Flexible Filament Extruder Upgrade for Creality CR-7, CR-10, Afinibot A5, A31

by joshvv, published

Flexible Filament Extruder Upgrade for Creality CR-7, CR-10, Afinibot A5, A31 by joshvv Mar 1, 2017
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This is an upgrade for the for Creality CR-7, CR-10, and Afinibot A5, A31. It will allow these printers to print with flexible filament more reliably using a PTFE insert to close the gap in the extruder that normally allows TPU to get jammed. This project requires a 13mm section of PTFE tube for 1.75mm filament cut to a point along with the 3D printed part.

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Afinibot A5










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I have an idea, can you add an inch to the platform an shift it all back . Still leave the screw holes on place , but this would move the filament away from the z rod. What do you think?

I have a Creality CR-10 and I printet your file. Now my PTFE ist to thin for this hole. Also my Fitting is too small.
I've made a Video, so you can see on Youtube

Ok, I find a solution in a Remix here
No its function :-)

Extruder upgrade flexible filament for Creality CR-7 CR-10 Afinibot A5 - A31
by danid87

This worked perfectly. I can basically set and forget a flex print now. Thank you so much!

so far so good! thanks. just started a print with sain smart flexible. will see how the mod works to the end but right now its looking good!!!

Excellent design. Saved me lots of problems and loads of TPU :) Thanks Josh!

Edit: I found my answer, that the printer comes with some extra tubing that can be clipped off, from the YouTube video.

My CR-10S will be delivered in two days, so I'm trying to prepare as much as possible before hand. Does any PTFE Tubing come with the printer that can be used or do I need to pick some up at the hardware store?

Thanks for the mod!

Why is this STL producing all kinds of weird things when imported into fusion360?
It appears ten time bigger and it has various mesh problems.
I made a remix and i think i corrected those things but im not yet completely sure because its really weird.

Additionally, is it dimensionally the same as the original part? Has anything been changed on the model except adding an idea to put a piece of bowden tube in it? Anything at all?

My PTFE tube is not snug inside the hole. It moves

That shouldn't matter once it is installed.

I tried printing with both tpe and tpu filaments, but to no avail. The filament gets stuck in the hotend. Am I doing something wrong?

This only addresses the feeder gear. It should have no effect on the hot end besides providing a steady supply of filament.

Will I still be able to print normal PLA after the upgrade?
sorry for noob question. :-)

Has anyone managed to print ninja flex with this upgrade , cos i have tried and failed . Could anyone help with what settings can be changed or that are best suited to print this material with this printer . Thank you

Why dont just push the long PTFE tube straight through the pushfit? I dont really understand why you would take a 13mm piece of PTFE tube instead of taking the allready existing one. You can just drill out the pushit and make it to a push-through fitting. Or you can just buy a push-trough fitting like the one on the hotend.

The idea is to make a part that requires as little modification to the original equipment as possible. Why drill or replace parts when you don't have to? Every printer comes with extra tubing.

Works great, been using it for about a month now, at first i had issues getting the tube in without mangling the tube... i found an easy way to push in the PTFE tube was to use the same small Allen key used to re mold the tube after cutting it, take the same key and insert into the PTFE tube, line up the hole and you can grab the key from the other side of the hole while pushing the PTFE tube into the hole with the key's 90 degree arm, that usually gets the tube right into where it needs to be but to be sure sometimes i remove the key, cut the tube leaving at least 1 cm or so of extra tube, reinsert key and then i can grab the tube at the extra 1 cm portion with pliers and really crank it into body without having to worry about damaging the part of the tube that matters, once its in place, remove allen key, cut off extra portion and cut the V shape. Hope it helps someone and thanks for the design!!

Great tip! Wish I thought of it.

This is a critical upgrade if you plan on using flexible filaments. I could not use flexible filaments until I installed this upgrade.

Hmm I just tried to print and it jammed twice on me right at the feeder. Guess I'll give this a shot. Can't hurt right?

Glad it works for you!

Is that a metal version of the Extruder arm you have fitted (Yellow part) or a very smooth shiny PLA version. If metal did it come with the printer by default or can it be purchased elsewhere.

The arm came from a different printer. I have not found a source for a similar part.

Thank you for designing this. I've been using it successfully for some time now, but I wanted to share something I recently started experiencing. I originally printed two of these. One carbon fiber PLA and one ABS. I used the carbon fiber PLA version because it felt more rigid. I started to have under extrusion problems this weekend. Pilloying, missing layers, etc... I looked for all the normal things, but what I failed to notice until today was the printed part had started bowing. The vertical portion containing the feed hole had angled slightly. I guess the heat from the stepper motor and the spring pushing onto it eventually caused a failure. I swapped it out with the ABS printed copy and so far so good. Hopefully ABS will be heat tolerant enough to withstand bowing.

Of you are using an enclosure, PLA is a bad idea. ABS should do the trick.

Why is the opening for the ptfe tube 4.5mm? Isn't most ptfe tubing used for printing 4mm OD and 2mm ID?

Because not all PTFE was manufactured equal. Better loose than too tight to fit.

ever think to make one that can take the black bowden connectors the 4mm ones that the PTFE tube can pass through? that way its all one piece and you can just cut the end of the tube in the V shape and get it in the right position by pulling the other end if its too long

Never considered it. I wanted it to be compatible with the stock connection. Feel free to remix at will.

Just installed on my printer and it works perfectly. Thank you for the design.

Glad you like it! Happy printing!

This is a very dumb question, but I'm new to 3D printing. Does this work with the NinjaFlex filament?

It should.

might be a stupid question but gotta ask why not just print the ptfe tube part in the model so we did not need a ptfe tube? or you thought the filament would not hold up?

Yes, the PTFE is more durable and it's easier to clip it to the right shape.

what bed are you using, where did you get it (cr-10 owner)

It's a 12x12 LokBuild sheet. We sell them at nwa3d.com.

I was using blue painter's tape in the video. I have since moved on to using LokBuild. It works awesome: https://www.nwa3d.com/steelmans-3d-lokbuild-sheet.html?id=10483522&quantity=1

Flexible Filament Extruder Upgrade for Creality CR-7, CR-10, Afinibot A5, A31 w/Cable Manager Clip

pretty cool but if the point was on both sides it would rock.

What do you mean? It's a clipped tube insert. There are two points.

I found something like i was thinking but it requires a different size gear than stock
By any chance do you know if there is a slicer setting for the size of the extruder gear?

flexible filament extruder
by techwit

This looks exactly like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1920987

Did you change it? Did you give credit?

Direct drive for flexible filament
by valpap

Mine uses a PTFE insert. It's different. Check out the attached video and you'll see my reasoning.

No problem! Hope it works as good for you as it does for me.

I print one and wait until the old gives somme trouble !

It's open for use however. I just punched a bigger hole in a freely available model from China.