How to 3dPrint with Flexible Filaments

The saying, “You cannot push on a rope” remains as apt as ever when it comes to 3D printing with flexible filaments. Most printers will have some form of success straight out of the box with flexible filaments, but don’t be greedy to begin with, turn the printing speed right down. Within this article I will try to explain as best as I can the problems, pitfalls to avoid and how to achieve success with pushing on a rope to achieve good print quality at acceptable speeds, in this case substituting the rope for flexible and elastic filaments for 3D printing.

In this video, I solve a problem that has been pinching me for a long time. My tungsten carbide wedding ring looked fancy but was painful to wear at the gym. Being the crafty fox that I am I decided to make my own wedding band that can flex to the contours of the bar and my finger without pinching my digits. I used a variety of Ninjatek products and they all performed well. Ninjaflex, Semiflex, and Cheetah all printed beautifully without any problems once I got the settings dialed in. I ran the flexible rings through a gauntlet of tests at the gym to make sure they were flexible enough and would not pinch. Even the most rigid of the three flexible filaments, CHEETAH, was still flexible enough to be comfortable to wear at the gym.  CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE NEATHERBOT.COM

LIST OF FLEXIBILITY~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NINJAFLEX – Most
SEMIFLEX – Middle
CHEETAH – Least

I ran my standard failure test and was surprised to see that NINJAFLEX was stronger than the other 2. The ring thickness was 1.2mm which was printed in 2 perimeters.

PULL TEST RESULTS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NINJAFLEX – 90lbs
CHEETAH – 49lbs
SEMIFLEX – 45lbs

PRINT SETTINGS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NINJAFLEX:
230c Hotend
0c GLASS Build plate
20mm/s Print Speed
0.2mm Layers
0.6mm Nozzle
115% Flow or 1.15 Extrusion Multiplier

SEMIFLEX / CHEETAH:
230C Hotend
0c GLASS Build Plate
*40mm/s Print Speed*
0.2mm Layers
0.6mm Nozzle
115% Flow or 1.15 Extrusion Multiplier

ATOMIC PULL:
1) Heat up hotend to 230c and extrude a few inches of NYLON filament to ensure it has pushed out any other material from nozzle.
2) Set hotend to 130 and let hotend cool until temp is @ 130
3) Grab filament and help extruder pull out NYLON from hotend *POP*
4) Tip of filament should look like the inside of your nozzle, if it is stringy and melted looking then you need to let the hotend cool more before pulling. If the NYLON does not come out and you are pulling hard then bump hotend temp up 10c

LINKS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Purchase Rings:
NeatherBot.com

Pinshape Blog: Top 5 Tips for Best Results with Flexible Filament

The development of exotic filaments, including flexible filament, is driving advances in the applications of 3D printing technology. Thanks to these new materials, we can now print an increasingly complex and diverse array of 3D designs. With any new material, comes a new set of challenges to get the best prints possible. In this article, we will go through some different types of flexible filament, some common challenges, and the top 5 tips for successful results with flexible filament.

 

Print slow and hot with NinjaFlex. It ain’t rocket science, but does require a little attention to details if you’re used to PLA or ABS. If you’re using Cura you can download my Type A Machines 2014 Series 1 profile here.

 

How much is 50 grams of NinjaFlex?

For those of you who have worked with nothing but large spools of filament here is a guide to how much you can expect to print with the amount of filament supplied on a Splash Spool.