No matter what your use case is with 3D printing, absolutely everyone can benefit from enhanced extruder performance. The Dual-Drive gears of the Bondtech QR create constant contact with both sides of the loaded filament, allowing for greater grip during both extrusion and retraction operations. Not only are there hobbed gears on both sides of the filament, but they are geared together to apply pressure evenly on both sides of the filament at all times. Idled extruders leave room for slippage as the filament can simply slide along the bearing if pressure is too high, but Dual-Drive ensures constant grip over a much larger pressure range.
The most significant growth in the 3D printing world today is the constant stream of new and exciting materials being manufactured for desktop 3D printers. Entry-level materials like PLA, ABS, and PETG remain available in a wide variety of colors from many manufacturers, but stronger, reinforced composites are becoming more prominent every day. Carbon-fiber reinforced materials like NylonX or PRO Series Carbon Fiber PLA provide superior stiffness over their regular counterparts, but at the cost of having to process an abrasive material. This abrasion is a concern for 3D printer nozzles, but also for the extruder gears that have to control this material going into the machine. All Bondtech extruders are built with hardened steel drive gears with CNC-machined teeth for maximum grip. Using a Bondtech extruder means peace of mind no matter what materials you are processing, from high volumes of PLA for prototyping to kilograms upon kilograms of carbon or glass-fiber reinforced materials.
Hardened Dual-Drive Gears of the Bondtech QR
Every 3D printer hotend shares one thing in common, the filament must transition from a large diameter into a smaller diameter to pass through the nozzle and be added to a 3D print. This transition is made possible by heating the filament, but even at extrusion temperatures, there is pressure to overcome when extruding material. While most Nema 17 stepper motors are capable of producing enough torque to overcome this pressure, there is still a speed limitation. To overcome this, Bondtech has built the QR with a geared stepper motor attached featuring a 5:1 ratio for five times the torque output. This gear ratio is a great choice for applications where maximum torque is desired. Another benefit of this gearing is the ability to create smaller extruder movements with increased precision over direct extruders.
The stepper motor with attached gearbox of the Bondtech QR
Many extruders are designed specifically to have a single input and a single output, therefore leading to a forced setup orientation and some limits on mounting options. The Bondtech QR has a press-fit PTFE coupler on one side and a groove mount adapter on the other, but apart from that, there is no restriction on filament flow direction. If having the extruder mounted 'upside down' is more convenient for your setup, feel free to invert the e-steps in firmware and all the benefits of the QR design are preserved. The only exception to this rule is utilizing the QR as a direct-drive extruder for a groove mount heatsink, where you will need to feed the filament forwards.
Three potential QR configurations in bowden or direct-drive
In the same way that every maker is unique in their use case, from the hobbyist experimenting with new materials to mass-manufacturing operations who rely on 3D printing to run their business, every 3D printer and filament are unique in their own ways. Having the ability to adjust the grip strength or tension of the extruder is a key element to adjust when setting up and fine-tuning any operation. The Bondtech QR features a thumbscrew and spring mechanism for adjustable tension without needing special tools while maintaining the ability to handle slightly out-of-diameter materials. This lever is also the namesake of the extruder, as it allows for Quick Release of tension for material loading and unloading without sacrificing the calibrated filament tension. Filament tension is something that may need to be adjusted due to changes in material or hotend configuration, and not all extruders make it easy to adjust on-the-fly. With a Bondtech QR, you can constantly keep your extruder tension just right with the easy-access thumbscrew.
Tension adjustment and Quick Release lever are easily accessible on the extruder body
The extruder is a necessary component of any and all FFF 3D printers, so choosing a powerful and reliable extruder is a worth-while endeavor. Beyond that, making the extruder easy to integrate into a printer design only makes life easier, and also opens up more options for mounting positions and configuration styles. The Bondtech QR is pre-assembled with an attached stepper motor and gearbox, which features a cylindrical section for easy mounting clamps. The QR itself is held together by two screws, which allow access to the dual drive gears without having to disassemble the entire extruder. For bowden-drive 3D printers, it's easy to integrate the QR and it's attached stepper motor via a clamp mount connected to the machine frame. No matter what kind of filament feed system your 3D printer is based on, the Bondtech QR makes it easy to upgrade the performance or migrate to a different configuration if desired.
Put simply, MatterHackers is the smart place to shop for all things 3D printing and digital manufacturing. The MatterHackers pros are here to partner with you through every step of your journey turning idea into reality and here are just a few of the perks you’ll receive as a customer:
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