Flex3Drive Overview

Flex3Drive is a range of the smallest lightest precision filament extruders available for 3D printers. Built around an extremely compact 40:1 gear reduction and driven by a flexible shaft these extruders are **extremely effective/in a class of their own**. The flexible driveshaft allows the motor to be located to a static mounting point on the 3D printer which reduces the inertial mass of the print head giving many advantages over traditional designs. Innovative and unique features within the Flex3Drive created and developed by us deliver superior performance together with a wide range of benefits. Flex3Drive is very easy to use and comes with a strong warranty for your peace of mind.

To see the full range of extruders please follow this link or use the side bar menu to the left of this page.

Core Benefits

  • Reduce moving mass by relocating extruder motors to stationary locations
  • Reduce stress on other printer components
  • Increases print quality and helps to reduce or eliminate ringing / ghosting on printed items
  • High resolution filament control
  • Excellent retraction performance for retract-intensive prints
  • Print with any filament including the softest flexible materials
  • Print at lower layer heights than ever before due to high estep resolution
  • Powerful enough for the thickest layers and widest nozzle diameter configurations
  • Increases the scope of a printers capability
  • + much more

Main Features

  • Integrated hotend mounting
  • Integrated carriage mounting
  • Quick and easy filament changes
  • Reliable repeatable tension arm mechanism using a rigid two-bar linkage design
  • CNC machined filament drive gear
  • Compatible with all popular hotends
  • Injection moulded drive gears
  • Quality specification bearings
  • Bi-directional torsionally rigid flexible shafts manufactuered to our specification
  • Lifetime warranty on the drivetrain components (gears-shafts-hobbs-bearings-flex shaft)
  • Integrated hotend cooling
  • Adaptable for custom machine builds
  • + much more

Quick release cam lock tensioners. Our unique tensioner designs are based around the “rigid two-bar linkage” approach. This facilitates a quick release cam lever action that delivers a stable and consistent filament tension force without screws or springs. This is suitable for most rigid filaments however we also recognise that there is not a one for all tension setting. Flexible filaments for example require a softer grip. Therefore we also include an adjustable tension arm with all our extruders.

Fully contained filament path means even the most flexible filaments can be printed reliably – nowhere to go but down. Additionally the filament force path (distance between the filament gear biting point and entry point of hotend) is the shortest of any extruder available that we know of.

Easy filament loading where filament can be loaded blind without having to remove the tension arm. If required the tension arm can be removed in an instant by simply pulling out the hinge bolt providing full and unimpeded access to the filament drive wheel and filament path. We have even changed filament without pausing the print.

Low mass means there is less inertia which translates into smoother movement of the print head and less vibrations. This allows for higher printing speeds and reduced artifacts in the print such as ringing or ghosting.

Optimised Motor Settings mean your extruder axis will be tuned toward the other axis of motion on your machine. Low accelerations and start speeds whilst being counter intuitive, mean you have superior control over the extrusion process than any other extruder on the market. Low motor current settings prevent your E axis motor from getting hot. Stepper drivers stay cold aswell. Snappy start speeds and high accelerations can lead to filament grinding against the filament drive gear (hobb). Progressive accelerations avoid this snappy behaviour. The differences are hardly noticeable to the human ear or eye, but in terms of reliability, performance and print quality, nothing surpasses a Flex3Drive.

At Mutley3D we pioneered the flexible shaft based extruder over 4 years ago. (we dont say invent as this causes controversy). We continue to develop and innovate the product across a full range of extruder solutions to meet every need. We bring new innovations, re-engineering our designs when necessary or when we see improvements that can be made. All designs are fully printable and parts interchangeable so if you want to fit your existing Flex3Drive to another machine, no problem! Just print the new parts.

Bring unparalleled performance and reliability to your 3d printer. Flex3Drive eliminates a number of issues by design, both in its mechanical performance and its firmware setup.

To see the full range please follow this link or navigate using the website menu at the top of the page

For general setup tips follow this link

You may find answers to other questions in our FAQ section here

Machine Compatibility

  • REPRAP style priters (Prusa – MendelMax etc)
  • Rostock and other similar sized Delta printers
  • Kossel Mini and Kossel XL
  • Ultimaker UMO – UM2 – UM2e – UM2+
  • Airwolf
  • Wanhao / Makerbot (and other ungeared direct drive extruders)
  • Core XY and HBot machines
  • All ungeared direct drive extruders

Hotend Compatibility

  • JHead
  • Hexagon
  • E3D
  • Volcano
  • Pico
  • Buda Nozzle
  • Prometheus v1 / v2
  • Cyclops