Monday, 23 November 2015

3D Printing with Ninjaflex is now possible!!

Chris here!  I know I haven't written for a while.  I've been traveling a lot (more on that later), but today I have a pretty cool blog post to share:

It’s been in the R&D pipe for a while now; an extruder that can easily print ninjaflex type materials at high speed. The existing extruder on the MH3000, same on the RoVa3D, cannot do this. Actually, we have 2 or 3 customers that have recorded video of the current extruder working with ninja flex, but significant fiddling was required. You can see the pics below from one of our customers:

The problem with the current design is at the feed gear inside the extruder. The bearing pinches the filament against the feed gear to so it can be pushed up through the guide hole on top. The problem with very flexible printing filaments is that they get ‘squished’ and that makes their effective diameter larger than 2mm so it gets stuck going through the hole. You might be asking yourself “why didn’t Chris design the extruder to work with Ninjaflex in the first place?” well.. In my defense these flexible materials did not exist when I was designing this machine.  But it does now so I’ve designed a new extruder that is a direct replacement for the old one. The rubbery materials don’t allow the feed teeth to bite into them the same as really rigid ones like PLA and ABS. This new extruder uses dual drive gears to get a much better grip on the slippery surfaces of TPC and TPE and other rubbery materials so it can ‘push’ them faster. The body of the extruder is contoured around the drive gears so that there is no space for the filament to squirrel around and leak out the gaps. There are also no springs which has been a constant question from customers “how tight should I make these things?” We will be releasing an upgrade kit soon for existing customers so they may begin printing with these new materials without needing to purchase a new 3D printer. 

Here is a turtle that we printed in Ninjaflex. We call him ‘Rafael’ … it was Jenn’s idea I swear!


Stay tuned for the release of this extruder for sale on our site! or you can email Jenn if you would like to be on the list for us to contact you when it is listed for sale

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