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I recall hearing claims that the Ender 3 (maybe only newer units?) has a narrower Bowden tube than some printers that helps with flexible materials, but I can't find any authoritative figures. Does it come with a standard 2 mm ID tube that would likely benefit from replacement with a 1.9 mm or smaller (Capricorn one seems popular), or is the stock tube already comparable with these lower-clearance ones? I'm looking to improve speed and quality with flexible filaments and trying to determine if upgrading (and at the same time, shortening) the Bowden tube is a worthwhile direction.

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  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't directly answer your question but if you are looking to print a lot with flexible filaments I would consider a direct drive hot end and extruder (something like the E3D Titan or an upgrade kit.) $\endgroup$ – Dr. Mantis Tobbogan Aug 6 '19 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ Direct drive is a big tradeoff, affecting acceleration limits and ringing, unless you get one of those remote direct drives. I'm actually having really good results with Marlin 1.1.9's linear advance feature - flex PLA seems to be able to reach normal PLA speeds with no stringing, minimal underextrusion. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Aug 6 '19 at 20:13
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I disassembled the hotend side of the Bowden setup to check for deterioration (and found an actual hole in the tube!) for the first time since getting a decent caliper, and after making a clean cut to remove the damaged part, measured the inner diameter at 2.19-2.21 mm. I'm not sure if that's enlarged from wear or the original size it was manufactured as, but either way this suggests that upgrade to Capricorn at 1.95 mm (±0.05 mm) inner diameter should make a significant difference vs my current Bowden tube.

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  • $\begingroup$ Capricorn may be stretchier than normal tubes. You may use a normal one (1.9 mm ID) and then use pressure couplings: youtube.com/watch?v=PAHMAojpZvo $\endgroup$ – FarO Dec 3 '20 at 21:23

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