it that sits right behind the posts in the deck. It will reveal a hole large enough that you should be able to drip straight into from a bottle.
Stick your bottle into the hole and fill it until juice starts bubbling up through the tank. Once that happens you are ready to go.
As soon as you place on the top cap, you should hear a plunger like noise. This lets you know that everything is working. Subsequently, whenever you press down on the top cap, you should hear a plunger-like noise as juice fills the chamber. Once you stop hearing this noise or it becomes less pronounced, it is probably a good sign that you need to refill the chamber.
If you made it this far, you are ready to vape! Here’s a quick sample of mine in action:
The Bottom Line
I’ve been delighted with the performance of the 3D so far. The draw is a little on the tight side, but just about right for me. The throat hit is excellent and the vapor production is really quite impressive. I’m getting crazy good flavor as well. The plunger feature has worked flawless for me every time without fail. In fact, it works so well I am fairly astonished that we haven’t yet seen more atomizers that work in this same way because it really is far easier than manually dripping juice from a bottle, and it isn’t any more difficult to set up.
I actually had this device for quite a while, but it took me some time to get motivated to learn how to work it. Once I actually sucked it up and did a build on it, I was shocked by how easy it was to do and how well it works.
This particular build is awesome. So awesome that it will probably be a while before I even try to do any other type of build on it. I am pretty sure you would be fine doing this same build with a regular microcoil, but as long as you have kanthal and any kind of basic drill laying around, I strongly suggest taking 5 minutes to twist up some kanthal to really take this build to the next level.
Have fun with this one – make sure to use caution when sub-ohming and always check your ohms!