Bowden Clamp for Ultimaker (Heater End)

by owen, published

Bowden Clamp for Ultimaker (Heater End) by owen Sep 25, 2011
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Sick of your Bowden tube popping out 10 minutes before the end of a 6 hour print?
If you cut any more off the end it won't reach the front corner any more?
This will hold it in place for you.
All printable.
Mounts with your existing bolts.
Clearances and Fan side bolt mount height adjustable.
Quick and easy to release Bowden tube.
Thanks to http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9095 for the great screw threads and knurled finish.


Warning. Don't tighten this too tight or the plastic part can break!!!

UPDATE Jan 31 2012. Added stl files of bigger clamp I've added 5mm length to Riser Thread Height and 10mm to Cap Height, this makes the Cap take up a lot more thread before tightening the cable which makes it much stronger. the files end with number 2. This is the one I use myself.

Make adjustments in Openscad for Clearances and Fan side bolt mount height. Fan side bolt mount height is set for 2mm so that it's bolt can still fit a nut on for the fan but higher is much better if you can still manage to mount your fan some way.
Print each part individually strong with fine layers.
Clean up and apply a very small amount of grease on outside of tightening cone and on the thread of riser.
Run the nut up and down riser to have it working smoothly first. Adjust nut diameter and reprint if necessary.
Once you have a good fit you may want to print a spare.
Trial fitting and tightening on another tube first.
Wait till your Bowden Tube pops out.(Start printing something important!)
Undo 4 mounting screws and clean top of Peek block out if necessary.
Remove the closest screw in the top heater board assembly mount and rotate that assembly out of the way.
Slide nut and Tightening cone onto Bowden tube in the right direction and order.
Check riser will fit on Bowden tube and then Mount it on the top and do up 4 mounting bolts half way.
Push your Bowden tube through and into the top of the Peek block.
Tighten all three bolts not nearest the tube all the way up. But not too far like I did (See pic).
Tighten last bolt within .25 to .5 mm
Push tightening cone by hand as far as you can down into riser.
Push nut down and carefully tighten up with thumb and one finger.
Doesn't need to go real tight as it grips fairly well.
Tighten the last bolt up all the way.
Put your old clip back on as well if you left it in place.
Readjust your platform height.
Reprint a full version of that important thing.

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Well, I tried loosening it up, but it didn't work for me. I switched back to the original clamp and the problem seems to be solved. But, it still ís a very nice design!

Only have it just tight enough for it to hold. I have the V2 hotend now so I don't use this anymore but the last time I used it I was using a threaded piece of aluminium that I screwed onto the end of the bowden (you need to thread the bowden with a 7mm die) The clamp was holding down the aluminum piece and so the cone wasn't required.

I'm getting underextrusion issues with this clamp,mayby I fitted it to tight. Getting back to the old clamp to see if it is another coincidentic problem. Layers: .2mm Speed:80mm/s Temp:210 C

I use this in combination with the bowden clamp for hot end v2 and it works perfectly fine. Thank you so much!


Just FYI, I updated my compatible and "rippled" cone to be fully customizable. It may help to make specific and fine-tuned cones: http://www.thingiverse.com/apps/customizer/run?thing_id=25636http://www.thingiverse.com/app...

Owen: Thanks for designing this. You say you're not using it another since you installed v2 hotend...are you using retraction? My Bowden popped out at the hotend even with your Bowden clamp (it's a little bit worn so I thought I'd print a new one but I haven't done it yet) when using retraction. Isn't it needed when using retraction and if not - why not? Thanks...

Hi Daniel
I'm doing retraction and have the V2 hotend and it has been holding no problems. The V2 is held much better. Have you got the V2 hotend yourself?

Yes, I recently upgrade the hotend to V2 and the extruder to Berthos nice spring-loaded one (from Ultimaker). I got some help from you on how to remove the Bowden tube from extruder end in the UM forums as well, thanks. The hotend V2 and new extruder worked really well and I printed a couple of really nice stringless parts for a few hours. That is until recently when the Bowden started to sneak upwards from the Teflon tube :( Hmm...now as I'm writing this I got this horrible feeling that I forgot to insert the colored tightener and horseshoe....then it might have been "only" the clamp holding the Bowden in place which might not be enough over time. Will check tomorrow when I'm back at the lab!

