Flexistruder Question

I’m new to printing and the ninjaflex seems like a pretty exciting filament. I have a few questions regarding the Flexistruder tool heads.

  1. Does the Flexistruder print standard non-flexible filament well?

  2. If so - why isn’t the Flexistruder standard on the TAZ 5? As I understand it, the main difference is how the filament is fed (clearances).

I get that the stock tool head can handle ninjaflex albeit poorly.

  1. How much does it cost to build your own Flexistruder vs ordering one from Lulzbot? I haven’t seen many threads on here of people rolling their own. I’m not sure if that is because it’s a given and everyone does it - or if there is something stopping from people doing it.

  2. Could I cannibalize my stock tool head, print my own parts and upgrade (assuming the Flexistruder can handle non-flexible filaments equally as well to the stock)?


    These questions might be a little advanced for my current knowledge - I’m still learning the basics - just trying to look ahead.

Ideally, I’d love to print my own dual extruder tool head.

Hi, I have similar questions about flexystruder, here are official answers from lulzbot sales representative :

Do you mean the flexystruder is only for flexible filament, and I have to switch with the original extruder each time I change filament type ?

The flexystruder is designed to handle only flexible materials and you’ll have to swap back to the stock extruder if you want to print with stiff materials.

There is currently no FDM 3D printer that has a stock nozzle that can handle both.

I saw a great thing with it is to print different filament type (abs/hips for complex model support, or abs/flex for wheel). Does the dual flexystruder support those combinations, or simply 2 different colors of pla or abs ?

We have two dual extruders the Dual Extruder and the Flexy Dually. Unfortunately the version 1 is currently out of stock while we are just about to start assembly of version 2, which should become available within a few weeks.

The Dual Extruder will handle either 2 different colors of the same stiff material or 2 totally different stiff materials (all the same materials as your stock extruder: ABS, PLA, HIPS, nylons, T-Glase, metal infused, wood infused, polycarbonate etc).

The Flexy Dually will hand 1 type of flexible with 1 type of stiff material. You could do something like a bike handle make of polycarbonate wrapped with a ninjaflex grip.

**I think the day I will upgrade, I’ll choose dual flexystruder, like that I could print :

  • ‘solid’ filament
  • flexible filament
  • dual solid and flexible filament

    The only thing I’ll can’t do is dual solid filament, or I’ll have to buy both dual extruder… right ?**

Ya you can use the extruders by themselves if you get a Flexy Dually. That’ll give you the most versatility. And correct, you’ll still be unable to do two stiff materials.

And what about the future TAZ 6, will it support solid and flexible filament, built-in ?

It’s unlikely the TAZ will have that difference but you can follow its development here: > https://devel.lulzbot.com/TAZ/Mangrove > [1] [1]/
The TAZ 6 or ‘TAZ Pro’ which may be its name is internally called the Mangrove.
The big change will be the bed leveling and bringing the power supply into the electronics box. We’ll provide upgrade kits for a TAZ 5 so you don’t need to wait.

The capability to print stiff and flexible material with the same head is really a missing feature, I hope you will do a
‘universal’ extruder some day, it would be amazing.

Oh I agree. I think if there was an extruder we could make we would. Remember, because it’s all open source everyone with a 3D
printer can use our files as blueprints to develop new extruders. The dual extruder was a customer’s design! Hopefully someone will figure it out how to deal with both.

Hope it can help !

  1. How much does it cost to build your own Flexistruder vs ordering one from Lulzbot? I haven’t seen many threads on here of people rolling their own. I’m not sure if that is because it’s a given and everyone does it - or if there is something stopping from people doing it.

I have built my own Flexistruder. The process is straight forward and it is less expensive dollar wise; however, unless you really feel comfortable with your printing skills, I would not recommend building your own. I built my first Flexistruder out of ABS, I am building a second out of HIPS. (Yes, my second.) Things you need to buy: hobbed bolt (unless you can build your own), NEMA 17 stepper motor, hotend, 2 608 bearings, teflon tube, connector bits, miscellaneous metric machine screws (M3 and M4). You may want to buy a crimping tool to ensure good connections. You will need to print the extruder, the large and small herringbone gears. I also highly recommend printing a new mounting plate. It is much quicker and easier to swap an extruder and mounting plate than just swapping the extruder.

  1. Could I cannibalize my stock tool head, print my own parts and upgrade (assuming the Flexistruder can handle non-flexible filaments equally as well to the stock)?

I would not recommend cannibalizing your original tool head. Even though I have built 6-7 new tool heads, I still use the original tool head quite a bit. Building a new tool head can involve a bit of “tinkering” and you don’t want to have to continually re-assemble the original.

The capability to print stiff and flexible material with the same head is really a missing feature, I hope you will do a
‘universal’ extruder some day, it would be amazing.

Engineering is a work of trade-offs. Building an extruder that can handle both flexible and rigid materials is very do-able. The problem is that you probably wouldn’t want to pay for it. :open_mouth:

  1. Could I cannibalize my stock tool head, print my own parts and upgrade (assuming the Flexistruder can handle non-flexible filaments equally as well to the stock)?

I would not recommend cannibalizing your original tool head. Even though I have built 6-7 new tool heads, I still use the original tool head quite a bit. Building a new tool head can involve a bit of “tinkering” and you don’t want to have to continually re-assemble the original.

But CAN you? From what I see all the parts for the Flexystruder exist in the standard toolhead, but I’m a newb at this so I can’t say for sure.

The reason this is attractive to me is I’ve got a Taz 5, planning on buying a 2nd next month, and over the next year I’d like to expand that fleet out to 8 printers total. 6 of these will be dedicated NinjaFlex Semiflex machines and never need to print ABS, I’ll have two stock toolheads at this point and of course two Flexystruder v2’s… so if I can avoid spending $1800 on excess hardware and convert existing components that seems like a win to me.

Edit: Got the reply that you can in another thread:
https://forum.lulzbot.com/t/taz-5-toolhead-conversion-to-flexystruder/2491/1