The Flex3Drive

Talk about your experience with Ultimaker printers
mutley
Posts: 9
Joined: October 26th, 2016, 11:16 pm
3D Printer(s): UM2 UMO MendelFlex DeltaFlex

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby mutley » December 11th, 2016, 9:23 pm

Yea some nice tweaks and finishing touches from Korneel including an awesome manual.
Last edited by mutley on January 2nd, 2017, 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

korneel
Posts: 13
Joined: February 14th, 2016, 10:44 am
3D Printer(s): UM2, Um2+extended

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby korneel » December 12th, 2016, 11:13 am

in no way did I try to take credit for any of the awesome work Jason has done to the Flex3drive. I merely tried to explain what I did with Ultimaker and provide some context behind some of the stuff that has my name on it.

In no reason did I want to take credit for anything that MTVNDA is using nor for anything that Jason is currently selling right now or in the past. 

I respect Jason and the work that Jason did on the Flex3drive too much to give any form of bad impression and I can only encourage people to try it out for themselves, hence me editting my posts :)
Last edited by korneel on December 13th, 2016, 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

mutley
Posts: 9
Joined: October 26th, 2016, 11:16 pm
3D Printer(s): UM2 UMO MendelFlex DeltaFlex

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby mutley » December 12th, 2016, 4:03 pm

Awesome manual written by Korneel for installation of the Flex3Drive onto UM2. Anyone who has written comprehensive documenation knows what a laborious and studious task this can be. Docs are not my fortay.

I know there were a couple of last minute tweaks after my sign off. Tensioner bolt stop rest and a change to a bearing spec.

My own development continues however, with various subtle tweaks and improvements made over time. Ultimaker decided not to go ahead with Flex3Drive as standard equipment in the end. A decision more to do with company developments than function.

A Flex3Drive knocks the socks off the original feeder, the Bondtech goes a long way to solving feeder issues if one wants to stay committed to bowden setup, and its a great extruder design, but isstill bowden. The Flex3Drive delivers precision direct drive reliability and performance especially on intricate detailed prints, voronoi and retract intense prints. Also standout for when using flexible materials. Coupled with an Olsson block it becomes one of the best printing combinations out there. But dont take my word for it....

MTVDNA does a great job of independently showcasing the Flex3Drive's performance and capabilities, as seen toward the bottom of this page

Other enhancements have been made over time, motion settings, currents, and more tweaks are in the pipeline so its all good. All proceeds from sales go back into improving the Flex3drive. The only place to get it is at flex3drive.com (well I had to plug it in the end :))
Last edited by mutley on January 2nd, 2017, 8:51 am, edited 4 times in total.

mutley
Posts: 9
Joined: October 26th, 2016, 11:16 pm
3D Printer(s): UM2 UMO MendelFlex DeltaFlex

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby mutley » December 12th, 2016, 5:00 pm

So for people coming to this topic, and perhaps wondering the heritage in the Flex3Drive design. There is far more to it than meets the eye.

My own background is automotive design and engineering. I got into 3D printing for a design project and got somewhat distracted improving the machine, this was back in 2011. Since then my focus has been 3D printing. What a curse :)

After a couple of iterations and thousands of hours testing and running time on flex3Drive in the early days, Ultimaker approached me after Erik vdZalm bought a standard unit which he modified as an initial design for the UM2. UM asked me to complete two designs for them, a UM2 and UMO variant. It was a 6 month project that was very rewarding from an end result perspective. I got the chance to work directly with the awesome Bas, went over to the Netherlands twice, and saw first hand and close up the company that is Ultimaker. Meeting with Seirt and Erik de Brujn, Harma and the rest of the team was also a great pleasure.

As we all know, when one revisits a design, they can see improvements missed the first time around. The UM2 F3D is now on its fourth iteration since, with subtle changes to how things assemble, clearances, layout, firmware etc.

Torsionally rigid shafts are specially made for the Flex3Drive range, and are included in the UM2 version, along with a modified teflon coupler enabling temps upto 270 reliably on the hotend. The design is also fully compatible with the Olsson block. I am also looking at a quick release tension arm design which will soon be ready for release. at which point the designs will be published on youmagine as a full major release.

My own UM2 runs 24/7, and over time where failure modes or issues might become apparent, root and cause are identified and fixes implemented. The version that exists today and is supplied to customers is a major leap over the original version, and includes several key improvements.

Gears are made from a very durable polymer, used in our own injection mould tools, and these should last a lifetime. The driveline comes with a full warranty for peace of mind. Bearings are high quality IEC brand bearings, not chinesium. Steel internal shafts are all cnc'd. Filament drive gears are of the best quality production on the market and provide a solid traction on the filament without chewing or shredding filament.

With the combination of settings and hardware, the most retract intensive prints are completed with absolute reliability and quality. The most complex prints become routine and even the softest materials can be printed at respectable speeds. Semi flex at 80mms without any concerns, voronoi prints in flexible materials? No problem!!

Currently looking at a dual drive secret sauce design, but this wont be released for some time. Also ahead of this in the pipeline is a 1.75mm version to bring the Ultimaker range into line with all the other Flex3Drives that are available in both 3mm and 1.75mm flavours. I get a lot of encouraging and positive feedback which keeps me motiviated to continue development and iterate the design on an ongoing basis.

Not to mention there are several other designs for the Flex3Drive and where any improvements are found in one variant, if the improvement can be applied to other versions, it is duely done so. It is hard work, and takes a lot of time and effort, especially alongside order fulfilment.

A great thread here, and an awesome forum aswell. Keep it up. Thanks for reading and happy to answer any questions whether technical or general.

J
Last edited by mutley on December 12th, 2016, 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neotko
Posts: 1047
Joined: February 7th, 2016, 7:02 pm
Location: Madrid
3D Printer(s): UMO+ x2.5
Contact:

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby Neotko » December 12th, 2016, 6:31 pm

I really don't have anything to add, but I did enjoy all this info, chat, and more knowhow of how things evolve. Thanks for sharing!

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LePaul
Posts: 2376
Joined: February 7th, 2016, 10:26 pm
Location: Bangor, Maine USA
3D Printer(s): Ultimaker 2+, Folger Tech FT-5
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Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby LePaul » December 12th, 2016, 8:27 pm

What a great read...I've learned a lot

johan
Posts: 27
Joined: February 13th, 2016, 9:12 am
3D Printer(s): UMO (UM2, UM2+, UM2XT+, Form2, etc. at work)

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby johan » December 21st, 2016, 8:23 am

I think the Flex3Drive is an interesting idea.. However, the UM-kit I tried was removed from the printer after a day of testing, this was probably two years ago though.

mutley
Posts: 9
Joined: October 26th, 2016, 11:16 pm
3D Printer(s): UM2 UMO MendelFlex DeltaFlex

Re: The Flex3Drive

Postby mutley » January 2nd, 2017, 8:53 am

Johan,

Contact me and we can identify what the issues were. I suspect some firmware settings (or lack of them) might have caused difficullties.

J


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