NinjaFlex – Flexible 3D Printer Filament in a MakerBot Replicator 2X

NinjaFlex printed "Simple Vase"

NinjaFlex printed “Simple Vase”

Take Away:
Definitely a challenge to print with but the rewards might be worth it depending on your end goals.

The Journey:
It might have taken a day or two worth of fiddling around to get the extruder together on our MakerBot Replicator 2X using MakerBot’s extruder upgrade kit ($8: consists of a spring, bearing and a screw). The instructions for the upgrade on the Makerbot site is for a Replicator 2 (NOT the 2X) and the thickness of the extruder block and how they line up are all different so that was a dead end at first.

I ended up using the Thingiverse extruder files created by 3FPD (our make pic: and I finally got the stuff to load without bending and buckling (too much).

Lastly it took a day or two of fiddling with the MakerBot profiles to find the right mix of heat/retraction/speed and so on to get a successful print. (for us it didn’t work with the recommended settings and temps)  Above you’ll see some of the prints leading up to the pretty well done Simple Vase print.

The MakerWare (now MakerBot) profile that I used to create the finished “simple vase” and the iPhone 5 bumper posted by Adafruit

Un-clogged MakerBot and BlueSmirf prep

A quick test print after filament

A quick test print after filament

Our MakerBot Replicator Dual needed some help. One of the extruders was clogged. It was the type of clog that could only be fixed by partial disassembly. It seems to be pretty happy now but the filament loading sequence seemed to produce an extrusion that periodically sounded like it was slipping. This test print seems to have worked out fine, so we’ll just keep an eye on it.




bluetooth for Arduino

Bluetooth hardware with pins added

A BlueSmirf is a bluetooth modem that can be integrated in to Arduino based systems. I’ve added some pins that I’ve bent to allow the card to be positioned vertically from a breadboard for easy test and hopefully better range. The bent pins will likely work well if we plan to integrate it in to a headband or other wearable project later on.