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Is BNBSX or Bondtech Extruder a worthwhile upgrade?  

Active Member
Is BNBSX or Bondtech Extruder a worthwhile upgrade?

I have a mk3s that I want to have better cooling and be able to print faster as I have a lot of long print projects in the pipe and was wondering if the BNBSX or Bondtech will help with the consistency, speed, and maintenance of my printer. I have the printer in the V1 Lack Enclosure, so I don't know if that changes anything. 

Currently the issues I'm having is that when I print an overhang that is below 45 degrees still droops with PLA with the fan at 100%. I ordered the LDO fan to help with this but if I'm swapping the fan I have to disassemble the whole body anyway so I may as well do the swap then. Also when I'm printing TPU I have a 1KG roll of ninjaflex that will not unspool as the printer is printing so I end up with the print starved for filament then when the tension is enough the roll moves. Would the higher gear ratio help me with this issue?

Any insight would be very appreciated

Posted : 18/11/2020 4:42 pm
RE: Is BNBSX or Bondtech Extruder a worthwhile upgrade?

Hi Doni, 

Printing PLA in an enclosure  with raised temperatures often causes poor overhangs. 

Raise3d sell professional 3d printers which are enclosed, and they recommend leaving the lid open when printing PLA, 

have you tried printing PLA with the door open on your enclosure... 

some folk who put their filament on a shelf over the printer instead of on the plastic spool holder, on the frame, report the extruder causing the printer to lift and move, if they get a filament jam. so I am surprised you are having problems with Ninja flex. 

the normal issues with Ninjaflex, are caused by the bondtech trapdoor tension spring being too tight and the filament wrapping around the hobbed gear, or escaping out of the side of the extruder... 

Is there another issue with the ninjaflex on the spool holder? causing resistance to unspooling? 
I wouldn't expect that a geared extruder would specifically help with ninjaflex. normally the Bondtech gears chew up the filament before they stop driving. 

the geared extruders are usually beneficial in improving surface finish, and making fine detail on small models easier to produce, in addition to mthe isolation of the extruder motor spindle heat from the bondtech hobbed gear. 

On the motor heat front,
Zaribo offer a cool running extruder motor,
LDO offer a cool running motor and Caribou offer a cool running motor

On the geared extruder front, a number of suppliers offer 3:1 geared solutions, some, like the bondtech version require different extruder housings and modified firmware, 

I have a 3:1 geared extruder setup from   ([email protected])

this was a direct drop in replacement for the Prusa motor, it came ready assembled and the motor wiring was revised to reverse rotation,  negating the need for custom firmware.  (Note, even though the smaller pancake stepper motor is running with the original firmware, the motor seems to run cooler than the prusa motor, not that that is particularly important, because it is isolated from the extruder shaft. )

I believe the BunnyEars belt drive gearbox, also works without custom firmware. 

My preferece is to have a printer on standard firmware... 
I recently updated from firmware 3.8.0 to 3.9.1 and was surprised to see the increased 'E' step configuration was maintained after the upgrade. with the 3:1 gearbox, the printer has to action three times as many 'E' steps for the same length of filament. 

Please be aware that non standard fans may need changes in the setup on the printer... apparently there is a new hidden menu.   I haven't yet needed to access it... maybe someone more adventurous, can tell you how to access it!

Regards Joan

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK...
Posted : 18/11/2020 6:59 pm
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Is BNBSX or Bondtech Extruder a worthwhile upgrade?


I know from the original Lack Enclosure video and what I've read is that if you're printing PLA make sure the doors are open, so no problems there. I usually print with PETG and also keep the door open because that's also something I could print without an enclosure and it would look fine (I didn't print much with it prior to the enclosure though). When printing some models it's the North-South direction that has a lot of cooling issues which I would hopefully like to fix with an upgraded extruder body, higher CFM fan, and fan shroud arrangement.

The Ninjaflex thing is weird for me too, every other filament I have has no issues smoothly unspooling on the spool mount (it's the version with 608ZZ bearings with roller guides and adjustable frame) but Ninjaflex seems to have so much flex that it cannot overcome the friction of the weight of the spool on the bearings without going to the max stretch then slingshoting the roll forward to ease the tension (rinse and repeat, through the whole print).

I would like to keep the firmware stock, but if I'm just editing some EEPROM values that's simple to do and I can just add those steps to my workflow for when I do an update (although to my memory those values are not overwritten with a firmware update, but only when you do a full factory reset).

My other issue is sourcing the correct parts and needed for say the BNBSX as I need to cut and make a flat on some round stock. I don't know if there is a 3rd party that has authentic parts (name brand belts, stepper motor, etc.) and all of the mounting hardware in a kit I could purchase as I currently do not have access to machinery to do the cutting and flattening. I like the look of the extruder and the idea of being able to quickly swap out a broken fan or other extruder part without a full extruder body teardown is appealing. So part of this is ease of maintenance as well as getting some small increase in print quality while also printing faster. 

I took a look at Steppergear body it looks like a good option, my only issue is that I may not be able to print replacement parts that's a huge thing for me. If I cannot print out most of the parts then it's a no-go for me. It's just so that I have peace of mind that if something breaks I can have a friend print out the replacement part and I'll be back up and running in an hour or two rather than a few days for a part to be shipped to me.

Posted : 18/11/2020 7:28 pm