Prusa i3 Direct Drive Bowden Extruder

by indieflow, published

Prusa i3 Direct Drive Bowden Extruder by indieflow Jan 24, 2013


After building a RepRapPro Huxley I fell in love with the Bowden system it uses, so I added something similar to my new Prusa i3.

I have uploaded the stl's here though left the original scad files in my Git Repository for ease of updating.


Also see here for a small clip of the system in action:

Added mounting plate for Dual Bowden Extruders as requested! Nozzles will be 33mm apart!

Recent Comments

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If I where you, I would just add right x-carriage to the files, this eliminates all the moot points. I am going to use this on my Wilson build, can you please post the right carriage?

Hey Indie, I have created a 30mm fan version of your J-head holder! If I upload it, would you like me to tag it as 'based upon' your design? I haven't used any of your files, just re-created the looks and how it works kinda.

I have been designing a lot of hotend holder solutions, but the key into making a printable one was to use the clamp that holds the J-head to first mount the J-head and then conceal it because the clamp is on the same side of the holder as the X-carriage is.

Couldn't create the extruder completely, because I am using a different kind of hobbed bolt, it's the MK8 I'm using and this causes the idler bearing to not reach in deep enough to clamp the filament against the hobbed gear.

You're right, I shouldn't try to fix an effect, but fix the cause ;)

I'll edit is to accommodate the bearings I have. Haha, I can't believe I was thinking this backwards and uninventive!

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Apart from printing the stl's and breaking away the support material you'll also need:
J-head Mk V - hotends.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=88
Mk7 Drive gear - store.makerbot.com/mk7-drive-gear.html
Pneumatic Fittings - emakershop.com/browse/listing?l=238


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Ohmarinus on Jan 17, 2014 said:

Do you think this hotend mount can be made out of PLA? Or will it melt?

indieflow on Jan 18, 2014 said:

I think it may last in PLA, especially if only printing PLA!

nic0laz on Jan 2, 2014 said:

can you share the scad files for the double mounting plate?,

indieflow on Jan 9, 2014 said:

Sorry that part was designed using Solidworks!

AbuMaia on Dec 22, 2013 said:

Would this work on the Makerfarm i3?

indieflow on Jan 9, 2014 said:

Shouldn't be a problem as long as the X carriage is compatible with the J-Head holder, or again your X-axis smooth rods are at the same spacing to use the same X-carriage I use!

jbabio on Oct 22, 2013 said:

Hi, I've cloned the repository but the X carriage is different from the one in the photos. Is this an error? Could you upload the STL of the right X carriage?

Would be great If anyone could point to a valid X carriage on thingiverse.

jbabio on Oct 22, 2013 said:
Devtron on Oct 20, 2013 said:

What size fan is being used ?

flow on Oct 1, 2013 said:

Had anyone success with 3mm filament?

Ohmarinus on Jul 7, 2013 said:

Hi Indie, which X-carriage and X-ends are you using here?

I am trying to build a MendelMax 1.5 and theres no X-ends and carriage in the files and I would like to try a vertical X-axis and ordered a J-Head because I want to build a bowden-type extruder.

Thanks for this nice studer, though I am using 3mm, so I hope ifala's version works for me.

indieflow on Jul 8, 2013 said:


all other parts used in the construction of this printer can be found on my Github page, link above in description


AltairVitor on Apr 8, 2013 said:

I'd be happy if there was a version for 3mm ... your job is exceletente ... :)

indieflow on Apr 10, 2013 said:

Sorry guys I'm really busy with other projects at the moment, though the source code is all readily available on my Git linked in the description for you to alter and tinker with! Would be ace to see some derivatives get posted :)

ifala on Apr 2, 2013 said:

Make a doubleEX>>?

indieflow on Apr 3, 2013 said:

That could easily be achieved by printing 2 sets and mounting them side by side! A simple 4 hole to 2 hole plate is all that would be needed to mount them on the X-carriage.

Another option would be to mount opposite each other (either side of smooth bars), here you would just need to restrict axis movement so as not to collide with the frame!

indieflow on Mar 5, 2013 said:

If anyone doesn't have a printer and wants a set up like this I've just put a set up for sale http://www.emakershop.com/brow...

futurefab on Mar 3, 2013 said:

Love it, I too am a massive fan of the Bowden system What cold end are you using here?

indieflow on Mar 3, 2013 said:

This is designed to house a J-head hotend nozzle, I used a Mk V

thantik on Feb 17, 2013 said:

Recently the X carriage was updated and put the hole spacing 30mm apart instead of 20mm, mind updating it for that change?

sgraber on Feb 18, 2013 said:

Keep in mind that neither the compact_extruder nor the dual-compact-extruder in the single_plate folder in the Prusa3 repository are updated for that 30mm wide adjustment!

indieflow on Feb 17, 2013 said:

Silly question but if you plan on using this extruder for your i3 why would you want the larger X-carriage that has been enlarged for bulkier extruders? Why not use the original, reducing on weight and plastic cost!

iShortBus on Feb 7, 2013 said:

What bearing are you using at the top of the extruder?

indieflow on Feb 7, 2013 said:

As detailed in the .scad file the top bearing is a 625 which is used to take away any sideways force on the Nema shaft, it isn't necessary to use the extruded if you don't have any though!

sgraber on Jan 28, 2013 said:

Any chance you could upsize this for 3mm filament? :)

indieflow on Jan 30, 2013 said:

I've adjusted the .scad file so that 1.75 or 3mm can be easily adjusted for filament, though without knowing your pneumatic fitting thread dimensions (which will obviously be different) I can't export you an stl! If you let me know I will adjust a file for you :)

goopyplastic on Jan 24, 2013 said:

Thanks for this, do you know what size bolts / nuts / springs/ bearing we need?

indieflow on Jan 24, 2013 said:

If you click on the link above for github and then select either part you should see the scad file data which lists all parts needed at the top. Also if you download the file and open via OpenScad and press F5 you will get a visual representation of how the parts go together.

I've done it this way so that if I change any thing it is auto updated on GitHub! Any problems let me know :)

sgraber on Jan 24, 2013 said:

What motor are you using?

indieflow on Jan 24, 2013 said:

Nema 17's from ZappAutomation