Ninjaflex filament

Talk about materials used in 3D printing

Ninjaflex filament

Postby gyronictonic » 2013-Oct-Thu-07-Oct

Anybody tried this stuff yet? Looks really cool and someone on google+ was able to get some nice prints out of it. It's about as hard as a car tire and no fans needed.

http://www.fennerdrives.com/ninjaflex3dprinting/_/3d/
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Ninjaflex filament

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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby FD_Engineer » 2013-Oct-Mon-22-Oct

If you search Ninjaflex on thingiverse, you'll find example prints and a good bit of discussion.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Gleedaniel13 » 2013-Oct-Fri-11-Oct

I think I should try this one. That is the time I can say that it is amazing and has a very good performance.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby gyronictonic » 2013-Oct-Sat-02-Oct

I got myself a roll and it's a bit of a pain to get it going. Once you get everything squared, it actually produces pretty nice prints.

Biggest problem I've encountered is getting the filament to stop kinking in the extruder. The distance between the filament drive pulley to the filament guide needs to be extremely close, at least 5mm apart. I'm using a custom direct drive extruder but I've heard people been able to get it to work with Wade Extruder.

The other problem is flushing out the old filament from the hotend completely. The filament is so flexible that its hard to use it to push the unwanted filament out, especially ABS. If you solved the kinking issue, you might be able to push out the previous filament but have to do it slowly. It's probably better to dedicate a hotend just for this filament. Its working out really well with my E3D hotend, I am not sure how it will fare with the UBIS.

Some tips:

- They recommend the extrusion temp be at 220C, I find going up to 245C better because it helps prevent the filament from kinking from the back pressure.
- 30mm/s speed all across
- no retraction
- can print on cold bed, zero curling.
- overhangs seems to act like ABS
- with no retraction, fast travel is required to minimize stringing.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby krog7d7 » 2014-May-Tue-17-May

@Gyronictonic,

This is EXACTLY the problem I am having. I have the alum extruder on a modified/upgraded Printrbot Plus v2.0. Any suggestions to getting the distant closer on the alum extruder? I really would prefer to not use a separate extruder if I don't have to.

"Biggest problem I've encountered is getting the filament to stop kinking in the extruder. The distance between the filament drive pulley to the filament guide needs to be extremely close, at least 5mm apart. I'm using a custom direct drive extruder but I've heard people been able to get it to work with Wade Extruder. "


Thanks!

-Ken
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby krog7d7 » 2014-May-Wed-20-May

Anyone else find any solutions?
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Pirtnac » 2014-May-Sun-18-May

I've got a fresh out of the box simple metal with the aluminum extruder. Having the same problem as above with ninjaflex: It gets caught up in the gear and pulled along the gear rather than pushed through the hot end.

So far I've tried raising temperature and lowering feed rate, even with 240c and 5mm/min (!) it still kinks. After that I turned to physical modding in the form of shims. I printed a 1mm thick plastic strip with a hole in the middle and formed it to the top of the extruder to close the gap. It still managed to kink.

My next idea is to design another extruder just for flex materials. I'm thinking a tube with one opening form fitted to the gear so there is no place for the stuff to go but down in to the hot end.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Pirtnac » 2014-May-Mon-00-May

Update: I put the least tension on the extruder possible while still getting a grip on the filament and I've just completed two quick prints without a jam. Will test more thoroughly tomorrow.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Mon-16-May

So, I have the opposite luck as far as extruder tension - I need to put a TON of tension to get it to print without jamming up in the gear. Also - i've been experimenting and it seems that keeping tension on the spool helps keep it straight as well. Im currently printing a companion cube at about 235 C and its coming along nicely (with the exception of a first layer jam from not enough tension - i think). If this whole thing prints well, i'll post up my settings so we can start a resource for what does/doesnt work when printing ninjaflex on our bots. (btw, printing on a 2014 simple with alu extruder and xl kit.)

EDIT: halfway through the print I ended up with the filament getting wrapped around the extruder gear. I think I caught it in time, but sheesh.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Mon-18-May

Followup - got all wound up at about layer 64 of 85. I think it has to do with the quick speed changes in my settings. I watched it and the quick extrusion motion caused a little bend but kept feeding fine so I figured it was good. Turned around to pick up a phone call and by the time I looked back it was all sorts of hosed up.

SO - what i've learned with Ninjaflex and Printrbots thus far:
Slow, Consistent feed rate is key
Hot temperatures (I printed at 235 and has EXCELLENT layer adhesion and no filament jamming in the extruder)
moderate, low acceleration printing.

