Ninjaflex Progress Update

Some degree of success has been achieved with printing Ninjaflex with a Da Vinci 1.0 printer. Today, three test prints were made; one is of marginal quality but it was the first. The second for the day, turned out very well and the final print was OK. Each of the prints had differing infill settings so there is still some refining to do.

Successful Ninjaflex prints
Left to right: 1st “successful” print – 22mins. 2nd with very good surface finish – 9mins. 3rd with degraded surface finish – 34mins.

Improved support of the flexible filament between the drive gear and the extruder’s throat is a big contributing factor. A filament guide on Thingiverse was used to support filament. I’ve been having some limited success with this filament guide so far, but I used a different technique to smooth the surfaces flat as well as install it with a different method. More details on this to come.

Ninjaflex filament support
Closeup of the filament support guide

However, the biggest surprise was somewhat of an accidental discovery. Whilst making the first test print, I found that putting the filament under tension as it fed into the drive gear stopped the filament jamming on the exit side of the drive gear. Prints, two and three also showed that filament tension improved performance.

To demonstrate that there is somewhat of a possibility that a Da Vinci printer is capable of printing a flexible filament, the video below shows the third test print being removed from the print bed.

 

Keep up to date with the full progress here.

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