Print The Porto

A collection of tips about 3d printing.
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Printing Ninjaflex TPU filament on the E3D titan extruder

I recently upgraded my eclips3d printer to use an E3D Titan extruder, which has been printing out pretty great once I dialed in all the settings. I needed to print a bunch of rubbery feet for a wire shelf. In the past I've used my printrbot simple to print with ninjflex, so I was curious to try the titan since it is seriously grippy when handling other filaments.

TLDR;

All the normal rules on how to print with ninjaflex still stand. But on the Titan extruder, you need to lessen the tensioner bolt to 1 bar. Looser is better anything higher and it jams.

Try and try again

Following the guide I wrote to myself on how to print with ninjaflex I started up a new print and it constantly kept failing. The filament would actually get squeezed past the geared teeth and bunch up causing it to bind within the netheregions of the titan extruder.

Pile of failed ninjaflex prints
Pile of failed ninjaflex prints

Pile of failed ninjaflex prints with a bad infill
Still looks bad from the top

Printing super slow at 10mm/sec seemed to help, but eventually it would still happen. Scouring the internet I did find a little gem of information on the solidoodle forum with a user who installed the titan on his machine. The most pertinent info came from Sanjay who works for e3d.

We've been printing TPUs of various types on Titan without much drama. The usual flexible material caveats apply in terms of making things go a bit slower (Start @10mm/s or so and work up, depending on the stiffness/softness you should be able to do 20-30 with most), having a bit more retract than usual (1.5mm works for us). Temperatures for TPU are extremely sensitive and I usually find there is a tight 3 degree window in which they work best. For Ninjaflex this seems to be around 227C on a standard E3D-v6.

The most important bit of info is how soft the specific TPU you're using is. Our softest TPU that we've used is Ninjaflex which is Shore 85A (or around Shore 40D). Which TPU are you using, and do you know the hardness?

Sanjay

Using this new information I changed my settings, but still wasn't quite successful. By chance I saw a great review for the new flexion extruder by Maker's Muse. Seems like a great extruder, but didn't understand why the titan would be much different. Until he mentioned how he lowered the tension in order to print with ninjaflex/tpu on the flexion. The light bulb went on in my head and I checked how tight the tensioner was on the titan; It was pretty tight.

Starting up a new print, printing at 15mm/sec and with the tensioner set to 1 bar and it printed beautifully.

Good prints

Some zits on the side due to using the volcano hot end and large nozzle diameter
Some zits on the wall due to retraction not being dialed in for ninjaflex
Good smooth prints
Smooth layer lines. 0.44mm layer height.

Test updates and findings

After spending some time printing up a couple of test pieces seems I found a good tension for ninja flex on the titan as you can see below, setting the tension to 1 bar, had the best success rate. Results shown from left to right all printed with saphire blue ninjaflex at 20% linear infill.

  1. Layer height .44mm at 20mm/sec speed at tension bar 2. win
  2. Layer height .44mm at 30mm/sec speed at tension bar 2. fail
  3. Layer height .44mm at 30mm/sec speed at tension bar 1. win
  4. Layer height .32mm at 40mm/sec speed at tension bar 1. win
  5. Layer height .32mm at 45mm/sec speed at tension bar 1. outer wall which printed at half speed win, infill was sloppy and under extruded fail
  6. Layer height .32mm at 45mm/sec speed at tension bar 2. fail
  7. Layer height .32mm at 50mm/sec speed at tension bar 1. fail

The larger version was made to test printing faster, when it was smaller the slicer would always slow it down due to it not having to cross so much distance. Making it larger did work and would have been a successful print had I completed the infill at 30% and printed more solid top layers.

Categories: Ninjaflex, tips, Filament

Tags: Ninjaflex, Filament, tips

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