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All of the parts that make up the hotends and extruders

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Bowden setup - good, bad, specific use case?

Hi there,

Wondering if there is any official word from e3D or any user opinions about bowden setups vs non-bowden. Is one generally better than the other but perhaps has a drawback or better in a specific way, or more appropriate for certain filament types, printer chassis geometries, user dexterity, phase of moon…


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Hi Danny,

Bowden vs Direct drive isn’t necessarily a case of one being better than the other full stop.

Bowden systems have the benefit of less weight on the tool head which means you can have higher acceleration and jerk values and can get away with slightly less rigid frames. The downsides are that the Bowden tube adds hysteresis or lag to the filament path making it more difficult to print with flexible materials and generally less filament control.

Direct drive setups have the benefit of greater filament control due the constrained filament path making it a lot easier to print flexible materials, and for standard filaments it’s easier to control stringing and oozing. The downsides of direct drive setups are that the extruder and motor adds weight to the tool head, so in general the acceleration and jerk values have to be set slightly lower and when printing at faster speeds you are more likely to run into issues with print artefacts due to the frame wobbling.

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Danny ONeill will be eternally grateful.
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