In this article I will be reviewing the Flex3Drive extruder system custom fitted for the Tevo Black Widow.
DISCLAIMER – To be 100% honest I purchased the Flex3Drive on my own, and was going to do the design work myself and get it working on my Tevo Black Widow. Flex3Drive was gracious enough to work with me (even though they had no Black Widow to work with) to design all the mounts needed to fit the system to the printer. Also in the pictures you will see my custom printed clear ABS system. The system I purchase was in black ABS.
The Flex3Drive extruder system is a flex shaft remote motor system that has a 40:1 gear ratio, compatibility with a wide range of hot ends (JHead/E3D/Pico/Buda and more), fully contained filament force path, available with any length driveshaft from 650mm upwards, to name a few of the bells a whistles this system has.
Flex3Drive came nicely packaged and even came with some extra parts, which I thought was a nice touch. The parts are printed in ABS and if you didn’t tell me they were, I would have never known they weren’t produce in a factory. With a 3D printed system you might think you’d get that type of feel, but the very opposite everything is very professional and the system feels that way.
Support by Flex3Drive
As mentioned above Flex3Drive worked with me and designed all the mounts to fit the Tevo Black Widow, which really save me a ton of time and effort getting this system up and running.
Print Cooling for Flex3Drive
I designed a print cooling shroud for the system which I am pretty proud of, as it has adjustable height. Since I’m using an E3D V6 and there are many heads for it, I wanted it to work for them all and think my solution is nice and simple. You can get the Flex3Drive cooler here. And later it will also be up on Thingiverse. Print the Plate.stl at 20% infill and the Cooler at 100% infill.
Also the support Flex3Drive gave me was outstanding, from making the correct changes to the firmware along with any questions I had they were right there every step of the way.
The system itself was easy to set up. And not having the extruder motor on the X carriage and this small system with just the E3D V6, it made the X carriage crazy light! This with fine tuning will equal faster and higher quality prints.
Amazing first Layers – Flex3Drive stepped up my game!
Talking about quality prints, I’ve honestly never had such amazing first layers and every print is very high quality. I’ve made a small demo video of how nice the first layers go down, which you can check out here.
With the 40:1 ratio your extruder motor really doesn’t need to work hard, to point that your turn your vref down to .4 to .6. This equals to less wear on the motor making it last a very long time.
Loading filament is a breeze and it handled all types so far from Carbon Fiber to PETG.
I’ll admit I bought the Flex3Drive just by chance (more of the lets see if I can get this to work with my printer type of buy) and now with almost a month with the system I wouldn’t go back to any other type of extruder . With its ability to print anything, to the reliability of the system and all the other bonuses it has you just can’t go wrong.
Flex3Drive Extruder Cost
With that said the system isn’t low costing. At the current moment of writing this article the Flex3Drive system is around $85 USD without shipping, which while not hugely expensive it’s more than your average AliExpress titan clone.
The question is …..Was it worth it?
100%! I really do love this system, furthermore it has been well thought out, easy to install and the company has great customer service. From beginning to end this was a great experience and I’m amazed at what the Flex3Drive system has done for my Tevo Black Widow.
If you have another machine you can see on this list below which machine this system would fit on:
Flex3Drive Machine compability
- Almost All REPRAP style priters
- Rostock and other similar sized Delta printers
- Wanhao / Makerbot
- Core XY and HBot machines
- Obviously also TEVO Black Widow 🙂
- Prusa i3 MK2
- Kossel Mini and Kossel XL
- Ultimaker UMO – UM2 – UM2e – UM2+
- All ungeared direct drive extruders
Flex3Drive Hotend Compability
- Buda Nozzle
- Prometheus v1 / v2
Finally, If you’re interested in the system, you can find all the info at Flex3Drive.Com