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gadgetfreak

Has anyone tried Ninjaflex filament in UM or UM2 yet?

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Hi,

A friend of mine recently designed and printed a really cool BMX grip on his Replicator 1 a couple of weeks ago: He needed to upgrade his extruder drive a little bit and print pretty slow, but it turned out great, and is extremely flexible and durable.

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/bmx-grip-ninjaflex

I have ordered som 3mm from Fenner Drives but it will not arrive for a long time...so I whether someone else has tested this in an Ultimaker Original or Ultimaker 2?

I don't have too high hopes on the Ultimaker Original, but the drive system on Ultimaker 2 is a lot better. The challenge of course is that on the Ultimaker the feeder motor is at the back and the filament is very flexible and will have quite some resistance to overcome in the Bowden tube.

Here is the Ninjaflex filament:

http://www.fennerdrives.com/ninjaflex3dprinting/_/3d/

 

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That sounds promising!

What filament did you try?

I just found that Sanjay from E3D did an excellent comparison on Ninjaflex, FilaFlex and "Flexible Polyester 40D Shore", it's here:

http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,269018

A lot of good advice on how to print these types (example use constant speed troughout the print even for the first layer).

He tested them on a Mendel 90 which if I understand correctly has the feeder mounted on the hotend so no real comparison to the Bowden/Ultimaker setup...

 

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I have a spool of filaflex here but I can't even manage to get it up to the printhead without the feeder losing grip on it.

I can get it about 2 3rds though the bowden tube before it stops. I've tried tightening the skrew on the feeder so it exerts more pressure but to no avail.

So beware, it doesn't always work and at this point I'm not really comfortable yet in modifying my um2 :)

 

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I have seen some video's where someone printed a robot using ninjaflex, but I can't remember where.

Coincidentally I ordered a few reels of filament myself yesterday as I am also really curious to know how this works and I think it is a very interesting filament.

My first attempt would be to print slow, add 2 drops of sewing machine oil in the bowden, disable retracting and don't print too hot. (don't know what I will be printing tho.. maybe just a bouncing ball?)

 

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I have a spool of filaflex here but I can't even manage to get it up to the printhead without the feeder losing grip on it.

I can get it about 2 3rds though the bowden tube before it stops. I've tried tightening the skrew on the feeder so it exerts more pressure but to no avail.

So beware, it doesn't always work and at this point I'm not really comfortable yet in modifying my um2 :)

you just need to oil the filament. Filaflex is a superb material, for me it is the best flexible material I tried.

 

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I don't know if you want to oil the filament.. because that can interfere with your adhesion on the bed.

Just make sure there is some lubrication in the tube for easier traveling.

 

I have printing filaflex continuously oiling it without any adhesion problem to the platform. This material has an excellent adhesion, using only 54C for bed temperature.

The only problem with oiling is that when you return to regular PLA, you have to print some time before the oil disappears from the bowden tube.

 

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I have begun to print with Nijaflex on a UM1 - i tied with a .4mm nozzle and did not have much luck, but with my 0.65 nozzle am getting pints that are usable

I simply put the filament in the normal way - have the back screw done up a bit tighter and have the nozzle hot - and by hot I mean 255!

So I set the machine to pre-heat for ABS (250) and there is a fair wait for the temp to actually melt the filament in the head which I can see when the tip starts to bubble - then when I slowly turn the feed wheel I get a fairly uneven noodle - not sure why but it may be a bit too hot - still paying as I get under and over extrusion.

I slice objects at 0.2 (I know I am impatient) and set the speed to 10mm/s and 255 temp and off I go - with some fairly good functional prints.

On the control panel I tend to set it to 75% on speed and flow at 98%.

Printing on a cold PVA glued glass plate - that bit is really successful.

I added oil to the bowden and there was absolutely no difference.

Started with a 10 metre sample and used it up in 2 days, so now have a few reels.

So far it is not beautiful, but I am doing walls about 2-3mm thick to allow for the occasional under extrusion and happily have rubber parts!

Will keep experimenting!

I am doing a youtube video of the whole process which I will put up in a few days.

James

 

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I did, it made the situation even worse. The feeder lost grip at 1/3rd of the bowden length.

 

this is very strange. BTW there is another thread about flexible filaments, where many of us have printed these materials without any problem.. Please find it. There are a lot of information there.

