Flexystruder Tool Head

Turn your TAZ 3D printer into a flexible filament printing wonder! With a quick installation and calibration of the Flexystruder tool head, your LulzBot TAZ 3D printer will be capable of printing multiple flexible materials, including Ninjaflex.

Flexible materials open up a new range of uses for 3D printing, such as: cell phone cases, hinges, stretchable jewelry, and impact and vibration dampening. These are new materials to 3D printing, so start printing!

  • Required Filament Diameter: 3mm
  • Nozzle Size: 0.5mm

Flexystruder Tool Head Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Rookie - Basic hand tools are required and instructions will allow more freedom. You may need to make your own decisions on design. If sewing is required, it will be free-form.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • The Mighty Sparrow / about 9 years ago * / 1

    SOOoooo...."yes", it can print non-flexy filament as well?

    Enquiring minds wanna know because I bought a popular brand of printer - which shall remain nameless...until the next paragraph - so I wouldn't have to mess with a bunch of building, calibrating and general dickering around. Basically, I just wanted to start making things - not make something before I started making things.

    Long story short, this thing - let's just call it FakerBot - and [more importantly] the support I thought I was buying into is a complete load a crapola and I am going to send it back. I'm so disappointed I'm willing to take a hit for their restocking fee.

    In any case, I am a big Sparkfun fan - and a friend o' theirs is a friend 'o mine. I REALLY like the possibility of printing with the flexible material, but I REALLY don't want to switch heads all the time. Not that it's a deal-breaker -- well actually, if it's bi-filamental, that's more like a deal-sealer (see what I did there? how i switched the words around from a common phrase? that's awesome)

    But I digest....

    Any information is greatly appreciated.

    (Sorry, meant to post this under MarkFromNJ's response)

    • MarkFromNJ / about 9 years ago / 1

      If you go to the LulzBot site they do not specify what materials can be printed with the Flexystruder. In the installation instructions, at the end they do say "now insert your favorite flexible filament." If I were going to buy one of these I would probably call them and ask them first.

      • The Mighty Sparrow / about 9 years ago * / 1

        Thanks, Mark -

        After perusing the product line a bit more, I notice it's all 3.0mm filaments/hardware. That doesn't sit well since I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 spools of 1.75 mm PLA.

        And yes, I understand I could probably hack and modify it. Trouble is, I don't trust myself to do it [right] in an adequate amount of time. You see...well....basically I have this thing called a full-time job :D So when I'm afforded the time, I don't want to tinker I want to build. (EDIT and I seriously doubt modifying the device to work with 1.75mm is a simple "switch of a nozzle")

        • Youblob.com / about 9 years ago / 1

          That is correct Mighty Sparrow. One can not change filament, because the Heatbreak is drilled for the specific size of either 1.75mm or 3.mm.

          Explanation images: http://youblob.com/sites/default/files/tmp/heatbreak.jpg http://youblob.com/sites/default/files/tmp/half_HB_with_filament.jpg The smallest part on the left, is what's screwed? in to the aluminium heatblock. I'm not familiar with the Flexystruder ...yet, but it should be swappable. (Just unscrew the 3mm one and replace it for 1.75mm)

          • sirkha / about 9 years ago / 1

            If you did/do buy a Taz 4, switching to 1.75 mm filament looks pretty easy: This guide from Adafruit steps you through it. https://learn.adafruit.com/taz-4-1-dot-75-filament-upgrade/overview

  • xxxxxxxxxx / about 9 years ago / 1

    This looks like a "super set" of the stock print head. If it is capable of printing with the other materials as well (ABS, PLA), why not offer it as an initial upgrade option? Who needs two print heads when one will do.

    • Member #436056 / about 9 years ago / 1

      In the reviews that I have seen it looks like it can print in both, but there is a problem going from a harder material like ABS to the soft stuff like ninjaflex. The problem being that the ninjaflex does not push all the abs out right away and you can end up with abs bits in your print which will ruin it. Sounds to me like I would like to have both heads and swap the whole head. Swapping heads on taz 4 looks pretty easy.

      Disclosure: I do not even OWN a 3d printer, I am just researching while I squirrel away the money.

  • dbc / about 9 years ago / 1

    What is different about this print head that makes it better for Ninjaflex feed stock?

    • MarkFromNJ / about 9 years ago / 1

      Unlike PLA or ABS, Ninjaflex is very soft so it is not capable of supporting itself under compression if unsupported. The extruder needs to contain the filament immediately after the driving element (i.e., bearing on knurled shaft) all the way to the heated nozzle. Some print heads are designed with a significant open gap and while this is not a problem with stiffer materials, it is a showstopper for Ninjaflex. This is also why extruders that use Bowden tubes to separate the filament driver from the hot end do not work well with this material. It's so soft it binds in the tube. The Flexystruder is designed to accept the limitations of this new material. Another advantage of this tool head is that it is free of polymer parts so it can handle very high temperatures. I would guess it is capable of 260C or more. However, all-metal extruders like this tend to allow the filament to soften or melt before it gets to the nozzle which causes jamming. The only way to stop this is to keep the upper part of the hot end cool. The fins help, but a variable speed fan is a better solution to allow different materials and feed rates. Though fans have their problems as well - differential air temperature in the build volume. and difficulty in getting the build platform to stay hot due to air flowing over the glass.

      • dbc / about 9 years ago / 1

        OK, that all makes sense. One question, though, I could see where a long Bowden tube could cause problems, but what about having just a short section of PTFE as a heat barrier right before the hot element? Is it a problem with PTFE actually sticking to the NInjaflex, or is the problem the length of the Bowden tube?

        • MarkFromNJ / about 9 years ago / 1

          I can't see why that wouldn't work, but many of the newer hot ends do not use PTFE because it is limited to temperatures under approximately 235C. If you want to print the higher temperature materials like some of the nylons, and certainly polycarbonate, you don't want any plastic in your hot end. That's the basis for hot ends like the Magma and Hexagon hot end, neither of which contain any plastic.

          • dbc / about 9 years ago / 1

            Yes, I said PTFE, but was thinking PEEK, which should get up to 245C or so. McMaster also shows "Vespel polymide" rod, bloody expensive, though, but it is rated to 288C, but I've never heard of it until it showed up in the McMaster-Carr search results. Maybe a ceramic heat barrier of some flavor....

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