I will continue experimenting tonight. So far, really like ninjaflex.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Pirtnac » 2014-May-Tue-00-May

Nope for me. Spent a day fiddling and even with all motion and extrusions set as low as 15 cm / min at 245c it still wants to jam. As it feeds in to the hot end I'm watching the filament compress and try and kink in the hot end's tube. Eventually it gets lucky and twists the right way to get grabbed by the extruder's gear and blam, ruined print. I even parked the head and had Repetier dump a long string in to a cup. No good. I don't want to mess with my extruder while it's working so well with PLA, so Ninjaflex is going back in the box until I get a 2nd extruder. Pity, the scraps I get look awesome.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby krog7d7 » 2014-May-Tue-02-May

Having the same experience as both of you. More so with Pirtnac since it seems no matter what I do, it tangles and wraps.

I tried a metal sleeve going directly into the hot end, but only high enough to clear the hobbed gear. Seems like there would be no way for it to sneak through, but it always does. =(

I've heard some people suggest that an odd gear driver extruder would help, at least I saw a couple of booths printing with Ninjaflex type filament and those were using geared extruders.

Frustrating. =)
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Wed-19-May

Alright, so, printed another companion cube with only two tangles in 1.5 hour print. More knowledge gained:
Retraction is your ENEMY. Which also means that coupled with high temps, you get a lot of blobbing/weeping. Good thing about this is that the ninjaflex is VERY tolerant to blobbing and doesnt impact the quality terribly. I noticed that when I got my tangle, it was right after a fast retract/layer change proceeded by a fast layer, so, the extruder spun up too fast and caused it to kink and then tangle. Happened at the top of the companion cube as well during an identical layer. Outside that, printed smoothly and error free. So, I need to figure out if the slicing is partially to blame or purely my speed settings.

Another thing I experimented with was keeping a decent amount of tension on the feed at the top of the extruder. This seemed to help out with tangles and retractions as it never got slack.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby KC_703 » 2014-May-Thu-00-May

Adafruit put a filament guide on Thingiverse for NinjaFlex... Its a bracket with a tube right before the hot end and bolts directly on the extruder. Interested in hearing results...

thing:337267
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Thu-10-May

Interesting! Solid Find. Im a huge Adafruit fan and im disappointed in myself that I didn't see this...

Will print one up later on and will let you know how it works!
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby spitfirehauser » 2014-May-Fri-12-May

let us know if this helped the profitability. i have been wanting to try this type of filament but don't want to spend the money if my simple has problems getting it to lay down.
thanks
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby krog7d7 » 2014-May-Fri-12-May

Here is a link to the bracket, looks promising!

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:337267
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Sat-17-May

EDIT: So, with this, im sort of an idiot. It never occurred to me until this morning that I could quite easily flip the drive. Low and behold - I got some clearance. /facepalm. I broke the last one so im printing another to see if it'll work...

Man. NEWB mistake.

EDIT2: Still doesnt fit. Their detents and whatnot are not in the right spots.

UPDATE: Printed out the piece, but the hobbed drive gear that Adafruit has must be different than the one I have. I say this because when trying to put the piece into place, they have what is sort of like a stabilizer that interferes with the drive and wont allow you to get the rest of the assembly back into place. I took it down to my dremel to try and make some clearance, but I slipped and snapped the piece off, SO, im going to edit the .stl and give it another wack tonight. Here are some pics so you know what im talking about. Piece that is interfering is circled in red. I'll get an updated one out by tomorrow morning. Outside that, it looks promising - it adequately supports right where you get kinks.

EDIT: The forum doesnt like my dropbox links. I'll host the images somewhere else later.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7zekname2cxmje/IMAG1156.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uwp5is9hc3s8fz0/IMAG1155.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vmabj60jpmlj0sd/IMAG1153.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/goqo5a8kn2uk971/IMAG1152.jpg
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Sat-17-May

One more update - there are a couple of issues: either my printer is WAY OUT of calibration or other parts rub as well. I tried to just install to see if there were other clearancing issues and yup, there are. So i'll see if I can fix those as well. As it is, my piece wont allow you to put any tension on the filament. Will update again later!
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Sun-10-May

Okie dokie - after making a few more revisions, I found there are additional clearance issues with the piece. I double checked my calibration and im printing almost right on the money, SO the only thing I can deduce is that their metal simple they modeled this part for is definitely a few mm off in a few places than mine. I figured that the new 2014 metal extruders were all the same, but, it appears they must have changed something slightly. Oh well, once I get a piece made up that works right without any trimming or xacto modification, i'll throw it up.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-May-Sun-14-May

Much to my dismay, i've come to the conclusion that the Adafruit piece is junk (at least for our non-metal, 2014 simples). After spending the better part of a day printing, editing, cutting, sanding, editing and trying to print, this piece just doesnt work. It prevents adding tension to the filament, has clearance issues and is overall too big for our older simples. That being said, im starting from scratch and designing a piece that I believe will work better for our bots without running into some of these issues. Hopefully i'll have it out in a day or so... Let me know if there are any questions in my experimenting. If anyone wants my edited piece, let me know!


