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XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU  

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ANTALIFE
(@antalife)
Trusted Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU
Posted by: @extra-fox

So now it remains for me to figure out how to move this sensor to a location that works best for my particular installation of the XL.

Where are you hoping to move the sensors to? I was thinking of designing a custom sensor board that spreads the sensors on the back, so we might have a common enemy...

www.antalife.com

Posted : 09/12/2023 2:34 am
Extra Fox
(@extra-fox)
Estimable Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

So this mess here is the cart for my XL. I will orient the XL so that the front will face the handle, and the filament dryer/spool container will reside out back. My goal is to orient the filament sensor in such a way as to allow for the smoothest possible feed path. 

The filament sensor isn't dependent on orientation based on what I can tell (and believe me, I could be very wrong). So, I'll probably set it all up and then determine the best possible location/orientation to achieve the stated goal.

Aaron

Posted : 09/12/2023 2:48 am
xenon
(@xenon)
Trusted Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

the printheads already have sensors...why exactly do we need 2? so there's extra filament length and tube bends to bother with when you change spools?

for now i've stuck a piece of filament into the side sensors (since simply unplugging them causes unstable phantom readings leading to surprise filament changes) and run the filament tube from my box directly through the clips on the cable guide into the extruder.

Posted : 09/12/2023 9:12 am
Brian liked
Dan
 Dan
(@dan-2)
Eminent Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Exactly 🙂

Posted : 09/12/2023 9:20 am
Dan
 Dan
(@dan-2)
Eminent Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Location would be a different one but somewhat same enemy 😉

Posted : 09/12/2023 9:21 am
MME
 MME
(@mme)
Reputable Member
RE:

I have a duel head and would like to run my sensor on the top left side. Then run the filament  from the side through the top of my enclosure.  I haven't measured the run yet but it has to be shorter than the long run there is now. I have already switched over to 3mmID 4mmOD PTFE tubing due to some filament binding issues.

Posted : 09/12/2023 12:35 pm
mvikman
(@mvikman)
Eminent Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

@antalife Is that sidesensor with Festo connectors you own mod?

Posted : 11/12/2023 12:48 am
ANTALIFE
(@antalife)
Trusted Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU
Posted by: @mvikman

@antalife Is that sidesensor with Festo connectors you own mod?

The circled orange block below? Not mine, I think this was from a prototype XL unit at an expo (not sure which)

www.antalife.com

Posted : 17/12/2023 11:33 am
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

These little collets are available in the Prusa store (at what seems to be a rather high price for 1 unit). But the photo there is excellent and shows a familiar but unexpected logo - JG, or John Guest - a brand most perhaps most well known for plumbing fittings in the UK. But they also do pneumatics and so on. I can't find their listing for this specific collet, so I will get in touch with them and see if I can get a part number and supplier.

Posted by: @extra-fox

Now for the cool part and what I didn't realize or expect. The little fittings here are push-to-connect connectors and are the smallest I've seen. I purchased two styles that I thought were rather compact, and they've got nothing on this. The red arrow points to the little metal 'blades' that help retain the pushed in tubing. This ultimately simplifies everything for me, and I've wasted money trying to re-engineer something Prusa has already solved.

 

Posted : 30/12/2023 7:50 pm
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE:

The collets are also available from AliExpress - search for "heatsink collet". But note these look like they might have slightly shorter arms, may not be a drop-in replacement for the ones Prusa uses.

Posted : 30/12/2023 7:57 pm
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

For reference, I've measured up one of the JG (John Guest) collets as used by Prusa, and extracted the dimensions of one of the collet holes from the XL side filament sensor STEP model:

An engineering drawing

Posted : 31/12/2023 12:36 pm
LewnWorx liked
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

I've published a modified sensor case part on Printables for the attracting magnet mod demonstrated by @kaaaaaaaaaaaaal, with detailed instructions. I've been sure to credit the idea to @kaaaaaaaaaaaaal, and linked to this forum discussion. Many thanks to @kaaaaaaaaaaaaal for the great idea.

 

Posted : 31/12/2023 5:27 pm
EastMemphis
(@eastmemphis)
Estimable Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

I took a different approach. Rather than try and force soft filaments through the circuitous path with all the turns and the friction from the sensor, I opted to bypass all of that and use a simpler, easier path from above. 

You'll have to click on the picture to see the whole setup. The reel has low friction bearings (printed) to reduce the tension on the filament even more.

