Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Want to use the Open Source Hardware documentation to make your LulzBot 3D Printer do even more? Start here!
User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:54 am

I just received my new hexagon extruder and want to convert my old one to a flexystruder. I'm now trying to source all the non-printed parts needed for the conversion that I can't scavenge off the old extruder. Has anyone done this before and have extra bits you want to sell off (PTFE tubing, heatset inserts, etc)? I'm worried that I'll spend a small fortune trying to hit the minimum quanities needed to buy this stuff online.
Last edited by dutchhome on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Help converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:09 pm

I'm now ordering everything from McMaster-Carr. I will have plenty of extra parts if anyone else is interested in doing the upgrade yourselves. I'm converting the TAZ 4.1 Extruder (TAZ-BOM-Holly_500order.ods) to a Flexystruder 1.1 (Flexystruder-V1.1-BOM.ods). Total cost of all the required parts (assuming there aren't any surprises) came out to about $50.

According to the BOM's, the differences are:
HD-BT0010 - M4 x 20 Bolt, SHCS Black-Oxide (required: 2, min order: 100)
HD-BT0049 - M5 x 14 Bolt, SHCS Black_Oxide (required: 1, min order: 10)
*HD-MS0055 - Thumb Screw Knob for M5 SHCS, Black (required: 1, min order: 10) (combines with HD-BT0049)
HD-MS0060 - M5-.8 11mm Heatset Insert (required: 1, min order: 25)
HD-TB0006 - .25"ODx.125"ID PTFE tube (~2.5") (required: 4", min order: 12")

PP-GP0096 - Extruder mount, TAZ (Printed)
------------- - Flexystruder Body V1.1 (Printed)

So it looks like other than the PTFE tube I will have enough for several people. Let me know if you need anything and I'll send it out when I can. I'll just ask you to pay for the shipping which should be minimal.
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

User avatar
do-it-for-science-
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:02 pm
Location: Wilsonville, Oregon

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by do-it-for-science- » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:16 pm

I would be very interested in doing that upgrade as well, I was filling up my cart on McMaster-Carr to that very same thing.
open source, open heart,

Jeff Hunt,
Renewable Energy Engineering student OIT

User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:22 am

Well I did the conversion last night. It is surprisingly easy as long as you have access to a drill press. The good news is you don't need as much stuff as I thought. The mounting bracket is identical and the bolts used to attach the hot end can be reused. Also the smaller heatset inserts are not needed.. I'm not sure why I thought they were.

Anyway, I'll write up some directions later when I have some time, but it really isn't needed. It is as simple as tearing down the old extruder and reassembling it as a flexy. One tricky bit (no pun intended) was not having the metric drill bits. I cheated and used 9/64 (3.6mm), 1/4 (6.4mm), and 5/16 (7.9mm) instead of 3.5mm, 6.5mm, and 8mm respectively. If I thought about it when I ordered my parts I would have much rather had the metric bits.

My other slip up was not putting the heatset insert in the flexystruder bracket before putting in the PTFE tube. With the tube already in place I had to be careful with my soldering station to not poke the tube while installing it. I managed ok, but would have rather done it first and not have to stress over it.

Here is where my happy story turns ugly....

:!: Under absolutely no circumstances should you hook up your new Flexystruder without updating your firmware!!! :!:

I was so excited and proud of myself for doing a good job in the conversion that I jumped in and powered it up to see if it worked. At first it did, but I could see the heating resistor glowing red hot and it eventually quietly died. Only afterwards do I realize that there are probably different power requirements between the budaschnozzle and the hexagon hot ends :(. After this resistor failure I tried to see if the extruder would spin and it would not. Hopefully the stepping motor didn't die as well and will work once I change the firmware.

The good news for you is that I do have all the parts you will need for the conversion. PM me your address and I'll send them along to you. If you don't have access to a drill press and would like me to print you out the flexy bracket and set it up, let me know. The parts are free if you want them, but my printing and assembly time will cost you beer money :)
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

mr_tim34
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by mr_tim34 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:47 pm

So you flashed the printer to work with the new V2 print head and you need to switch back to work with the old Budaschnozzle? Just wanting to be sure I'm on the same page as I'm planning on doing the same thing to my Taz.

TiM

User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:04 am

mr_tim34 wrote:So you flashed the printer to work with the new V2 print head and you need to switch back to work with the old Budaschnozzle? Just wanting to be sure I'm on the same page as I'm planning on doing the same thing to my Taz.
Yes, exactly! Actually AO has an updated firmware for TAZ 5 owners wanting to use the Flexystruder, but I don't know if this works for the Flexystruder with the Budaschnozzle or if it is only for the new Flexystruder that will use the Hexagon hot end.

Check out the Flexystruder "Links" section for more info:
https://www.lulzbot.com/products/lulzbo ... ld-sources

EDIT: On closer look, it says TAZ 4 can use it without a firmware update, so this is definitely for the Budaschnozzle.
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:04 am

Just a quick update.. The reason it wouldn't turn the extruder gears is because the marlin firmware is preventing cold extrusion. So my only issue is the heating resistor which is easily ordered from DigiKey in small quantities.
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

mr_tim34
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by mr_tim34 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:14 am

Looking at the Flexy Struder page I guess I'll need to order a .5mm nozzle as well...

TiM

User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:42 am

According to the BOM for the Flexystruder v1.1, it has a .35mm nozzle. I would stick with the existing hot end at least until you see how it performs. If it starts making a mess with the smaller nozzle, you could always put the fan back on it with the upgraded fan shroud that sends air to the heatsink.
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

User avatar
dutchhome
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:26 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Converting old TAZ 4 extruder to flexystruder

Post by dutchhome » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:38 am

I was just thinking we may want to use some PTFE tape too to help prevent any pooling/oozing around the heater block. May as well look at this while tearing everything apart:

https://www.lulzbot.com/support/budasch ... a-solution

(more detailed instructions)
https://www.lulzbot.com/support/budasch ... ater-block
https://www.lulzbot.com/support/budasch ... le-threads
Lulzbot TAZ 4.1
Upgraded to Hexagon Extruder
Converted old extruder to Flexystruder 1.1

Post Reply