IMAG1163.jpg
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby getSurreal » 2014-May-Sat-17-May

Anyone tried printing ninjafex with the older wooden j head extruders?
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby slicedveggie » 2014-Jun-Thu-17-Jun

So, something pretty funny/awesome - I submitted a name for Fennerdrives Ninjaflex Mascot naming contest and ended up winning!! I named the mascot "Slicer" pretty fitting right? They are hooking me up with some free rolls of the material!! Totally awesome. Gotta keep refining my technique so that we can print reliably on our bots. I'll keep messing around and update when I can...
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby spitfirehauser » 2014-Jun-Mon-10-Jun

SlicedVeggie, did the adafruit part allow you to print the ninjaflex ok? I printed up their part but have not installed it on my extruder yet. i saw another thead that said it would not fit an older printerbot extruder. just trying to see if you have been successful printing with your new cache of ninjaFlex yet
thanks
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby bborncr » 2014-Jun-Wed-11-Jun

Successful test with the Printrbot Simple Kit - 2014 model. I used the Adafruit mod but with the back end broken off. The filament didn't bind during the 48 minute / 103 layer print.

Here are my Slic3r settings for Repetier-Host Mac 0.56:
Print Settings-->Speed (see photo) Basically everything is slowed right down.
Filament Settings-->Filament (temperature was 235 for this print...but I think I'll test it at 230 because of the stringers.)
Printer Settings-->Extruder1 (see photo)
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby thirdhorizon » 2014-Aug-Fri-15-Aug

I didn't have any luck with the Adafruit mod, so I made my own thing that has been much more successful. It's a replacement for the base of the Alu extruder that closes the gap between the drive gear and the base. (Thingiverse thing 403438)

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Jdublu » 2014-Aug-Sat-17-Aug

thirdhorizon wrote:I didn't have any luck with the Adafruit mod, so I made my own thing that has been much more successful. It's a replacement for the base of the Alu extruder that closes the gap between the drive gear and the base. (Thingiverse thing 403438)

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


I can't say enough good things about this replacement part. It printed first try, fit the Simple Metal like it came from the factory, and best of all WORKS!

I've got a roll of Form Futura Flex TPC that I was never able to use without it jaming or wrapping around the hobbed gear. I just completed a 1hr print without a problem.

Thanks Thirdhorizon.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Jdublu » 2014-Aug-Tue-08-Aug

What program did you use to create the support? It was almost too easy to remove.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Jdublu » 2014-Aug-Wed-08-Aug

Here's what the extruder looks like now:
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby MrFluffy » 2014-Nov-Sat-05-Nov

I tried ninjaflex without the adaptions being stubborn, and I got about 3 minutes into a print after some careful setup, then it came round the wheel the same as everyone else, guess you cant cheat the odds :)

The real cure is to replace the base of the aluminium part, with a redesigned aluminimum part that comes up to the drive wheel the same as the plastic part does the job of, possibly extending the top lever part down also but a bit of testing would show if thats needed too. Maybe thats something printrbot themselves could take onboard since at manufacture time it should be a case of using a different cad drawing for the next version (ninjaflex friendly 1.x :D ) , and I'll take this route myself when I have spare time. I might extend the two parts out left to form a handle like the thingiverse extruder handle does (which is great, if you dont have it already http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:507944 )
But... I printed off the adafruit part, and it didn't fit my simple metal either, possibly the parts there have changed slightly during production who knows. But, after printing 4 off, and going through a process of shaving each one until it fitted, I finally got one that fitted well and does the job.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Nov-Sat-13-Nov

PB's latest extruder has extra teflon tubing that the video claims will properly support Ninjaflex.

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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby MrFluffy » 2014-Nov-Sat-17-Nov

Interesting, my pb simple metal pre assembled printrbot is 3 weeks (and 4kg of pla!) old, and without the adafruit part it wont reliably print flexible filament (as above I tried for myself), with and its ok.
I stripped it again tonight after printing thirdhorizon's replacement shoe, and I measured the guide hole on the original part at 3.1mm according to a gauge pin with a uneven radius at the top of it in the original alloy part. I wonder if my printer is some stock that has sat around for a while, although I bought it as "the 2014 model". I also wonder if its 3mm to allow it to be compatible with 3mm filament with a change of hot end nozzle, and the guide is intentionally sloppy as a result and if it were closer to 1.75mm it might be more sucessfull. It still doesnt explain why the original stops so shy of the exit from the extruder drive wheel though in comparison. I also wonder if I swapped to a 3mm hot end and used 3mm ninjaflex if it might be more reliable out the box.
Thirdhorizon's shoe is almost the final answer, but its a challenge to attach it reliably to the printer as others have commented on thingiverse. I tapped the m4 holes into it, but they pulled the first time it was put under any stress (I touched the hot end on the pad during zero setup afterwards) as you would expect, so it needs making in some alloy or slotting for some nuts or some recesses or inserts adding in. One made from 5083 alloy would be nice, Ive got some kicking round and it'll hold a thread when/if I get the inclination.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Nov-Sun-15-Nov

Sorry, that was the new not yet available design that they've been showing in the recently released videos, not the current production version. Guess I was a bit too terse.

