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Advice for a wear resistant extruder cable.

Posted by corngolem 
Advice for a wear resistant extruder cable.
March 29, 2015 06:22AM
Hello, on my machine, which is an Ultimaker clone, the extruder motor is connect to the mother board by a 20 pins ribbon cable. The problem is that, apparently, due to the many movements of the print head, the wire(s) manage to break inside the insulation and the result is momentarily localized underextrusion and thus holes in parts.
Are there wear resistant ribbon cables ? if not what solution do you suggest ?
Re: Advice for a wear resistant extruder cable.
April 04, 2015 07:33AM
Wow! You are one of only a few people in the world who would have figured that out. I salute you!

I struggled for a long time to find a solution to the extruder cable/connector problem. I think there are three ways to solve it. First, route the cable so it doesn't bend much as the machine operates. This is usually an ugly solution because the cable has to be fed from above in a large, graceful loop. The second way is to do the same thing that is done in ink jet printers- use a flex ribbon that is designed to flex millions of times without breaking. The third way is to accept that it is going to be a problem and expect to have to replace the cable periodically. Keep a spare handy.

I went with the second method and found one of these:

It came from a tape library machine. You can sometimes find these cables on ebay for about $25- here's one now: Ribbon Cable . It has 34 conductors good for 1A+ each which is overkill for a single extruder carriage. I carefully stripped out the center conductors and cut the cable into two 16 conductor cables. The biggest problem with it is that you can't readily change the length, so you have to deal with the extra cable somehow, which ends up being sort of ugly like the first solution.

You can see my cable on the machine, not yet in final position, here:

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2015 07:38AM by the_digital_dentist.
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