Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

bowden manifold

by Tafka Nov 25, 2013
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Hi, Just stumbled across your manifold design , I had the same idea after trying a diamond head , which i wasn't happy with.
I designed something very similar to what you have , & uploaded it last month . Going through the same process of looking at software to swap filament. Did you get anywhere?
I also have a 3 extruder rumba motherboard to try ., but just swapping extruder plugs at present.

Multicolor Filament (5 color) Extruder Feed Block for Bowden Hotend

Thanks for the invention and printing well with this thing

Nice, i was thinking about the same thing. Hope you can get the software done i would love to use it :)

I hope this works out for you. I've only had the time to THINK about doing this. At least someone is trying. It seems that the irregular condition of the end of the retracted filament could cause some problems, especially if bits break off during retract. I've got a rig at home with 8 spools of PLA all with PTFE tubing leading to a human operated manifold (Think 8 teat milk cow udder and you've got the idea :-) ) where you just pull down the desired color and put it into the Wade's accessible extruder in my Prusa Mendel unit below. A similar device to what you are building could make that remote controllable and/or automatic. Very cool, but I still worry about reliability. One simply has to try stuff sometimes and I wish you the best of success.

My plan is still to have a section of the build platform used for "blobbing". Which I think is the standard approach of drawing a line of a particular colour for each layer in the same place away from the object you are building. I am hoping this will sort out any irregular plastic before it goes back to printing the main object. This is what happens already with the three hot ends. We'll see!

nice work.

Would it be possible to replace the yellow manifold with a heated metal manifold.
Thus premixing the colors.
One would than cool the mixed filament down again and run it trough a second stage extruder drive?

I guess this might be possible, but it might be better just to mix the colours in the hot end. However, the work I've seen on this before seems to show that it ends up like stripy toothpaste rather than a single colour.

Having said that, the Objet printers must do this somehow! :-)

Sorry, don't know what has happened to the "at" symbols in the last post.

Hi All,

Yes, the idea is that the filament retracts back up through the manifold, then another one pushes down to the hot end. I already have mutlimaterial printing working with 3 hot ends but I find that the precision needed to get the hot ends offset correctly can be a pain.

="thingiverse-0fbd30a58e586ad7b0e3ae2485e81c34:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-0fbd30a58e586ad7b0e3ae2485e81c34/jimlee - No it isn't for colour mixing.

="thingiverse-492114f6915a69aa3dd005aa4233ef51:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-492114f6915a69aa3dd005aa4233ef51/yzorg - I am currently modding the software (or at least the firmware on the board) to cope with having multiple extruders but one hot end.

="thingiverse-2f10c1578a0706e06b6d7db6f0b4a6af:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-2f10c1578a0706e06b6d7db6f0b4a6af/Unknown - I thought of that. I've tested the "softness" of the filament by pulling it back from the hot end at various different speeds (manually). It seems reasonable. It is helped by the fact it goes past the cool part of the hot end (which is actively cooled) and the metal push fits of the manifold itself. However, if this becomes a problem during a real print, I will think about some sort of metal heat sink or fan in the bowden tube. The biggest problem seems to be "stringing" on retraction though, this can interfere with pushing the filament back through the manifold to the hot end at some point later.

As with all this stuff, if I don't try it, I won't know! :-)



Better have a good actively cooled hot end system with minimal melt zone or else the first time you pull back a soft filament end this is jam central.

cool idea.
you have pull back the unused filaments into the yellow divider.. am i right?
how fast is the change?

do you have a plugin to make the change mid-print?

jimlee, RGB ist monitor and screen technology.. works if you print lampshades or colour filters..
for printing full colour we would need CMYK (K standing for white and black)
here, the filaments dont get mixed.. i think they just completely change within 3-9 layers depending on nozzle design.

RGB for full color?