See it in action! https://youtu.be/BYDGu5f8Zuo
Flexion is one of the most advanced extruders on the market. It's been specifically designed to print very flexible filaments like TPUs, Cheetah, Ninjaflex and even X60. But it can also print any other filaments out there. See this Youtube video for more info.
I decided to design a mount for my CR-10 as these did not exist. Well there's one design, but it uses flexion as bowden extruder replacement, which kind of defeats the purpose because you need to have direct drive setup to print flexible filaments well...
I designed this mount to easy to print and easy to attach. It's very rigid and strong, even when printed at 50% infill. You won't need supports, but it's better if you use high heat materials like PETG or ABS (mine was printed with eSun black PETG ).
Warning: This mode requires you to do some rewiring and use of E3D V6 hotend.
Re-uploaded STL models (not sure why they dissapeared). After struggling with this extruder and almost giving up, I was finally able to solve issues I was having and dial in settings for most materials. Biggest improvement came from adding dual-z upgrade to my CR-10. This fixed all inaccuracy issues I was having.
Also as I discovered you need to adjust tension screw for each material until it starts extruding, but doesn't make "squeaking" sound.
Included Simplify3D profiles for following filaments:
- PLA (tested, works great!)
- Ninjaflex (works great)
- Cheetah (prints amazingly at 50 mm/s, didn't test it at higher speed)
- PETG (prints ok, but didn't test extensively)
About Version 2:
As of 10/27/2017 I completely redesigned Flexion mount. Main reason was, pancake style stepper motor didn't have sufficient torque and was causing skips. Now mount uses full size Nema 17 motor, in fact you will just re-use extruder motor that came with CR-10! So no more rewiring required.
Another improvement is that you no longer loose any printable surface, as hotend is now located closer to the X rail. Mount has better wire management and part cooling fan has been moved to the left side.
The only negatives about this design is that it's now heavier and slightly more difficult to assemble.
Parts you will need:
For Main Mount:
- This printed mount and spacer
- E3D V6 Hotend
- Flexion Extruder
- 4x 25mm M3 screws
- 4x M3 nylock nuts
- 2x 8mm M3 screws
For Part Cooling Fan Mount:
- 5015 12 V Fan (50mm x 15mm)
- 22-25mm M3 Screw
- 10 mm M3 screw
- M3 nylock nut
- M3 nut (regular)
- Print mount and spacer.
- Remove original hotend, metal cage and cut fan wires
- Disconnect and remove extruder stepper as well as extruder
- Prepare extruder motor wire by slicing braided wiring sleeve that holds Z stepper and Extruder stepper wires. You will need extruder wires to move freely with X carriage
- Assemble and wire E3D Hotend
- I recommend reusing CR-10 40W heater cartridge but using E3D thermistor. Splice it to the old thermistor wire and update firmware to use
define TEMP_SENSOR_0 5
- Splice or use terminal connector for E3D fan
- Leave part cooling fan wire unconnected for now. I'm working on adding mount for this
- Assemble Flexion extruder to the stepper
- Finally attach printed bracket to the X carriage. It's held by two 8mm M3 screws (use spring washers) and 3rd longer M3 screw. For the longer screw please use spacer behind the bracket (other screw holes already have standoffs built in).
- Before you install Flexion, slide M3 nut into right nut slot (this will hold part cooling fan)
- Insert Flexion and E3D assmelby, carefully guide hotend wires to the right side and attach flexion to the bracket using 4x25mm screws and nylock nuts.
- Connect extruder stepper wire.
- Attach 5015 fan bracket to the extruder mount using 10mm M3 screw (screw it to the M3 nut you placed in nut hole previously.
- Attach 5015 fan to the fan bracket using M3 Nylock nut and 22mm M3 (or longer) screw.
- Guide wires thru the bracket "ring" on the left side and up to vertical wire guide rail. Attach wires to the rail with zip-ties.
E3D hotend should be at aproximately same level from the bed as old microswiss hotend. Just re-level your bed and you should be set.
Simplify 3D profile for Ninjatek Cheetah is included. Tweak it for your own flexible material...
Final thoughts and considerations
I've tested this bracket and it works very well. However you need to keep some things in mind.
- Some kind of wire management needs to be implemented. CR-10 was not designed for it's extruder motor wire to be moving...
- If you are printing materials like ninjaflex, you're probably should place filament spool above printer. I'm using this remix of Prusa i3 bracket
- Finally correct slicing settings have to be dialed in for new direct extruder. Most likely acceleration and jerk values have to be changed (slower)
- If you replacing thermistor you will have to update firmware. In order to do that you'll have to enable bootloader on the controller board.
- I didn't get good results printing PLA. I keep getting holes and defects no matter what :(
Let me know if you have any questions.
Print part like shown in "How To Print" screenshot.
Check that printed spacers is no thicker than 3.2mm