Looks good.
I dont think this will fit to my machine..  :(
maybe i modify it.
because my moving head has a different Layout on top..  there are two Thermocouple boards and two bowdens in the way.

I recently tested a V2 Hotend and i am totally disappionted by its performance...
It has more places where the forming of plugs is possible and its not the same size as V1 nozzles it is bigger so you cant go dual without modding..

 Hi yzorg
I have found the V2 hot end to be great. No plugs. I think Daid would have 2 X V2's in a dual setup so maybe ask him how he does it. BTW I don't use this clamp anymore on the hotend since getting the V2 hotend.

Well i dont use the V2 Nozzle anymore since i found out that my V1 works better.
Less parts mean also less points where problems yould occur.

Hot End v2 from Ultimaker will hopefully solve this problem for good! Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzeo7ap5_BUhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Yep, I'll be getting it as soon as it is available.

This part has been working great for me so far no more bowden pops!

That is, until the threaded riser sheared off... I'll print it with more fill next time.

I'm pretty sure the problem is that the 'home' position of the print head is the corner furthest from the extruder, the stress on the part was too much over time and it snapped. I need to figure out how to
change that.

Forgot to mention - I had to change the 'use' lines to 'include', to make it work with OpenSCAD 2011.11.30 (latest release), but perhaps the 'use' command works with the latest pre-release builds.

What are the recommended settings for this?

0.1mm layers and 100% fill?

Does the thread still work at a 0.2?

Has anyone tried 50% or 75%?

0.2 mm will probably work but not turn as smoothly I'd guess. I think it definitely needs to be 100% fill as there is not much area of plastic where it's threaded due to the hole going throught the middle.


I got them all printed (v1), still managed to get a plug, although I got 4 1 hour prints complete before it happened.

I had to trim the top of the cone before the nut went on well.

I'll try for v2 now that I hope to be able to print for longer periods.

I expected to have a bit of trouble getting the nut to fit on the thread. As the fit is rather loose, it fit easily. I have a visible Z-step-blob, but it still fits.

And of course, on all objects that I printed for "looks" the blob is on the outside, while this one is for function with functioning parts, the blob happens on on the functioning part..... Oh well. It fits.

Why is the shaft so high? Couldn't it be shorter?

owen - in reply to rew

Hi rew,

It shaft is so high so that the high pressure of doing it up fairly tight is spread over 6 to 7 threads as opposed to 2 to 3 threads. The bottom of the cap also needs to stay above the mounting screw. An earlier design, which is still here, was shorter but proved to be not strong enough. Also use a drop of grease on the thread, it works wonders.

I just printed the files and I think it is a great idea! Ultimaker should ship this design.

Anyone here live in/around europe ? My printer just totally failed as a result of a blockage and I would like to 'order' one of these from someone who is willing to help . . (paypal)

Looks like I'll be (trying) to print this next. After weeks and weeks of great Ultimaker printing, the tube keeps popping out now. Very frustrating. If I can keep it in long enough to print this then the problem might be solved!

thank you owen! like it so much! :)

my pleasure :)

Great clamp, works as advertised... only issue I ran into is as you say:

DON'T OVERTIGHTEN THE THUMBTURN! it clamped my bowden tight onto the filament, and forward extrude worked but retract wouldn't 'catch up' to prevent ooze.

Yep. My original overtightening issue concerned breaking the part which for me then wasn't very strong due to not getting enough fill into it.

But now as you say you want to tighten it just enough to hold but any tighter and smooth flow of filament gets restricted. It helps not to over tighten the tensioner screw on the cold end as well, which squeezes the filament into an oval shape and in turn restricts a smooth flow through this clamp and beyond.

Hi Owen, I created an accessory for your Bowden Clamp in order to resolve the problem of the electronics not being fixed on the top of the hot end assembly.

