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I modified (removed bowden tube feature) for a direct extrude design. Purchased an aftermarket plate that allowed me to mount the extruder right above the hot end. This prevented 'binding' of the filament within the bowden tube, because you are basically left with a very small spacer between the extruder and the hot end. What I found was the extruder was getting so hot that it was softening the filament as it was passing through the gears and crushing it into more of an oval shape. When I had prints that required more frequent retractions, this distorted shape was causing the filament to get stuck in the tube and preventing extrusion. Another option could be to print/mount and install a fan for the extruder to keep it cool, but I have found that I even with the extra momentum of the extruder attached to the X axis, having this extra mass has not introduced any vibration issue & have actually improved my prints with temperatures @ or above 240C.