New Spring Loaded Bowden Extruder

by adrianm1972, published

New Spring Loaded Bowden Extruder by adrianm1972 Sep 5, 2017

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This is a new original Bowden extruder. My goal was to enclose the filament path and maintain its alignment as you increase/decrease spring tension or lift it off the extruder gear.

1 M5 thread bowden tube fitting
1 608ZZ bearing
1 bangood bed leveling spring (20mm L, 7.5mm OD)
1 M5 x 30mm button head screw
3 M3 x 10mm button head screws
1 M3 x 20mm button head screw (see note below)


  1. Use the 20mm screw as the tension arm pivot. On my stepper a 20mm screw bottoms out tight with the tension arm held tightly to the stepper mount. However it can still pivot freely. This may vary with different motors and screws. Go to a shorter or longer screw and trim it if necessary to get the right fit.

  2. Drill out the filament path with a sharp 5/64" or 2mm drill bit to ensure the diameter is perfect and to clear any filament that may have drooped into the path. Use very low RPM if you go fast it will get hot, melt the PLA and make a mess.

I have printed this, it all fits and works as designed. See pics above...enjoy!

Print Settings


Hypercube 300 CoreXY






  • 2 skins and 50% infill makes parts very stout.
  • 3mm brim to improve bed adhesion.

How I Designed This

Designed with AutoDesk Fusion 360.

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I think your BOM has an error. It says '1 M5 x 30mm button head screw' but it should be '1xM3 30mm and 1x M5 10mm'

Hello Adrian!
Thanks a lot for all your great designs and videos.
I was thinking about switching to your extruder and was wondering if you are still using it and how it is performing.
Also, do you think that it is better to print it with ABS or PLA?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks again.

I think it works as well or better than most direct drivre extruders. Its super easy to load and unload filament and it drives the filament very securely. It's only weakness is that it is direct drive. If you want to print really fast all direct drive extruders struggle with having enough torque to really push the necessary volume of filament. I think when I was testing I started having problems around 75mm/s with a real E3D V6 hotend.

Now I run a Bondtech BMG extruder with the same NEMA 17 36mm tall motor and with a real E3D Volcano I am printing at 80mm/s with the same level of quality as I used to have at at 40/mm/s. The BMG is a little expensive but it is flawless.

I am working on a diy gear drive extruder that anyone can build with gears, shafts and bearings commonly available on Amazon....stay tuned!

Thanks a lot for your quick reply!
I never print over 50mm/s so the speed is not a problem. Would your extruder perform well on a standard Hypercube by Tech2c or will it struggle with Bowden or should I wait for your gear drive extruder?
I am using currently "Belted_Extruder_v.3_for_1.75_extended by arturslab". It works good but it is very bulky.

It will work on a hypercube or any other 3D printer. This is a bowden tube only extruder.

I would wait a few days. Talking to you made me look at this again and I am working on an updated version that uses a smaller bearing and is even less bulky.

I will wait.
One of these days I should run to Tampa and buy you lunch!

This looks promising. What is the maximum length of the stepper motor, before it impinges on the belts on the hypercube?

You can use NEMA 17 motors up to 42mm tall without hitting the belts. You can also remix the mount and turn the whole thing 90 degrees.

Please print this out of PLA or ABS. We have found PETG is too flexible and it just doesn't work.

Thanks for the Info!

Hello, how do you attach the stepper plate to the frame spacer ? I printed it and there are 2 holes, do you screw directly in the holes ?
Could you make a design with nuts that you insert from the side ?
Also for the screw that is holding the 608 bearing, how do you thread it to the arm ?

Both are designed to self tap with M5x10mm screws. If your printer is calibrated properly the hole sizes should be perfect and tighten up very firmly. I know everyone loves captured nuts but they really are unnecessary unless you are constantly taking stuff apart and putting it back together.

I have had this extruder on my printer for around a week now and it's getting a workout. It is holding up well

Hi... first of all, thanks for the design, I think it's really great. If not too much trouble, can you provide the one with an M6 thread bowden tube fitting? Or maybe if you don't mind, can I ask for the .step file for the arm only, so I can re-edited myself. I have abundant M6 push fit laying around. Thank you

Sorry for the delay, .step file added to Thing Files.

No problem, thank you very much for the step file, much appreciated :)
Here's a remix for those requires M6 push fit connector, and added another arm for those who use MK8 gear https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2549339

New Spring Loaded Bowden Arm for M6 push fit