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Printing with Flexible Filaments


Printing with Flexible Filaments

Flexible filaments can be tricky to work with. This simple guide helps you get started 3D printing flexible objects quickly and easily.

Figure 1: Flexible filaments include material like the nylon and TPU in the photo above.

Step 1

Download + Install Slicing Profile

Click here to download the Flexible Filament Slicing Profile

Download by clicking the link above. Import the new profile into Simplify3D® by opening the application, navigating to the "File" menu and selecting "Import FFF Profile". Once the profile is imported, select it and slice your object using the flexible filament profile.

Step 2

Preheat Buildini

Preheat the Buildini to 230°C.

Step 3

Load Filament

Place your flexible filament spool on the Buildini and thread the filament down the guide tube. Take the end of the filament and load it into the machine just far enough that it is pinched by the drive gear clamp.

Step 4

Adjust Tension on Filament

Using the tension dial on the left of the extruder, adjust the tension on the drive gear. Ideally, there should be just enough tension so that the filament can not be easily pulled out but not so much tension that the filament is deforming. It is best to start with less tension then needed and adjust the tension on the clamp up slowly.

Step 5

Extrude Filament

Drive the filament down into the hot end by slowly turn the drive gear with your thumb. Once the filament begins to exit the nozzle, go ahead and start your print. Loading flexible filament may take a couple of tries. When loaded too quickly, flexible filament can easily slide out of the filament path. If this happens just pull it out and repeat steps 4 through 5.


Flexible materials are fussy filaments that require fine tuning of print settings. The key to great prints is to adjust print temperature and print speed. Set your print temperature to the filament manufacturer recommendation and carefully watch the first layer. If it is stringy, dial the speed down by turning the Spin-n-Select Knob on the front of your Buildini. Turn the speed down in 5% increments (watch the screen for the print speed percentage) until the print quality improves. If the extrusion is more consistent but still not flowing smoothly after dialing down the speed, try bringing the print temperature up 2 or 3 degrees. Remember, flexible filaments need fine tuning, but be patient, hard work pays off!

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