Mounting the Nimble

The Nimble is a Remote Direct Drive (RDD). 

  • The very light direct drive extruder body is mounted on the print head
  • The heavier stepper motor is mounted remotely on the printer frame
  • Power is transmitted via a special flexible drive cable
  • The 30:1 gear ratio inside the Nimble V3 (20:1 for Version 2) improves extrusion accuracy and eliminates backlash
  • The Nimble V3 body is less than 28 grams thus keeping the part that moves extremely light.

The stepper can be mounted almost anywhere on the printer frame. With a Delta we mounted it on the base.

Dual Nimble installed

Mounting the Nimble on a different type of printer is just as easy. The drive cable gives you great flexibility in placing the stepper where you want. Below the Nimble is mounted on an i3 clone, with the standard length drive cable.

Nimble mounted on an i3 clone.

In this image we have used a blue drive cable sleeve and Nimble just to make it stand out, the standard colour is red which would have been less visible in the photo.

There are so many variations of printers out there, but as you can see there is always a good spot to mount your stepper.

Cable positioning

Length of drive cable

The type of printer and size of the printer determine what length of drive cable you need. The standard length of 95 cm will fit almost all printers. If you think you need a different length, here is a simple way to measure the best length.

If you have a bowden extruder and want to keep your drive stepper in the same location

  • measure the length of the bowden tube.

If you want to mount the stepper elsewhere, or you do not have a bowden

  • take a length of filament
  • Hold one end at the print head
  • the other end in a nice lose arc
  • to where you want the stepper to be
  • The bend radius should be at least 10 cm
  • Measure the length of the filament and add 5 cm

Make sure you measure the longest possible path, with the print head as far away as possible from the stepper. Also make sure the filament is free to make the whole movement from start of a print to the end of your max print volume. 

Then simply select the best fitting length while you order your Nimble. If you need a different (longer) length, contact us via the chat below. 


Mounting the extruder to the print head or effector depends on what type of printer and hot end you have. Because there are so many variations out there we have developed an adapter system.

With Version 2 of the Nimble and Sidewinder, the mounting points are the same. In most cases we expect a mount for a Nimble will also hold the new Sidewinder. 

Find out more about adapters here.


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