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The Creatr from Leapfrog (www.lpfrg.com) has a fixed idler ball bearing. I wanted to replace this by a spring loaded type to allow better control over the filament feed and allow for an easier filament change.
After a few different ideas, the Mk7 minimalistic replacement extruder seemed a nice design to start with and here is the result.
Now changing colors is actually a fun thing to do ;)
Update: I found that the pressure on the filament was not always enough so I moved the spring and compressed it a bit more resulting in more pressure on the spring. I've tested this for > 100 hours with ABS, Taulman Nylon and PLA and had no problems at all.
Also added a longer filament guide towards the hobbed wheel, making a filament change a bit easier.
note: photos with the light green parts are v2, red parts are v1
You could consider building http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:321258 instead, this adds the possibility to print flexible filaments like Arnitel and Ninjaflex
Print and follow the instructions in the PDF document. The PDF document contains detailed instructions on how to remove the old extruder parts and install the new one.
N.b: the instructions are still for v1 but v2 is almost the same (except for the washers when mounting the stepper motor).
You do not need to remove any wiring or cut or change original parts. Everything can be restored to its original state if needed.
Besides the printed parts (and some tools) you will also need:
Spring loaded extruder for Leapfrog Creatr by Rob65 is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
So what's this mean?
We're sure Rob65 would love to see what you've printed - take a photo and share it on Thingiverse as a Make.
To post a Make simply visit this Thing again and click I Made One to start uploading your photo. You can also download the Thingiverse Mobile app (available via Google Play and Apple App Store) to take a photo and upload your Make right from the app!