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How to print with TPU using an Ender 3?
#1
Hi there guys!
Have a question about how to print with TPU, hope you can help me with this.
I've being looking around and saw some good videos, like for example about the matter, but, i really don't know much about my printer. I got the Ender 3 in a deal with my brother and he did some modifications to it, but he always used PLA.

Since the extruder in the video is not the one (or near) i have, i would like you to help me identify if this extruder would work with TPU. 
The nozzle remains the standard that comes with the printer (0.4mm) as far i know.

This is the extruder in question:

[Image: IMG-20200408-122441060.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20200408-122452365.jpg]
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#2
(04-08-2020, 05:29 PM)CM17X Wrote: Hi there guys!
Have a question about how to print with TPU, hope you can help me with this.
I've being looking around and saw some good videos, like for example about the matter, but, i really don't know much about my printer. I got the Ender 3 in a deal with my brother and he did some modifications to it, but he always used PLA.

Since the extruder in the video is not the one (or near) i have, i would like you to help me identify if this extruder would work with TPU. 
The nozzle remains the standard that comes with the printer (0.4mm) as far i know.

This is the extruder in question:

[Image: IMG-20200408-122441060.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20200408-122452365.jpg]

ok, great question.
This is the upgraded aluminium extruder setup, it comes with all the red parts, the spring, the roller and the drive gear. This is a common upgrade as the plastic version of the lever part often snaps.

This extruder setup is not the "best" for TPU, but I have a very similar one and have not had any issues, although one thing to note is the one of these that I got came with a different diameter drive gear, so it would be well-worth calibrating your e-steps as they may be out. If you don't know how to do this let me know but there is plenty of info.

I have printed plenty of TPU on my ender 3 and not had any trouble with this type of extruder, provided you are using a shore hardness 95A TPU, any less and you'll start to have issues.If you begin to have any issues there are some printable parts you can print to upgrade this extruder and prevent exit points. - The issue with the older ender extruders is they didn't completely lock the filament in the path after the drive gears, and tpu being flexible would pop up out above the extruder and therefore not go down the bowden tube.


For print settings, I can recommend (in CURA):
Temperature: 220C
Print Speed: 30-40mm/s (for a start)
Retraction Distance: 6-7mm
Retraction speed: 40-50mm/s
Retract at layer change: ✔️
Z-hop when retracted: ✔️
Z-hop Distance: 0.2mm

These are the main TPU important parameters - Also glue stick works better than hairspray for TPU bed adhesion to stop warping.

Interested to see your results

Edit: moved this thread to beginner questions.
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#3
(04-08-2020, 11:01 PM)daveefordays Wrote: Also glue stick works better than hairspray for TPU bed adhesion to stop warping.

So I just wanted to add to this, I'd recommend getting a water Soluble glue stick as the ones that are not water soluble (from my experience) seem to have a difficult time washing off the bed.

I recently purchased [this one from Amazon](https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AQODQ) prints stick to it wonderfully and when you're print is removed you can just take of the plate, run it under water and gently wipe it once or twice with a sponge and the glue comes right off.

If you already have some glue sticks around the house though those will work fine, but might be more difficult to remove the residue.
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#4
(04-08-2020, 11:01 PM)daveefordays Wrote: ok, great question.
This is the upgraded aluminium extruder setup, it comes with all the red parts, the spring, the roller and the drive gear. This is a common upgrade as the plastic version of the lever part often snaps.

This extruder setup is not the "best" for TPU, but I have a very similar one and have not had any issues, although one thing to note is the one of these that I got came with a different diameter drive gear, so it would be well-worth calibrating your e-steps as they may be out. If you don't know how to do this let me know but there is plenty of info.

I have printed plenty of TPU on my ender 3 and not had any trouble with this type of extruder, provided you are using a shore hardness 95A TPU, any less and you'll start to have issues.If you begin to have any issues there are some printable parts you can print to upgrade this extruder and prevent exit points. - The issue with the older ender extruders is they didn't completely lock the filament in the path after the drive gears, and tpu being flexible would pop up out above the extruder and therefore not go down the bowden tube.


For print settings, I can recommend (in CURA):
Temperature: 220C
Print Speed: 30-40mm/s (for a start)
Retraction Distance: 6-7mm
Retraction speed: 40-50mm/s
Retract at layer change: ✔️
Z-hop when retracted: ✔️
Z-hop Distance: 0.2mm

These are the main TPU important parameters - Also glue stick works better than hairspray for TPU bed adhesion to stop warping.

Interested to see your results

Edit: moved this thread to beginner questions.
 
Thanks for the tips! I have a questio regarding calibration, the printer is working fine right now, i mean, i've done some prints with this extruder and it's working like a charm, how do i know excatly when i need to calibrate the e-stepers, or i have to do it everytime i change the material, lets say, from PLA to TPU? I read that i have to calibrate when you are over or under struding, but i'm not an expert.
Im interested in those extra upgrades for help preventing exit points, are they uvinersal or related to each extruder?

(04-09-2020, 01:22 AM)AvCDVz75LRFwd Wrote: So I just wanted to add to this, I'd recommend getting a water Soluble glue stick as the ones that are not water soluble (from my experience) seem to have a difficult time washing off the bed.

