CTC/Makerbot/Flashforge extruder - flexible filament upgrade

by Sulya Mar 30, 2015
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I have struggled to print with polyflex on my flashforge creator pro. I downloaded this, and I've managed to get past my first milestone of feeding the polyflex without any issues.

Some notes:
1) I printed this rotated X 90 degrees, with thin edge down. Infill about 70%
2) It's important to have the X/Y/Z calibrated before doing this (particularly on FF)
3) I had to clean out the feed hole. In particular note that the funnel catches the filament. When installing, take the nozzle off, remove any filament. Push some filament through at various stages of construction to ensure the funnel does its job and catches the filament to guide it to the nozzle. Check alignments.

It was worth the effort!

Great. I was able to print flex filaments, but every time it was hard work to find the right parameters for the print. With your upgrade it is as easy to print flex filaments like PLA or ABS. I use the same parameters like PLA and don't have to do any changes when I switch between filaments.
Filament in => start printing. Speeds up to 60-80 mm/sec.!
Thank you!

Thanks for sharing. Happy to hear that my redesign is still helping someone!

Thank you so much !. I spent 5 hours this afternoon trying to print with TPU on my FlashForge Creator. I knew there would be a learning curve but it would load OK but not extrude at all during printing. I made your upgrade piece from ABS, installed it and printed my TPU test item using the exact same settings I'd tried earlier. It printed faultlessly first time. Needless to say I'm super impressed. Thanks again.

small note I put a 1mm spacer under the spring lever to get it to load smoothly.

Glad to help and thanks for the feedback! Mine is still going strong too. Though I am already waiting for my Prusa i3 MK3 :)

Just curious if anyone has tried this on a Qidi Tech 1?

I can confirm that this works like a charm in the Qidi Tech 1, so much so I printed one for the right side too. Works with all of the standard filaments also (PLA,ABS). I used FlexiSmart @ 210oC with a 40oC bed, 1500mm/min speed and fans at 50% and NO SPEED REDUCTION on first layer = Perfect print with little to no stringing.
I printed this mod in ABS @ 95% infill - (The first one I printed with the back face down on the bed and found that the supports were quite hard to remove due to their small scale....The secong one I printed with the back face up and used larger supports underneath = Much better print and far easier to remove the supports). I used a 2mm drill bit to clean out the filament hole and gave it all a light sand to finish the print.
This is an excellent mod, many thanks Sulya!

Thanks for the feedback!

Just a small update, I am still successfully printing Ninjaflex at 40mm/s and Sainsmart TPU at 100mm/s with this block

Is it possible to buy this upgrade ? I have only pla and my piece bend with motor heat... :(

Hey, where are you from? Sure, I am willing to print it for you, but the only problem could be shipping.
I live in Belgium, so while shipping within EU will be quite cheap, shipping it to the US can cost a fortune...

Canada... :(

Shipping to Canada would be 11,70 € :(
Pretty sure you can have the part printed locally for less money.

This is in no way compatible with makerbot. The makerbot extruder gear on the output shaft of the stepper is much wider, the thermal block screw takes up the same space as this extruder mod, so it doesn't fit without a lot of drilling and dremmeling, and even then, it doesn't support the spring makerbot uses on their extruders. Big waste of time :/

I am sorry to hear that. Can you please confirm which model do you have, so I can list it as incompatible? Thanks in advance.

Replicator 2, but Replicator 2x uses the same extruders. There are no Makerbot extruders this is compatible with.

Thanks for the info. Replicator Dual that I mentioned is not the 2X, sorry. Replicator dual = Replicator 1 with dual extruder. I will clarify it in the description.

After printing out 2 other designs to get ninjaflex to print on my flashforge this one finally worked! Thank you!!!

Glad to help :)

Mine seems to bind up and cause the extruder to click and kick back. There is too much pressure on the filament it seems.

Maybe the hole is just too small? Does the filament move freely in it when unmounted? If not you can try cleining the hole with 1.8-2mm drill bit.

Did you print this laying down or standing up? Does it need support?

Hello FavioR.
Laying down and it needs support for the big hole to be printed correctly.

OMG.. YOU ARE AWESOME!!! It worked like a champ. I am now printing flexible(SainSmart Flexible TPU 3D Printers ) with no issues. Treat it like ABS 230c Bed set at 40 and Medium speed with 100 infill. Just did a Galaxy Note 3 case. 50% done so far no issues. Any reason I can't just leave this block in place from now on?

Hi MastaMind. Sure you can leave it mounted, works with regular filament too.
Also, thanks for your uploaded make!

I need to take it out and take a picture of it. I also posted your link on a youtube request looking for this block. I can't thank you enough it was a fight trying without this. Works like a Dream.

Has anyone been able to make this work?