Proto-Plastik Filament Direct Drive

by proto-plastik, published

Proto-Plastik Filament Direct Drive by proto-plastik Feb 21, 2016
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Tired of messing with springs for your extruder drive? This Direct Drive housing uses no springs. It's dead simple and works great by simply tightening the M8 cap screw. Mounts to the Proto-Plastik X-Axis Bearing Holder (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2021883)

Update 7/16
Improved the bearing tightener housing. I highly recommend replacing any previous units with this unit that is much more sturdy. Also included STEP assembly.

I made some chages. Namely, I've improved the tightener by adding a printed knob with threads.

Also added instructions. Page 2 and 3 show details for this extruder.

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What bracket are you using to mount this to the x-carriage?

Great question. I now see that I did not include those parts in this assembly. I do have detailed drawings that I'm about to release that shows how this is mounted to the x-axis rails.

Jan 4, 2017 - Modified Jan 4, 2017
Ipoc78 - in reply to proto-plastik

Fantastic! Thank you.
Also. If I may ask, are you using layer fans? And if so what kind?

Just noticed this question. If you look at the X-Axis Bearing Holder (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2021883), you will see a radial fan and ductwork. This fan and duct works better than any fan I've ever used.

Proto-Plastik X-Axis Bearing Holder

@proto-plastick, Thank you for your designs. I have been working on replacing the pieces on my Two up and with every upgrade my print quality gets better. I do have a question on this design will this work with the stock Anubis hot end?

Sorry, but this will not work with Anubis. Spend the $35 and get an E3D Lite 6. You won't regret it.

Thanks I was looking at that hot end but was unsure I was picking the correct one. I just ordered one and am starting to print this.

May 9, 2016 - Modified May 9, 2016


This is pretty cool. Do you have a BOM so that I can try this out? Also is it MK7 or MK8 drive?

works best with MK7.
I definitely need to get a BOM up. Will do that soon.


I really like the concept. I use PLA and PETG this would save a lot of setup time swapping springs.

I've added assembly instructions in PDF format. This includes a BOM. Note that I've changed the tightening mechanism. This new mechanism works super slick.

are you going to try this? Please let me know what you think. I have installed it on 15 machines and it's been fantastic. I do not miss springs. I get the idea behind having a spring and tried a dozen different designs, but honestly once I ditched the springs I NEVER had any extruder problems. The most important tip is to make sure the drive gear and the bearing are perfectly aligned. It seems that if they are off by just a hair there will not be enough traction on the filament. This will cause you to tighten it down too much and possibly warping part of the extruder. But that would be a problem with any extruder design, I reckon.

I am going to try it. Just need to gather the parts. I have been using a remote Bowden type setup recently and I hate the PTFE tubing and the spring in the extruder. I'm thinking your design will be perfect for me.

is this just another direct drive extruder for the qubd printers

Feb 21, 2016 - Modified Feb 21, 2016

"just another direct drive"?


this is the ULTIMATE direct drive :)

It's not just for QUBD. It's a modification of my Bowden drive (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1264306) to be used for direct drive.

It could be used with any NEMA 17 Stepper direct drive.

ProtoPlastik Bowden driver