Printables: https://www.printables.com/@EastMemphis_905139/models

Posted : 02/01/2024 3:57 pm
vmpn, BaconFase, xenon and 1 people liked
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Be warned: these pre-assembled molex cables do not have the same pinout as the Prusa ones. The connectors on the Prusa cable are wired pin 1 to pin 1, 2 to 2 etc. The molex ones are pin 1 to pin 5, pin 2 to pin 4 etc. It is possible to remove and reinsert the pins to get the order right on a Molex cable, but it's quite fiddly and you need some skill/luck to avoid damaging the pins. However, this may be a lesser evil then trying to crimp up pins yourself unless you have the correct tool and skills.

Posted by: @antalife

Don't forget you can also buy pre-assembled cables:

https://www.molex.com/en-us/part-list/15135?taxonomyPathValueLast=Power%20and%20Signal%20Cable%20Assemblies&physical_circuitsMaximum=5&materialMaster_promotable=true

 

Posted : 16/01/2024 4:54 pm
ANTALIFE liked
Brian
(@brian-12)
Estimable Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Can't you just cut the wires on the original cable and solder in extensions?  Seems like a pretty easy thing to do. 

Posted : 17/01/2024 3:33 pm
OV1A liked
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

I wanted to keep the original cable intact so I can return the machine to stock configuration if required by support or for warranty reasons.

Posted : 17/01/2024 4:11 pm
Brian liked
ANTALIFE
(@antalife)
Trusted Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Oh good catch! Contacted Molex and looks like they don't do 1:1 preassembled cables for that family D:

Posted by: @tg73

Be warned: these pre-assembled molex cables do not have the same pinout as the Prusa ones. The connectors on the Prusa cable are wired pin 1 to pin 1, 2 to 2 etc. The molex ones are pin 1 to pin 5, pin 2 to pin 4 etc. It is possible to remove and reinsert the pins to get the order right on a Molex cable, but it's quite fiddly and you need some skill/luck to avoid damaging the pins. However, this may be a lesser evil then trying to crimp up pins yourself unless you have the correct tool and skills.

Posted by: @antalife

Don't forget you can also buy pre-assembled cables:

https://www.molex.com/en-us/part-list/15135?taxonomyPathValueLast=Power%20and%20Signal%20Cable%20Assemblies&physical_circuitsMaximum=5&materialMaster_promotable=true

 

 

www.antalife.com

Posted : 18/01/2024 10:43 am
tg73
 tg73
(@tg73)
Member
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Btw, I did get the premade Molex cable from DigiKey and I reordered the pins. The wires are separate single cores, not twisted. I used a cordless driver to twist the cable for less tangled routing, Prusa style. The 600mm length reduces quite a lot when twisted and is then only a few cm longer than needed to reach the opposite side of the printer. The 450mm would likely be too short once twisted.

Note that if you use the Molex cable with the original pinout, the printer will fail to boot, reporting that power panic was detected during initialization. However, all fine once cable sorted.

Posted : 18/01/2024 11:01 am
Kaaaaaaaaaaaaal
(@kaaaaaaaaaaaaal)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: XL Filament Sensor Mod for TPU

Just wanted to post an update here on my testing. I have created modified Nextruder main plate and idler lever parts to help prevent the flex filaments ability to move around and jam behind or under the Nextruder gear. The files are located here: https://www.printables.com/model/741152-xl-nextruder-main-plate-and-idler-lever-for-flex-f/files

I have also learned that it helps a lot to use a brass nozzle for flex filament. In all of my other machines I usually switch the standard brass nozzle for a hardened steel so I never have to worry about them wearing out or changing them when switching to more abrasive materials. Unfortunately with the XL this was causing extrusion issues with many retractions in a short period of time. Fortunately with the XL (and MK4), it is really easy to change out the nozzle assembly and not need to recalibrate Z height. 

With the combination of the filament sensor mods and these new nextruder guide parts I can now reliably print Ninja Flex. Here are a few pictures of the different settings below. I was able to print with almost default settings, just had to adjust the extrusion multiplier slightly. I may still slow down the max volumetric speed.

In the test print card the numbers are: first is the max volumetric speed (mm3/s), second is the extrusion multiplier, third number is the added nozzle temp above default, and last is the fan speed (60% was default).

The bottom row was just for the extruder used and the version of Nextruder parts used in the test. My extruders #1 through #4 all had similar results where they could print the base of the test card but not so much the text using 0.4mm steel nozzles. Somehow my extruder #5 was able to print pretty well with the steel nozzle and filled in the text at the 1.5mm3/sec rate but nothing higher than that.

Posted : 28/01/2024 6:06 am
tg73 and ntdesign liked
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