Taking the Delonghi Magnifica Apart

The story starts off with me noticing that recently while pulling shots of espresso, the espresso machine has been getting slower at extracting the shots. I adjusted the grinder about 30% and that seem to have fixed the problem. Because the grinder is a conical burr grinder it shouldn’t get clogged. However, I wanted to take it apart to clean it and see how it all was put together. I didn’t get a chance to take the grinder apart because it had more parts than I wanted to deal with on a Sunday morning. I did however snaps some good pictures which you can see below.

Inside front of machine with tray and carrier installed

This is the machine after the front door is opened. You can clearly see the carrier and its release tabs (red).

Inside front of machine with tray and carrier removed

I have removed the carrier and the drip tray with the used espresso puck container and set it aside. As you can see, it gets pretty messy in there however it is easy to clean out.

Rear of machine with pump and carrier motor

Besides awfully messy wiring (came like this, i promise), there are two things to note in this picture. The first is in the middle of the machine you’ll notice the 15 bar pump which has a label on it. This pump is the main pump used for pulling shots. Then a bit lower and to the left is a large motor. This motor is what drives the carrier up and down. It is large because it is used to drive the carrier into the tamper in compress the grinds. It appears as though there is some mechanical advantage happening here but I didn’t determine how much.

Inside right side of machine with heater and water filter

Here we have the right side of the machine. On the top tucked underneath you’ll notice the very shiny aluminum block. This is the heater and serves two purposes. The water is heated here and the radiated heat is used to heat the shot glasses which are placed on top of the stainless steel plate. Also, on the bottom of the machine there is a small water filter that connects into the tubing from the water reservoir (not present in this picture). It’s nice to know they added such a simple yet potentially product-saving item. It’s incredible how many products out there cut corners in these areas. Sometimes it’s only one little item that was overlooked or vetoed by the accountant that kept it from receiving “excellent” reviews. I’m happy to state that this Delonghi Magnifica is not one of them and I have been thoroughly satisfied with it. On to more pictures…

Combined brew head and tamper

This is the brew head where the magic happens. When the carrier comes up to this location it presses (tamps) the grinds and brews the coffee all at once (genius). The red o-ring is there because this brewing head actually slides down into the carrier. This provides the seal to hold in the very high pressures used when pulling espresso shots. See the next image for detail on this part of the carrier.

Combined brew head and tamper

This picture is looking down into the top of the carrier. This is where the brewing head resides when pulling (pumping) a shot of espresso. At the bottom is the metal grate which acts as the filter. It keeps the grinds captive while allowing the espresso through.

puck flapper

This picture shows how the puck slapper scrapes the used espresso puck off into the bin. When you empty the pins the pucks are surprisingly very well intact and easy to dispose of. In the summer, we use them in the garden as fertilizer.

Main circuit board

Lastly, we have the circuit board. Upon close inspection they’re using a microchip microcontroller and several mosfets for heater and motor control. With just a cursory glance the circuit board looks quite nice and well designed. My only gripe is the messy wiring seen on the rear of the machine. It’s so easy to throw in a few ties and makes all the difference during servicing and troubleshooting.

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