Flexion Extruders, inspired by the maker of Ninjaflex, is a robust solution for printing flexible 3D filament. The Lulzbot Taz 6 reputation has been earned by building on the success of several prior generations of Lulzbot printers.
While Lulzbot offers a flexible materials extruder, I have seen a few too many complaints of its ability to handle the flexible filament in a robust manner.
This project was undertaken to attempt to marry the best of the technologies they each offer into an easy to use printing head. The design offered here has many advantages:
- The head will mount into the Taz 6 with no modifications on the Taz 6 printer mechanically or electrically and uses the same mechanical mounting system as standard Lulzbot heads: one 3mm screw plus a 16pin connector.
- The head will have all the cooling of a stock Lulzbot V2+ current head.
- The head will weigh about 80g less than a stock V2+ Lulzbot head.
- The center of gravity of this new head will be closer to the X axis rails for improved rigidity of the system when printing.
- The Taz 6 limit switches and automatic bed leveling will work identically as a Lulzbot head with NO firmware changes.
- The only change that will be required is the same as any toolhead change--the e-steps will be entered into Cura. The e-steps can also be entered into the firmware of the Taz if other slicers do not offer this capability.
This project assumes that no prior extruder head is used as a surrogate for parts. Therefore the parts necessary to be purchased and printed are listed in the BOM pdf. It is assumed that most screws and wire are available locally.
It also assumes that the necessary procedures and wiring diagram for a standard V2 Taz 6 Hexagon hot end be referenced for wiring the plug and matching the pin positions. This excellent Lulzbot provided document is located here: https://ohai.lulzbot.com/project/taz-6-extruder-assembly/taz-6/
The following tools are necessary:
- Soldering Iron and electrical solder(recommended) for pins and heat set inserts
- Set of ball-end metric Allen keys including 1.5, 2, 2.5
- Wire strippers and/or razor blade
- Wire connector crimp
- Drill with capability of 11.5mm drill bit
0.5mm Stock Lulzbot Nozzle
50% mount, 100% other parts.
The left and right ducts should be oriented so the back of the duct is on the bottom and rotated to minimize the amount of support structure when 3D printing. This will put the support scarred side out of view of the front of the printer.
I used Village Plastics ABS and the "High Detail" settings in Cura when printing all the parts. I changed the temperature to 245C and Bed Temp to 100C. I used a brim to ensure minimal lift.
Heat set inserts
The use of (17) M3 Heat set inserts and (2) M2 Inserts provides a professional and robust assembly method. These are relatively inexpensive and obtained quickly from McMaster Carr using the part numbers in the BOM.
The are inserted using a pointy tip on a soldering iron quite easily into the holes observed in the parts after 3D printing. In this design, every hole and round pocket in the parts requires a heat set insert EXCEPT 2 holes in each duct where it attaches to the Extruder mount and one hole in the duct Stabilizer