What is Flex3Drive?
Flex3Drive is a high performance light weight 3D Printing Extruder that can be fitted to any 3D Printer. It uses a flexible driveshaft and high ratio gear system to eliminate the moving mass of a direct drive extruder motor. Flex3Drive is also designed to overcome the issues associated with alternative bowden type arrangements. Flex3Drive allows a greater degree of precision control over your filament extrusion that will substantially improve the quality of your prints at any layer height. As a result this can increase the range of your printers ability in terms of both speed and precision.
Does the flexible driveshaft twist and introduce innaccuracy?
In short no. A solid steel shaft will have a degree of torsional flex, as will any shaft. When correctly assembled the high ratio gearing system greatly reduces the torsional load on the driveshaft. As long as the Flex3Drive extruder is correctly assembled and operating as it should, the loads required to drive filament through the extruder, even at speed, will be far within the limits of the custom flexible driveshaft.
What gearing system is used?
A high ratio fully ball raced worm and wheel gear system is utilised. The gears are injection moulded using high end mould tools that we own in house. A lot of materials research and testing has been done in conjunction with materials scientists to identify the optimal polymer. The premium Dupont materials used in the gears have been heavily tested and do not wear out under normal and correct operation. To this end, the gears and driveshafts are covered by a comprehensive replacement warranty.
What Filaments can be used?
All the extruders in the Flex3Drive range are designed to work with both 3mm and 1.75mm filaments. If you intend to do a lot of work with flexible filament it is advised to use 3mm since this has a greater rigidity along its length. Due to the high gearing arrangement used within Flex3Drive extruders, there is no penalty when using 3mm filaments due to the high driving torque avaialble.
What hotends can be used with Flex3Drive?
Pretty much any hotend that utilises the traditional groovement arrangment can be used. Each Flex3Drive comes with a selection of hotend clamps to fix them to the base of the extruder. If you have a unique hotend mounting requirement please contact us directly and we will be able to produce a solution for you if we dont already have it.
Will a Flex3Drive solve all my printing problems?
No! Flex3Drive will not compensate for a poor quality build, nor will it compensate for other faulty components. What Flex3Drive will do is provide you with a reliable and accurate extruding function that once fitted you can forget about. Please note however that as a result of the superior performance of the Flex3Drive extruders it will no longer be a weak link within your printer and as a result you may begin to expose other weaknesses in your machine that you can then address to improve your overall machines performance and quality of output.
Is there a Dual Drive version?
We are currently working on dual drive designs. These will be available soon. Please keep checking back on the website.
We are a 3D Printer manufacturer, can you design or modify and supply a Flex3Drive for our printers?
Yes. If you produce 3D printers and are interested in being supplied with a bespoke design, or wish to have one of the existing designs tweaked for your particular machine, please contact us directly and we can offer you a solution based on your requirements.