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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby MrFluffy » 2014-Nov-Mon-06-Nov

Understood, if they've revised the part and closed up the gaps & tolerances on the lower part of the extruder, I'm happy enough to just buy the updated part rather than getting into spending hours redesigning and making my own. Thats sort of why I bought a ready made simple metal, my workshop is littered with half done projects at the moment and time is the one thing I'm short of.
Thats the model of how good development is supposed to work, you ship something, people find some aspect thats not quite right for them (and it was never advertised to me as being ninjaflex capable out the box, thats a new feature I'm trying to add lets not forget) tweak it , you improve it retrospectively. Hats off if they have.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Nov-Mon-08-Nov

Those half done projects are how you convince your spouse that you need to build a bigger shop :)

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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby mechanizedmedic » 2014-Nov-Tue-04-Nov

Mooselake wrote:Those half done projects are how you convince your spouse that you need to build a bigger shop :)

Kirk

I just lol'd at this and woke my wife up!
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby MrFluffy » 2014-Nov-Wed-06-Nov

I'm not showing this my wife, on account of already having a 2000sq ft second shop build project on the back burner while I finish building our house (too many projects) :-)
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Ninjaflex filament

Postby plexus » 2014-Dec-Thu-23-Dec

I am probably speaking too soon, but it took me about 3 hours to get ninjaflex printing. The printer just started the first layer and its working, but we shall see what happens. this stuff can lock up anytime. i am using 3mm, PB wood extruder, E3Dv5 hot end, 0.6mm nozzle. I increased the hot end temp to 250C, installed a brass filament guide down to the hot end and worked out the max extrusion speed of 6 mm^3/s or 50 mm/min. it seems to be working so far....

UPDATE: holy crap its still working! layer 71/228

UPDATE: print fail. 1h 20m into it. mechanical issue: the filament wrapped around the spool axel and got tangled up causing X to skip. yep, we've all been there (or will be). more tension on the filament spool. its a lot of PITA tweeking, but it sure is a lot of fun! second attempt off to a good start...

UPDATE:
Image

Final UPDATE: the print completed. there are some print issues related to the nature of the model. overall its pretty cool. ninja flex is a really interesting material - very flexible. I print the hand model hollow with 1.2mm thick walls (2 loops). its quite flexible.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby MrFluffy » 2014-Dec-Sun-14-Dec

Cool, the best thing I've made from ninjaflex so far is a fan shroud. Now, if I get a collision between shroud and anything, it just flexes out the way but its stiff enough to keep its shape and not catch otherwise.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby plexus » 2014-Dec-Wed-01-Dec

I printed a model of a real human brain down to scale. its pretty creepy feeling. like an organ. its pliable.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1418194131.414718.jpg


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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby aandrichaci » 2015-Feb-Mon-21-Feb

I found an easy hack to get ninjaflex to work one the alu extruder. Take a ballpoint pen and snip off a bit of the ink cartridge that doesnt have ink in it. Then drop it into the last hole between the extruder and the hot end. It helps if you have the hot end right up against the extruder. Then just feed the ninjaflex through the hloe and it works like a charm!
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby ThereWillBprints2 » 2015-Apr-Mon-16-Apr

[quote="gyronictonic"]Anybody tried this stuff yet? Looks really cool and someone on google+ was able to get some nice prints out of it. It's about as hard as

Run it hot and run it wet. This stuff sticks in your tips and hot ends unless you are extremely vigilant with cleaning. Think home brew prep times three. Just getting back into it and this stuff still is coming out. On the other hand my fish filet knife works perfectly.
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Re: Ninjaflex filament

Postby ururk » 2016-Feb-Thu-00-Feb

I know this is an old thread, but thought I'd chime in. I printed a small part twice (nothing complex) with ninjaflex on an unmodified Metal Plus. Based on the comments, I ran the printer at 245C (then later at 240C), 2100 mm/min (35 mm/s), no retraction and was pretty successful. The first time I only printed one skirt - and the first few layers of the part were incomplete - on the second go around I printed 6 skirts, and while they worked I think I was running the first layer too fast, and could have used a few more skirts. Because I was running so hot, the Ninjaflex dripped out and I suspect I could go a bit lower to avoid losing so much filament. I'm not too sure if it was due to the temp, or lack of retraction, but I had to trim off a lot of strings.

I printed this part:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1158446

IMG_4980.JPG


Even though it was pretty simple - the part turned out so well that I'm going to try to find out more things I could print with Ninjaflex.
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