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it's cheaper and easier to buy 1.7mm filament here - so I wondered, if I change the bowden tube to a smaller ID.. is there any other reason why I can't print with 1.7mm filament?

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And its quite possible that the range of adjustment for the feeder isn't quite large enough to adjust for 1.7mm filament.

You'd want something like a 2mm ID tube. But that's unlikely to be 6mm outer diameter. So you'll get 4mm. Next you'll have to change the clamps everywhere.

I'd say internet-order your filament well in advance so that you have it on time.

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