Nimble in Detail

Genesis

In the beginning, there were direct drive extruders, they were heavy. Bowden tubes came along but must be banned. So what to do?

We looked at the existing options, there was nothing suitable.. The Nimble is a response to this frustration.

The story continues

Introducing the Nimble V3 or better known as the Flex. 

Based on the same principles that made the Nimble and Sidewinder so great, the Flex does away with the need of two separate models. With the Flex you can position the drive cable where you need it for your printer.

We have kept all the nice features of the original Nimble. 

  • It is still ambidextrous.
  • Increased the ease of installation and use
  • Improved the strength of our parts and heat deflection temperature
  • Made the breech easier to open and close

We listened to our customers to understand what they liked and what needed to be improved. So we started with a clean sheet and a list of things that could not be changed and a list of what had to be improved. 

Form

There were three primary driving forces behind the design evolution and form of the Nimble

  • Modular Approach
  • Size
  • Elegant Design

The extruders modular approach means you don't have to replace your extruder if you upgrade to multiple extruders or move to a new printer. It resulted in fewer parts, and a few surprising extra features.

The tiny size of the Nimble required purpose designed parts, this means you don't suffer the functional compromises that other extruders have through the use of off the shelf parts.

But foremost in our thoughts was always Form follows Function, which resulted in the minimal and elegant design of the Nimble.

Function

What is the function of an extruder? Duh! It pushes filament.

The Nimble is special, not only does it push filament it does it with the following added benefits.

Only 25 grams, including mounting hardware! Easily the worlds lightest extruder. This lack of weight improves your motion control and allows you to print faster. You not only get better prints, you get them quicker as well.

The easiest and fastest filament change of any extruder, a simple click and done. It's tiny which means it is easy to fit on almost every printer.

The 30:1 gear ratio of the Flex means you have better control. You benefit directly from the much finer control of extrusion rate than is possible with other extruders.

Essentially, with the Nimble you can print faster and with much better extrusion control. This means better layers and smoother prints.

Features

How does all this work translate to features that make this one of the best extruders? There is a whole raft of features that make using the Nimble and printing better and make your 3D printing life easier.

Drive cable position

We made the body of the Flex in such a way that you can rotate the part the holds the worm and drive cable, in 22.5 degree steps. The part that holds the hob (the Hobbit) is fixed, to ensure a centred filament path. 

The Drive cable can be positioned horizontal (backwards pointing), vertical, or steps in between. 

 

 The Flex in motion

 

The Breech: its a lever-lution

Nimble breech, simply open and shut!

V1 Nimble shown

This little device makes filament changes so easy

  • Pinch to open
  • Remove old filament
  • Insert new filament
  • Click it shut

When the breech is open, with most Nimble adapters, you see the filament path all the way to the top of your hot end.

With the breech open you can push filament by hand and actually feel how well filament is extruding, and just push new filament through to purge the old filament in the hotend.

No more gummed up hob, you can actually see it and it's easy to clean with a small stiff brush.

Ambidextrous: there is no right way up, or left way.

One of our biggest and most challenging achievements was the left and right handed mounting capability.

The Nimble, this way and that

V1 Nimble shown

The Nimble can be installed in the best orientation for you and your printer, one way or the other. Simply flip it over and mount it. If you are using more than one Nimble and placing them side by side, filament centers can be as little as 12.4mm apart, it's amazing really.

You can move you Nimble to a different printer by simply substituting a suitable adapter, that's freedom!

We give you all you need to design your own adapter, but better yet we will design the adapter or you free of charge if you want.

Here is more information about adapters.

Hob: not the goblin type

The combination of the Nimble breech and its custom-designed hob allows you to print pretty much any filament.

We have successfully printed many filaments, from the hardest to the softest, from the most brittle to the most floppy filament, everything has been tested.

CarbonFil, a very stiff and hard filament that is infused with carbon fiber, printed smoothly. X60 filament, widely known as the most elastic and floppy filament available, we simply closed the breech, adjusted the temp and speed and off it went, printing perfectly.

Overall, as we said before, form follows function. Great form results in great features.

We think you'll agree this makes the Nimble the easiest, lightest and best extruder you can find.

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