Print with NinjaFlex without Flexystruder on a LulzBot Mini?

I have some Ninjaflex lying around and would like to experiment with it. I understand that investing in a Flexystruder is by far the best option if I want to print with this filament on my Mini. But I’ve also read about people that have OK results with the default print head.

My idea is that if it is possible to do the occasional small flexible part now and then with the default head it could be interesting to try. But my need is not big enough to invest in a new extruder and to go through the work it is to change it back and forth all the time.

From what I have seen the people that have success recommend slow speed (approx 15 mm/s) and the same speed for all methods (innfill, first layer etc). Some mention better results if you turn retraction off.

So, I understand that I will not reach perfect results.

But: will there be a big chance of totally clogging or even destroying my beloved Mini if I do some experiments?

The stock head doesn’t have the filliament path necessary on the idler side to keep the filliement moving throughout it’s travel path to the end of the heated nozzle. The filliament will back up, loop, kink, then grind out. You could probably make a modified idler arm that would work. The Hexagon nozzle also has difficulty melting the filliament fast enough with a 0.5mm nozzle, so you would have to print really, really, really, really, really, really, really slow.

Won’t hurt to try it probably, worst case scenario would be cleaning things out of the cold end of the extruder.

Thank you. I understand. It will not destroy my printer, but will probably put an end to my extremely trouble free printing on this little beast so far. HIPS, ABS and Nylon prints perfect every time. The only problem I have had was when testing PLA. That clogged and ended in me having to spend a couple of hours trying to do that impossible cold retraction that is supposed to clean the nozzle.

Never managed that but eventually it unclogged and started working again. At that point I decided to stop using PLA and stick to HIPS, ABS and Nylon.

Sounds slike I will end up with the same situation if I try Ninjaflex without the Flexystruder…

This new material form the makers of NinjaFlex looks like it will print on the Mini with no special extruder needed (or glue):

Lulzbot already tested it and it is exactly like SemiFlex but easier to print apparently:

Looks like to me they will be recommend you use the Flexystruder for it, but after reading some other reviews on different printers, I don’t know if the Flexystuder will definitely be necessary. It’s probably in Lulzbot’s best business interests to recommend using their special toolhead anyway! :slight_smile:

I will try some of the filament when it comes out using the standard toolhead and report back.

Wow. That looks very interesting! Looking forward to hear about your experience when you have been able to test it.

I requested a sample and they said they will ship me one this week, I’ll let you know how it goes! They said they are shooting for it to hit the market around mid-march.

It will be nice to have if it works, but I do like NinjaFlex a lot more than SemiFlex–NinjaFlex is quite a bit more flexible.

Well. I just had to try… And yes: pretty difficult. The NinjaFlex was not able to push the remaining ABS in the extruder out before it stopped at the feed motor. I gave up pretty quickly before making a mess in the extruder.

So if I want to use my two rolls of NinjaFlex I need to be willing to experiment more or simply buy a flexystruder… :slight_smile:

The stock head doesn’t have the filliament way important on the idler side to keep the filliement moving all through it’s travel way to the end of the warmed spout. The filliament will move down, circle, crimp, then pound out. You could presumably make an altered idler arm that would work. The Hexagon spout additionally experiences issues dissolving the filliament sufficiently quick with a 0.5mm spout, so you would need to print outrageously, super, ridiculously, truly moderate. Won’t hurt to attempt it likely, most dire outcome imaginable would be clearing things out of the icy end of the extruder.


Yahya Noor

why not try to do a cold pull of the remaining ABS first? then put the ninjaflex into your newly clean nozzle.

I am interested in trying the cheetah filament too. looks like it is available in june 28th

So, Cheetah does not print on a Mini, as I was hoping it would, with a normal extruder. Cheetah is pretty much Semi-Flex, except that is prints a little better/faster and it doesn’t need a glue stick–so, it needs a Flexystruder. However, I made a tiny printable part that allows you to print Cheetah/Semi-Flex on a regular Mini/Taz toolhead at the same speeds of the Flexystruder. It also kind of works for NinjaFlex, but you have to print really slow and it only comes out “okay”. Maybe I’ll post the part on Thingiverse if anyone is interested.

Thats great. Im definitely interested

Very interested! Please post it on Thingiverse.

I’ll post it next week guys, sorry I’m pretty busy this week. It works perfect with Cheetah, decent with Semi-Flex, and poor with NinjaFlex. Cheetah is exactly like Semi-Flex, except that it doesn’t need glue on the PEI bed, and it prints faster, so it’s better!

Here you guys go:

You can read about it there, I recommend using Cheetah filament with it.

Awesome addition, and good to hear it helps with flexible materials. I modded the Wade’s body with a similar “extension” a while back, but haven’t had a chance to test it out.

Your addition gives me more hope that the revised extruder body just might work. :slight_smile:

Yeah, looks like you had a similar mod so I bet it will work! Some people have told me they have been able to print with NinjaFlex with this mod too, not just SemiFlex/Cheetah.

Thanks @CheeseJam! Your mod worked perfectly! I bought a small bit of Cheetah off Amazon ($13 for 50g, ugh) and printed a Rocktopus as well as a new end for a West Marine boat hook that fell off recently. Worked like a champ with this.

I’ve had a little trouble obtaining a successful print of your part that didn’t split when I tried to remove the little piece of support. The ngen (sample w/TAZ6) part split right in half as did one of two created in ABS (Lulzbot ABS). A version in eSUN PETG seems to be OK but it is glossy black and I wanted the parts in Lulzbot green for obvious reasons… :wink:

Would higher temps cause the layers to bond better in ABS (and ngen?)

Should print okay without supports…

The support is built into the part itself. I modified how I’m removing it and all is well. I may try printing one slower to improve the layer bond. I’ve used this mode several times now with Cheetah and it works great!

from Taz 5 printing NinjaFlex without a Flexystruder

It turns out that you do not need a Flexystruder to print flexible material on a Lulzbot Taz 5!

Printing the same bangle in the more ridged SemiFlex had a hiccup the first print. About half way though there was a jam. It turns out some of the filament had popped out of the extruder and kinked just below the hobbed bolt of the extruder. To fix this, I took a secion of discarded filament and put it into that space.