NinjaFlex material first run

MK1-250, MK2-250, MK1-450 and other heads for 1.75mm filaments at up to 450°C

NinjaFlex material first run

Postby cgriffin » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:17 pm

Just an FYI.

I ran some NinjaFlex last week. It worked well, and I was impressed with it. The part I printed was very usable, although I did trim up some stringing with a razor.

I started with the regular 300 micron ABS settings, and did not take time to try to improve it. I am sure it would benefit from tweaking, but here are some things I learned:

The NinjaFlex web site suggests a temperature range of 210 - 225°C. I could not get it to feed to purge the ABS that was in it, at even ABS's 240, so I cranked it up to 260, and it finally fed. Reducing it back down after the ABS was purged, and I still had issues, so I did not try many lower temperatures; not enough time to figure all that out. 260 is hot enough to discolor the material if left sitting, although it stayed clear if it was kept printing.

The material is too soft to "jog" the feed at full speed--it will jam by scrolling out the hole next to the feed gears. To purge, you have to keep tapping the button (on the print head) so it feeds slow, rather than holding the button. (Is there a way to slow down the max jog/feed speed?)

The compressibility of NinjaFlex requires LOTS of manual priming, because it oozes a lot, and does not start printing right away. Think of hot glue dripping out of a glue gun pointing down. I bumped up the skirt to 5 loops, and even that is insufficient with a small part if you do not prime it while it is homing.

The prime/unprime settings most likely need drastic changes, but I did not try to make them. There was a lot of stringing when it would quit and move to another location.

It prints small features best with the fan always on. The auto fan was insufficient.

My best prints, by far, were at 300 microns. I got some decent prints at 200 micron also. I tried another at 100, and so little material was extruded that it would clump up, and blob. The layers were not really discernible at 100 microns, and there was no bonding.
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Re: NinjaFlex material first run

Postby Davo » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:06 pm

Cliff,

Thanks very much for sharing this information. If we all pool what we find, we'll all benefit. :)

I know Karl set the firmware to limit the manual motor speed - it used to ramp up to a much faster speed, too fast for most materials. I'll ask if we can make that user-adjustable.

-Davo

EDIT: Moved to MK1 forum.
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Re: NinjaFlex material first run

Postby exforma23 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:48 pm

Cliff,
I tried Ninjaflex and had some very poor results. The two big problems, as you mentioned, were the oozing/stringing and then scrolling out the side hole of the extruder at the hobbed shaft. I didn't didn't try too much after that.

I saw an interesting interview from CES with someone from Utimaker. Their new line of machines is set up to use 2.85mm filament. They did this because they were getting very poor results from 1.75mm flexible materials. In switching to 2.85 they avoid a lot of the feed issues associated with smaller flexible filament.

One other thing I seen, but can't confirm, is that the "Semiflex", which is a little stiffer, also avoids some of the feeding problems and leads to better prints while still be quite flexible.

One of these days I'll give that a try.
If anyone has tried "Semiflex", I'd be eager to hear the results.

Thanks
Eric
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Re: NinjaFlex material first run

Postby Davo » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:33 pm

Eric,

I hadn't heard of Semiflex before, but we have printed with PlastInk Rubber, and we have folks in the UK who print with Flex 45.
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Re: NinjaFlex material first run

Postby Davo » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:13 pm

Cliff,

Thanks for this. I was at a customer site setting them up with another printer and they wanted to print with NinjaFlex. They easily found your post and your settings worked quite well.

We did find that with NinjaFlex it is especially important to have as little friction as possible on the material delivery, or else you can have an underflow.

-Davo
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Re: NinjaFlex material first run

Postby cgriffin » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:30 pm

Davo wrote:We did find that with NinjaFlex it is especially important to have as little friction as possible on the material delivery, or else you can have an underflow.

I forgot about that. My print was small, and I just always made sure some material was hanging loose on the spool.

An automated material feeder would be very suitable for this material.
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