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latreides

MakerFlex filament?

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Hello Ultimaker community!

I have been trying to print with a flexible filament (MakerFlex) but I cannot get it to feed in my UM2+. The change material process will feed the filament up to the nozzle, but it will not ever extrude any filament.

I can place my fingers on the filament as its going into the feeder, and I can feel vertical movement, but nothing comes out of the nozzle.

Has anyone tried to print with this material, or similar (like NinjaFlex) with the UM2+? Is there any tricks to get it to feed? I have tried adjusting the tension (in both directions) an arbitrary amount, without any success.

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I haven't printed with flexible material yet. But have you tried removing the bowden tube, and feed some filament manually into the nozzle? And then see if it flows through easily? This would make sure there are no blockings, no old material stuck somewhere, no nozzle-clogs.

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I haven't printed with flexible material yet. But have you tried removing the bowden tube, and feed some filament manually into the nozzle? And then see if it flows through easily? This would make sure there are no blockings, no old material stuck somewhere, no nozzle-clogs.

No, but I did remove the material and put in some normal PLA and printed something after all of this trial and error with the flexible. So I am fairly certain that there isn't a clog.

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Think of printing with flexible material with a bowden tube as threading a thread through the eye of a needle by pushing the thread forward from 30 cm distance from the eye of the needle. Because there is some resistance going through the eye, the thread is going to kink in all directions it can before going through the eye.

Flexible filament is often a bit rubbery, and once it kinks against the bowden tube there is only going to be more friction, so more kinking. Some material will still feed into the bowden tube, but it will just kink and compress in the bowden tube.

Printing very flexible filaments is hard on all printers, and harder still on bowden printers.

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Think of printing with flexible material with a bowden tube as threading a thread through the eye of a needle by pushing the thread forward from 30 cm distance from the eye of the needle. Because there is some resistance going through the eye, the thread is going to kink in all directions it can before going through the eye.

Flexible filament is often a bit rubbery, and once it kinks against the bowden tube there is only going to be more friction, so more kinking. Some material will still feed into the bowden tube, but it will just kink and compress in the bowden tube.

Printing very flexible filaments is hard on all printers, and harder still on bowden printers.

Is there a way to do it though? I bought a couple of kgs of flexible filament in hopes that I could get it to print, but I haven't even gotten it to extrude yet. If someone has had success with MakerFlex (or similar, like NinjaFlex) I would be very interested in hearing how they did it. I found a couple of topics on these forums but they are for larger mods than I am willing to make.

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Like @geert_2 says, try feeding it through a hot hotend without the bowden tube in the printhead. If that works, then you might try doing things like lubricating the inside of the bowden tube to reduce friction there, using a drop of mineral oil.

Lesson learned: do not buy several kilos of a new, challenging material.

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Glad you got it to work.  What other settings did you use in addition to no retractions?  I bought a spool of MakerFlex a couple of months ago and haven't tried it yet.

I turned off retractions, reduced the print speed to 25 mm/s, set the hot end temperature to 235c, bed temperature to 60c, and reduced the feeder tension.

I also oiled the Bowden tube with a little bit of sewing machine oil, as recommended to me by MakerGeeks.

I plan on trying again with a little bit of retraction to see if I can clean up the top. If you manage to print any with your MakerFlex, post here please. I would like to know others experiences and tips!

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