Here's it : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20930http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Ultimaker - Adapter for Owen's clamp

Haven't had the bowden pop out yet, but if it does, I'm ready.

Do you get to remove the white plastic push-in fitting when you use this?

Printing this today looks good.

Better to leave the white plastic part there but with the blue clip removed so that your bowden tube gets a straighter entry into the top of the peek block.

Can you also add the scad file corresponding to the updated stl files (ending with 2)? In particular I think you have increased the thread radius - it is 7mm in scad and I think 7.5 or 8 in stl *2 ? I'm designing a derivate for the feeder end and wanted to make the cap the same.

Done, I realised it also was using the old 'include' statement instead of 'use' so I've changed that. You'll need the latest Openscad for it.

Good luck with you design. :)

That was quick. Thanks!

Perfect design: it fits perfect and it get's the job done.

I used it in combination with : http://forum.ultimaker.com/viewtopic.php?f=6http://forum.ultimaker.com/vie...

When someone make a derivative for the cold-end (extruder motor side) i'm the 1st that gonna print it.


Sounds good Berend, I saw your other post and I think I'll give that a shot myself.

Which post ? Looking forward to your results anyway.


Got a tap and die set now.

Probably do it tomorrow.

Nice, i'm printing for more than a week now with that config without any hot-end related problem.

I was having the same problem after upgrading the extruder motor to a NEMA 17 motor. No more missed extrusion steps, but the bowden tube kept popping out if there was enough backpressure on the filament.

I printed this out (came out great) and fit together perfectly. I installed it and time will tell how well it works -- I don't think the bowden tube will pop out again -- but something's gotta give elsewhere. We'll see.

You might want to add to your instructions that you may have to remove one
screw in the top heater board assembly/retainer and rotate the assembly so that the base of this part can fit over the proper screw holes. After that, it fits fine.

Thanks Brad. Yep, I'll do that.

Did you print straight from the stl files or make them your self from Openscad?

Straight from the stl files. Everything fit perfectly.

I printed the stl files unchanged.

Just to have the replacement on the shelf.

Unfortunately the cap thread does not fit to the riser screw.

As the cone might go in a bit further I guess that the riser screw might be 1-2 mm wider.

Please have a check.


Hi Wim

It printed OK and fitted for me. I had experimented earlier with threads and discovered I needed to make the nut diameter 1mm wider than the bolt diameter.

Try increasing capInsideDiameter by .5 in the openscad file. Also increase the capHeight by 5mm (makes it stronger) see the Update bit in my notes.

If you plug this bit of code into the OpenScad file you can print off this capTest. It will print off a 4mm high nut with the same thread as the Cap.

Sorry about the hard work. I have reprinted mine with the longer thread but am also going to make a Derivitive on this Thing after I test latest changes.

capTest(); // Makes a 4mm High Cap with no top to test thread on fit on riser.

module capTest()
/ Nut parameters.
n_df=25; /
/ Distance between flats
n_hg=4; // 4mm High
n_od=capInsideDiameter; // Outer diameter of the bolt to match
n_st=2.5; // Step height
n_lf=55; // Step Degrees
n_rs=0.5; // Resolution
n_gp=0.07; // Gap between nut and bolt


ut(n_df, n_hg, n_st, n_lf, n_od + n_gp, n_rs);

   // k_cyl(n_hg);


Can you design that clamp to fit in place of the plastic Hex nut piece on the extruder side? I can see how that tube will start becoming a problem on the extruder side.

Not sure if it would be such a problem as it is a bigger clamp or gland or something anyway. I glued mine down as it was moving up and down by nearly 5mm. But this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10799http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... might interest you.

Ultimaker BowdenFeeder Repair Kit

This looks very clean. Never had problems with the original solution... but if it pops, I'll be the first to print this replacement :) Thanks for sharing.

If you've had your extruder apart too often it can start to happen.

Awesome use of the
a href="http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8796http://www.thingiverse.com/thi..."
a href="http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9095http://www.thingiverse.com/thi..."
libraries !!

Thanks a lot for sharing this !

Poor man's openscad screw library
by aubenc
Knurled surface finishing library
by aubenc