3D Print Your Own Intel Delid Tool for Skylake & Kaby Lake

A lot of us have come to find out recently that Intel once again skimped on the Thermal Interface Material inside these processors' Integrated Heat Spreaders. You can fix that issue however, and now there are some ways to do it safely. If you have a 3D printer, you can make the process a lot safer, and the tools needed much less expensive.

Delidding the Intel CPU

We have done a lot of delidding and relidding on more than a few CPUs here recently, and you can read all about that at the links below to get up to speed if you need to.

A week ago we were made aware of plans online that would allow you to 3D print your own delidder tool at home for Intel's latest CPUs. I personally do not have access to a 3D printer, but one of our forum members, Spacy9, stepped up to the plate and quickly got parts printed out and sent over to us for test. These tools allow you to basically push the IHS sideways across the substrate until you break the bonding agent, which of course allows you to then remove the IHS and replace the somewhat anemic Intel Thermal Interface Material with something more robust. We are using CoolLabs Liquid Ultra, and it has worked well giving us around a 20C temperature reduction in package temps using an Intel Core i7-7700K.

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Spacy9 printed the tools with two different percentages of infill; one at 40% and one at 100%. The 40% tool did work fine and we will use it in some more testing going forward.

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As you might guess, the biggest risk associated with all of this it actually removing the IHS. This tool has proven to work very well and seems to be about the safest alternatives to direct vice and razor blade methods. Also, if you have a 3D printer, these are extremely inexpensive to produce as well. Of course you do still have to put your processor in a vice, so there is still some risk of tool failure and subsequent damage to your processor, so don't think that it is a "100% guaranteed method." It does however seem to be fairly safe.

If you do not have access to a vice, you could also use this tool with a hammer, albeit that method is going to be even more violent. We will give that a try this next week as well and see how the tool fares, as well as the processor of course.

The video below walks you through the 3D printed delidder tool and how it works. We then bring you along for the ride as we actually delid an Intel CPU and showcase the entire process in 4K glory! It was a fun time for sure.

The Bottom Line

The homebrew 3D printed delid tool seems to work extremely well and be very affordable. Even if you do not have access to a 3D printer, there are services you can find that will put you in touch with folks that do and will print parts for you. The 40% infill tool came through the process without any damage at all that I could tell from visually inspecting it. As mentioned, if you don't have a vice, you should be able to delid with this tool using a hammer as well. We will test how resilient the 40% fill tool is to a good hammering and report back to you on that as well.

Update - 02/10/2017: Spacy9 got back with us on all the specifics of his build. These should help you out if you are wanting to build your own tool.

I use a Robo 3D R1 + for the printer. The material I used is Inland PLA. A lot of people will use Hatchbox PLA, which I used to use as well but the Inland is $17.99 for 1Kg Vs $24-27 for the Hatchbox 1Kg and I've never had a problem with the Inland quality.

For how small this piece is there really isn't any reason to not just print the thing solid (100% infill). The calculator built into my slicing program says that for 40% infill it uses 22.85g of filament and for the 100% infill it uses 34.53g which place either of them at well under a dollar to print.

Some other setting on the machine that really only matter for the 40% infill:

.2mm layer height

.3mm first layer height

1mm top and bottom solid layers

General specs for both 40% infill and 100% infill:

No supports needed

200 degrees Celsius print head temp

60 degrees Celsius print bed temp

80mm/s infill speed

20mm/s top layer speed

40mm/s perimeter speed

30% first layer speed

I think that's about everything. Let me know if you need any more info.

And we also got around to using the hammer as well. Failure and Success is showcased!