I recently purchased [this one from Amazon](https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AQODQ) prints stick to it wonderfully and when you're print is removed you can just take of the plate, run it under water and gently wipe it once or twice with a sponge and the glue comes right off.

If you already have some glue sticks around the house though those will work fine, but might be more difficult to remove the residue.

I wish i knew that before i've start. I got this one as my brother said: Just get Liquid silicone http://www.fatima.com.gt/media/imgprod/20109003.jpg
It's hard to get the prints out of the bed once it's done, but i have a trick for that, just put it into the freezer for 5 minutes and boom, it goes easy out of tghe bed (I have a glass bed)
Thanks for the tip, defenetily i'll try to get one of those in order to have a better and clean bed!
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#5
(04-10-2020, 10:34 AM)CM17X Wrote:  
Thanks for the tips! I have a questio regarding calibration, the printer is working fine right now, i mean, i've done some prints with this extruder and it's working like a charm, how do i know excatly when i need to calibrate the e-stepers, or i have to do it everytime i change the material, lets say, from PLA to TPU? I read that i have to calibrate when you are over or under struding, but i'm not an expert.
Im interested in those extra upgrades for help preventing exit points, are they uvinersal or related to each extruder?

Ok, so you do not need to calibrate it for different filaments or anything like that. Printing something like PLA you need to be under or overextruding quite a lot before it's an issue. But it does give you weird inconsistencies sometimes, like walls not sticking together etc. 

To check, all you need to do is measure 150mm of filament out of the extruder with a ruler and mark a line on the filament. Then heat the nozzle to temp and extrude 100mm, and measure how much filament it pulled through. Then if it is above or below 100mm you can adjust esteps accordingly, pretty easy after the first try.
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#6
Calibrating your esteps basically just translates to making sure your extruder pushes out the proper amount of filament, not too much and not too little.

You don't have to measure the amount of filament that comes through either, you can also look at how much is remaining up to the point you marked. (50mm should be remaining in Dave's example)

I'm more of a noob to 3D printing so I'm clarifying to maybe help understand terms like estep which didn't fully make sense to me at first until explained like I did just now.
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#7
(04-10-2020, 11:02 PM)daveefordays Wrote: Ok, so you do not need to calibrate it for different filaments or anything like that. Printing something like PLA you need to be under or overextruding quite a lot before it's an issue. But it does give you weird inconsistencies sometimes, like walls not sticking together etc. 

To check, all you need to do is measure 150mm of filament out of the extruder with a ruler and mark a line on the filament. Then heat the nozzle to temp and extrude 100mm, and measure how much filament it pulled through. Then if it is above or below 100mm you can adjust esteps accordingly, pretty easy after the first try.

(04-11-2020, 02:58 AM)AvCDVz75LRFwd Wrote: Calibrating your esteps basically just translates to making sure your extruder pushes out the proper amount of filament, not too much and not too little.

You don't have to measure the amount of filament that comes through either, you can also look at how much is remaining up to the point you marked. (50mm should be remaining in Dave's example)

I'm more of a noob to 3D printing so I'm clarifying to maybe help understand terms like estep which didn't fully make sense to me at first until explained like I did just now.

Thank you guys for the tips, i've done the esteps calibration and i was off by 9 milimiters, so i set the new estep value to around 102.2 or sorta and did a new test, it was almost perfect i guess. I need a kig foot tool to be more precise but for now i think it will work just okay.

By the way, somehow i broke a cover that my brother did for the nozzle and fans, he told me this is the one he used, is there another version that you use or can recommend for this? (I'll print it on PLA) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3020267
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#8
(04-11-2020, 06:30 PM)CM17X Wrote: Thank you guys for the tips, i've done the esteps calibration and i was off by 9 milimiters, so i set the new estep value to around 102.2 or sorta and did a new test, it was almost perfect i guess. I need a kig foot tool to be more precise but for now i think it will work just okay.

By the way, somehow i broke a cover that my brother did for the nozzle and fans, he told me this is the one he used, is there another version that you use or can recommend for this? (I'll print it on PLA) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3020267

Within a mm is probably close enough. 9mm out is fairly significant though and would cause some printing problems so glad to see you've dodged that bullet.

That fan duct is alright. I personally use the Hero Me fan duct on my CR10 s5 and Ender 3, but it is a little complex to print, so I'd recommend you go with something a little simpler for now. The Petsfang looks alright too but I haven't tried it personally.
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#9
(04-13-2020, 11:21 PM)daveefordays Wrote: Within a mm is probably close enough. 9mm out is fairly significant though and would cause some printing problems so glad to see you've dodged that bullet.

That fan duct is alright. I personally use the Hero Me fan duct on my CR10 s5 and Ender 3, but it is a little complex to print, so I'd recommend you go with something a little simpler for now. The Petsfang looks alright too but I haven't tried it personally.

Wow, luckily i didnt went for big prints before the esteps calibration. Thanks for the tips!
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#10
(04-14-2020, 01:17 AM)CM17X Wrote: Wow, luckily i didnt went for big prints before the esteps calibration. Thanks for the tips!

Excited to see how you go with your 3D printing Endeavours Big Grin
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