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CheeseJam

Lulzbot Extruder Mod for Printing Flexible Filaments

by CheeseJam Jun 28, 2016
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I have a Taz 5 with a freshly rebuilt Single Extruder Toolhead v2.1. I was able to get Ninjaflex to work perfectly after a few attempts using the following:
Temp up to 235C
Tape & Glue
Bed at 40C
Decrease Nozzle size to .5 in cura
Keep idler super tight
Disable Retraction

I have a Taz 6 with the head that now comes stock (the Single Extruder Tool Head v2.1) and managed to get Cheetah printing just fine without this mod.

I have a Ninjaflex sample too so tried using this mod and couldn't get the filament to move even when just trying to load it. Removed the mod and it loaded in ok. Wondering if it's just causing too much pressure, so might re-print it slightly smaller when I get a chance. Trying a test print with the Ninjaflex without the mod, just in case I'm like the 1 person that's lucky enough for it to work!

Also, the new Aerostruder head (Taz 6 and Mini) is now on the Lulzbot store and can handle stiff and flexible filaments - yay!

Thanks for the printing profile. I have Taz 6 printing now :) Now I can make quadcopter and plane parts from tpu.

I'm using a TAZ 6 with stock print head. I purchased some Cheetah filament to try. I can't seem to get the cheetah print profile to work for my unit. I must be missing a step somewhere. I tried loading printprofile but it wouldn't save unless i copied and pasted into a txt file and changed to ini. Then I tried just cutting and pasting the gcode into cura. I still can't get it to work. Any help or if you've made a youtube video would be helpful. Thank you.

Did you go to expert-->switch to full settings? Don't forget to change the nozzle size to 0.5mm!

I did. My nozzle isn't heating up at all unless I manually input 235F. This is my first time using a flexible filament. Does the bed not auto-level with the cheetah profile? Mine is not. Do I need to change the print speed? mm/s? Thanks for any advice.

I think the flexystruder (Cheetah) profiles and the regular toolhead profiles have different start and end G-Code. Copy and paste the start/end G-Code from a standard PLA profile to the Cheetah profile you created. I'll try it at work on our Taz 6 tomorrow if you're still having problems, I only have a Mini at home.

Will TPU print with this mod?

Hmm, the filament doesn't fit through the printed part, does it need to be scaled differently or did we perhaps have some unintended drooping when printing?

What filament sizes can be used in this? I currently use a Taz 5 with 3mm filament, but have been able to do the 1.75 when I tweak the settings. I ask because I have a surplus of Ninjaflex lying around from our old Makerbot, and I would love to put it to use.

Ninjaflex is already a stretch for this mod (although some have reported success). I doubt 1.75mm Ninjaflex will work with it, but it's worth a shot! Tightening the idler bearing as much as possible will probably help. Report back if you try it!

I'm impressed so far with how this simple mod makes the cheetah filament print on my taz 5. I've got a 30 hr part just started, and if it works with that, I'll be modifying my custom extruder body to build this mod into it.

Thanks so much!

Did the 30 hour part turn out well?

Unfortunately no. The first few inches did fine, then it became more like sponge. I moved it to my Sigma, and it printed far better, though still too stringy. IT works is building a new tool head based on the E3D Aero extruder. Going to try that when it's available.

Works great with Ninjaflex cheetah on my Lulzbot Taz 6 w/ 0.5mm Nozzle

I used the profile you pointed out on the Lulzbot dev site, and changed the nozzle dia. to match my extruder setup.

So happy!

This is a rediculously effective mod for such a simple design! Thx!

Has anyone tried other flexible filaments with this mod using a standard head?

The mod is for a standard head. Used it many times with success.

This works amazing well!

Added this piece to two Taz 5's and a Taz 6 and they can now all print Semiflex perfectly.They couldn't at all before.

I just used the Cura config for Taz 1-4 under "Semiflex" --> "high detail" found here: https://www.lulzbot.com/taz-cura-profiles (file --> load config or whatever in Cura to load it, or drag and drop into Cura. I think it'll overwrite your current settings though, so be sure to save that configuration.)

and then change the nozzle size from 0.6 to 0.5 in Cura under the advanced settings and hopefully your machine will print semiflex well also.

Is the flexible filament popping out (which you said this mod fixes) the only reason to get a flexistruder? I'm curious if there are any other issues of printing flexible filament with the standard extruder which this mod does not fix.

No, the Flexistruder also has less friction so it can print Ninjaflex easier. The standard extruder cannot print Ninjaflex very well with this mod, although some have had great success apparently. This mod allows you to easily print Cheetah/Semiflex though!

Nice job with the adapter. Was having issues printing with Cheetah on my mini, printed this out, popped it in, prints now like a boss. Much appreciated.

is it ok to leave this in when you are printing non flexible filaments?

Yeah I have before, shouldn't really affect anything.

I made the adapter and inserted it into my Lulzbot Mini. I set the speed to 15mm/sec and the temp to 230 for Ninjaflex Concrete, which has something in it to give it a granular appearance. The printing is excellent - as good as printing with PLA for 0.250mm resolution. I haven’t used the Lulzbot profile for Ninjaflex.

Lulzbot does not support this and says that any damage is not convered under the warranty. I asked what damage, and they said clogging the nozzle and damaging it during cleaning.

Hi there. Below you say it prints perfect with "the standard Lulzbot Cura print profiles for Cheetah". I have gotten almost perfect prints (had a warping issue) but edited the profile to change the nozzlemsize to 0.5 instead of 0.6. Was that an assumption or did you mean to leave the setting at 0.6? Just curious. Thanks for this mod!

Glad it worked out for you! Whoops, yeah I should've mentioned that, change the nozzle size to 0.5 instead of 0.6 since 0.5 is what the standard extruder has!