What type of oil are you using? In my case it is a very light oil, for sewing machines.

About the feeder, the pressure to the filament has to be the same that for regular PLA.

 

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BTW there is another thread about flexible filaments, where many of us have printed these materials without any problem.. Please find it. There are a lot of information there.

 

This is the thread I think you mean:

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/3904-flexible-filaments-comparison/?p=50375

Lots of good information there. Blizz did you replace your feeder with the one IRobertI designed? I think that is an important step.

 

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I'm still trying to determine the best settings.

I ran a gradient test from 210, 220, to 230°C nozzle temperature (left to right).

DSC03681.thumb.JPG.d931d5f73c188a9009c85b33ae8643cf.JPGDSC03684.thumb.JPG.2ae1195ee674370d5b1570e6ff3fc83b.JPG

I noticed the following:

 

  • At the bottom and the top, the Ninjaflex doesn't cool down fast enough and is still liquid when the next layer is applied. This leads to the bigger molten blob at the top of the 230 getting smaller via 220 to 210. It also leads to bulges of material being pushed around by the nozzle at 230° but not at 220°.
  • I won't use 210°C because the material is too crumbly at this low temperature. You can see this in that the 210 print is much less transparent and more milky white. Also, the fill walls inside are very irregular.
  • The fill walls are thinnest at 230°. This is hard to see in the photo. They nevertheless are still quite irregular.

 

So, I'm between 220 and 230°, leaning towards 220 or maybe 225°C. 230° is what the filament producer recommends but I can occasionally already see browning at these temperatures.

I had huge problems switching from printing one sphere to several at a time. Most prints failed towards the top because of a build up of irregularities. This may be a retraction problem, since if you print many, the travel distances are larger requiring more retraction. So, a no retraction that worked fine for one atom caused errors when printing several copies at the same time. I'm testing a longer no retraction distance of 5mm now (1.5 was the default).

I'm using no oil. Retraction was on default for the single prints. Also, printing at normal speed worked. I test with this filament.

What are you printing with?

DSC03681.thumb.JPG.d931d5f73c188a9009c85b33ae8643cf.JPG

DSC03684.thumb.JPG.2ae1195ee674370d5b1570e6ff3fc83b.JPG

Edited by Guest

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yesterday I did my first print with ninjaflex with standard ultimaker2 feeder. I had some issues but found a solution I wanted to share here.

Basically I noticed that the main problem with ninjaflex is that it is so flexible that when any pressure is applied to move it through the extruder it bends. Rigid PLA/ABS will always stay straight through the feeder but ninjaflex bends. The problem with this is that it bends far enough that it slips out of the gripping part of the feeder wheel (the one with the knurling on it) on the internal side of the feeder and so not easily visible. I noticed this because the filament was apparently completely stuck but when I pulled it manually it simply came out without any resistance from the feeder.

To solve this slipping problem I unscrewed the locking screw on the knurled part and moved it a few mm inwards on the stepper motor shaft and locked it in place again. With this simple change the filament stopped slipping out of the feeder's grip and the printing worked flawlessly. I only printed at 10mm/s but I bet I can speed it up a bit more.

Hope this helps someone with the same issue

Edited by Guest

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Good idea.

But when resistance within the feeding line is too big, the filament curls out of the feeder and gets totally stuck in the feeder housing.

I think the feeder lining inside the feeder needs to be more close to the filament. So that it can´t bend and "escape".

I tried ninjaflex last week and didn´t have any success.

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morning guys.

I need to print some of this for a project in my boat company.

I had no luck with the normal ultimaker feeder on the back.. so I did a super simple new feeder housing, using all normal standard ultimaker parts... the critical design aspect is... to only give enought controled space for the material to flow into the feeder.. pushed with the stepper motor and out... no space for play.

I cooked up a dumb simple 2 part print... made it and iv used it about 15 times now with no failed prints.

The only problem is.. you have to change the feeder housing when you want to print soft materials.

Of course the best would be a feeder that can handle boht... but for the moment im keeping to simple.

Ian :)

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But when resistance within the feeding line is too big, the filament curls out of the feeder and gets totally stuck in the feeder housing.

 

Yes true, I had that happen too initially and I think it was because I had retraction enabled. With retraction disabled and the knurled part moved slightly inwards it worked perfectly but then again I only printed one item with ninjaflex so far.

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