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joseph-kim

US buyers I found a good & cheap bowden tube replacement

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I was getting massive underextrusions from a bowden tube purchased from gr5 store.

And I found this:

Fluorotherm F015092 - 5 Fractional PTFE Tubing, 1/8" ID x 1/4" OD, 5' Length, Semi-Transparent

It's long enough to make two and works like a charm. The OD fits the white clips perfectly, and I am able to use 3mm (as opposed to 2.85mm) filaments as well.

The only downside is that it's much less transparent, making light-colored filaments hard to see through.

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I did some tests recently on the tube from ultimaker and the tube in my store. The tubes were not connected to any printer. I chose filament that had been through the feeder to be as accurate as possible and slid it through the bowden. I used a scale such that the filament stuck out a bit and I held only the bowden and pushed down on the scale until the filament slid.

It made a huge difference what the curvature of the bowden was. It made a big difference if the filament was inserted to follow the bowden versus go against the bowden curvature. But I couldn't tell the difference between the 2 materials. So I'm not sure how the 3dsolex bowdens could cause much difference other than the length of the tube.

However... every time you change the bowden you have to insert the new one into the print head. There are 2 things that can cause underextursion when you do this:

1) the bowden tends to stop 1mm short at the top of the teflon part. If that happens you have a 1mm gap that filament can get into especially if you have hours of printing and lots of retractions. Getting PLA in that gap can cause underextrusion.

2) If the teflon part isn't new (even if it is), pushing down on it with a few pounds of force from the bowden can make a big difference on the resistance of the plastic through the teflon. Many people have tried loosening the 4 thumb screws one full turn and found that makes a huge difference to fixing underextrusion. Really the proper fix is not to push down so hard when installing the bowden.

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@gr5, i think both 3dsolex' as well as ultimaker's are PFA. PTFE had maybe 1/3 or less friction when i compared them to ultimaker and 3dsolex. curvature does hardly matter anymore. Up to now, nobody could explain me why ultimaker is using PFA instead of PTFE. Onl advantage i see, is that it is more transparent.

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@avogra, I think you are quite right. I am not sure about the 1/3d less though. The PFA has a hardere surface so "takes" more meters! Im working on finding a PTFE tube with the help from Bondtech, (one of the greates companies out there, in my subjective opinion!). He has tipped me off to a european supplier with an increadibly good PTFE tube, both material and size-wise.! It is not transparent, unfortunatelly.

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@swordriff, 1/3 might have been a bit enthusiastic :p It was only by feeling. From Bondtech I had my first PTFE tube but it has 4mm-6mm. The only shop i found selling 1/8-1/4 inch tubes to german endusers was 2printbeta. I guess PTFE can be had in quite different qualities, so you are talking about something special?

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What country are you in printerfan? Please update your settings. I will assume USA because I know the answer in inches. All the bowdens I sell (for UM2 series, UMO series) are 29 inches. This is about 1 or 2 inches longer than default but sometimes one messes up the end and it's nice to be able to cut it shorter a few times over the years.

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Hi gang,

Just wanted to add that at @Gr5's recommendation a while ago, I bought the exact same kind of PTFE tubing as @joseph-kim mentioned in the original post. It works great. At least as good as the original PFA. It is much less transparent though.

I cannot say I have super tested it with Ninjaflex or anything yet (that is why I bought it though), but my initial testing did feel much less friction-y than stock.

I believe I can use Ninjaflex (original, I do not have Cheetah) without oil now that I have the PTFE Bowden.

Anyway, just wanted to share my experiences in case it helps. :)

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