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Bowden Filament Drives

  • For fast acceleration and stopping the “Rock V3.0” 3D printer print-head & extruders has been designed very light in weight. The print head & extruder parts are made of light 5005 aluminium but also brass, S-Steel, plastic and electrics. The complete print head weighs only ~500g
  • Many 3D printer makers simplify the 3D printer build by adding the filament drive stepper motors to the moving axles/print head (direct filament drive). Due to the added motor weight (up to 700g) the printing process must be slow, If the printing speeds are set too fast, the inertia of acceleration and stopping causes printing errors (skipping or adding steps of the stepper motors).
  • By using a Telion Bowden filament drive that is placed on the stationary printer frame, up to ~350g for each stepper motor is removed from the moving print-head (~700g for dual extruders). Due to this lowered weight the printing speed can be increased drastically without the dreaded stepper skipping errors.
  • Telion innovative products has designed a rugged and very reliable bowden drive.
  • The Telion Bowden drive has been designed in a way that the driving stepper motor can be mounted on either side of the main block. This design feature makes the installation adaptable to most 3D printers setup or wiring. The Bowden drive can be mounted on 3D printer frames for left, right or even back operation.
  • The top of the Bowden drive block supports a ¼“ tube-connector to fit a rigid ¼” PTFE rod. The Rod can be inserted into the wiring braid holding and supporting the electric wiring and filament tubing to the print-head. The stiff rod will prevent the wiring of flopping sideways.
  • The bowden drive can be taken apart in 3 easy steps for essential cleaning. The filament drive wheel that grippes the filament creates filament granules, these granules need to be brushed away occasionally.
  • The 3 easy steps assembly are also the only steps needed to feed new filament to the extruder. Once new filament is feed through the bowden drive to the extruder, simply slide in the filament drive bearing slide, lock in the filament drive lock and turn the M5 push screw 1/3 turn, done ready to print. The Bowden filament drive can be purchased with or without stepper motor

General information about Bowden Drives

The Bowden drive is one of 2 common features of a desktop 3D printer. This device helps to feed the filament to the hot-end of the printer. Unlike the direct printer, the Bowden drive has a tube that the filament moves through before it gets to the hot-end extruder. The Bowden drive helps to lighten the moving parts of a 3D printer and results in a more accurate print job. It is also praised for making the printing process faster than when you use the direct extrusion method. The Bowden drive can move much easier and faster which is why the printing is a bit faster and more flexible.

Bowden drives are usually installed in the tall delta base printers as it is much easier to accommodate the tube but in some Cartesian 3D printers, you can also install the Bowden system. Basically, if you want to improve the quality of your 3D prints, it is best to use quality Bowden drive instead of the direct drive. However, it is also important to know that Bowden drives are not recommended for flexible filaments. Most people who have complained about their Bowden systems, do so because they are using the wrong type of filament. Bowden drives tend to have blocked tubes when flexible filaments are used. This is because when flexible filaments have to move through a long tube, the pressure exerted on them to move, ends up making them flex instead so they will get stuck in the tube.

Always ensure that you are using the recommended filament for the Bowden drive. If however, you end up with the filament getting stuck, it is not difficult to clean the tube. All you have to do is remove the filament, clean or replace the 4x2mm Teflon tube reinsert the right filament, the Bowden drive can be cleaned and serviced  in no time. Bowden drives are much more accurate so if you are doing printing that requires a high amount of precision, you will want to use a Bowden drive. What’s more is that you will be saving time since it prints faster than most direct drives. To ensure the perfect print job, it is important to carry out calibration before you begin printing. Calibration ensures that the Bowden drive will feed the right amount of filament needed to ensure the 3D print is not too thick or too thin.

Calibration should be done periodically as well as part of the maintenance process, this will ensure that the drive is always working at optimum level. It is important that you purchase original Bowden printer drives from legit dealers to ensure that you actually enjoy the advantages of using the Bowden drive for 3D printing. Some of the cheaper brands may not be authentic and they will end up botching your print jobs. Bowden drives are best used when you want to make a number of prints in the shortest time possible with fewer adjustments made.