What would be a good printer to meet the following needs:

• Small detailed ninjaflex prints (high print quality)

• Plug-n-play use

• High reliability

I’m considering:

• CEL Robox

• Zortrax


The most valuable thing to me is avoiding lost time. I’ve been using an i3 Hephestos and I’ve lost so much time trying to customize it for my current project, I’ve run into so many unexpected complications, that now I’m thinking it’s best to just replace it entirely.

Also, is it possible to print with SLA and then cast to TPE? I don’t have a shop environment, so I would need something safe and clean enough to do in an apartment. It looks like it’s possible to do manual injection molding:


And maayyybe I could form the negative using cold cast resin.

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Printing NinjaFlex on Zortrax M200 & CEL Robox are not officialy supported.

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Speak to CEL, the Robox will print this and they will even help you to do it.

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I have the m200 and it is really great for supported materials, I had the UM2 before and it is not even comparable when it comes to reliability. All different manufacturers (and to some extent batches) vary in their composition of the filaments. I think one of the main reasons why the Zortrax is so reliable is because they only support their own filament. I have tried another brand of (premium) filament once with my M200 and it worked fine for the first prints, but before the roll was out there was a clog and that print was wasted. (I know this is too little to draw any real conclusion, but none of my 15+ rolls of Zortrax filament has had this happen). In conclusion, you could download the unsupported manual temp tweak and try, but I would not count on reliability for NinjaFlex.

Hi Captain,

I have a Zortrax M200, Ultimaker 2, AIrWolf 3DHD, Form 1+ and a Cube 3.

I had a Makerbot Replicator 5th gen but I had to return it, what a P.O.S. however I heard they had fixed many of the issues now.

I have to honestly say that my go to printer is the Zortrax M200.

The Zortrax M200 gives me the finest prints with the least effort.

I just turn it on and print.

It really is an amazing printer.

I never have any issues, I have printed well over a 100 parts without a failed part or even leveling the table.

As I say, I am a Maker and Not a Tinkerer.

I just want to print and not tinker with settings for hours on end, leveling tables or trying to improve hardware, nozzles, etc.

The Zortrax M200 without fail will give you the best prints with the least effort.

Keep in mine that the Zortrax M200 is a closed system and only prints in proprietary filaments which currently are Z-ABS, Z-ULTRAT (a stronger ABS), Z-HIPS, Z-GLASS, Z-PETG and Z-PCABS and also uses it’s own slicer Z-SUITE.

The close system does not brother me as I am seeking the best results and if that means buying their filament and using their software so be it. I am more than happy with the Zortrax System.

One more word, Zortrax will void your warranty if you do not use their materials, so Ninja Flex is kind of out for a Zortrax M200.

I have printed with Ninja Flex on my Ultimaker 2 and I guess I’m the only one who will say this but the Ninja Flex always came out crappy to say the least, almost impossible to remove any supports. You say you want a plug and play machine but then you want to to use exotic materials that most people have trouble printing with. Ninja Flex is one of those materials that you will have to spend time and effort making many numerous adjustment to get it to print correctly. Some people actually change the hot ends or even their extruder driver from a bowden to a direct drive system in order to print flexible materials. I would suggest if you are getting a printer for just flexible materials that you get a direct drive system as some have said it is a more reliable way to flex materials.

My second choice is my Ultimaker 2 which is also a great machine for materials that the Zortrax M200 cannot print such as PLA, Flex, Nylon, Wood, Bronze, etc. but the Ultimaker 2 is no match for the Zortrax M200 if you are printing in any of the materials that the Zortrax can print in. I have printed flex materials with my Ultimaker 2 without great results but than again I did not spend hours of time trying to tinker with the slicer settings such as temperature of the extruder, the bed, the speed, the raft, the supports, etc. I think if you want to spend time tweaking then the Ultimaker 2 will probably give some decent results with flex filaments.

The Ultimaker 2 and the Zortrax are both very reliable printers never having a issue with either.

I think if you are a maker with a venue of many different parts and materials then perhaps you need both machines.

I only use the Form 1+ is for very small delicate parts as I do not like resin, the mess it makes, the cleanup and feeling of the finished project for larger parts. I would think the Form 1+ would be good for perhaps casting or such.

The Form 1+ is very expensive to keep up with as the the trays, resins, etc. are all very expensive. The trays wear out and have to be replaced. But if you need a resin part or a part that is can’t be printed on other machines due to it’s small size then the Form 1 - actually they now sell the Form 2, might be the way to go.

The bottom line is I sincerely believe that you can’t go wrong with a Zortrax M200, it is an excellent machine for the price.

I have the new Zortrax Inventure on pre-order.

The Zortrax Inventure uses a support filament along with Z-ULTRAT PLUS. They give you a small tank the dissolves the support filament in water after printing. This was something I have tried in the past but the usual support filaments are difficult to print with to to say the least so I am hoping that Zortrax has finally tackled the issues that have plagued the past. I am sure it will be a huge improvement over the previous dual extruder support processes that are currently being use.

And a word on the Cube 3. The Cube 3 has taken some undeserved bad raps from people but it actually is a great plug and play printer that prints better than the Ultimaker 2 and sometimes better than the Zortrax M200. It prints in 0.070 resolution and the models/parts come out stunning.

However the printer is super loud and slow, the filament is not as cost effective as the Zortrax and Ultimaker 2 and you can expect an occasional jam, but I would recommend the Cube 3 to the very budget minded person who wants to get started in 3D printing for under a $1000.

I still use my Cube 3D when I need a nice model for my personal collection.

I hope I have shed some light on my own personal experiences from the printers that I actually own and work with.

Making a 3D printer buying discussion is never easy but think about how much you want to spend, how often are you using this printer (are you just printing for your self?), what is it you are trying to print and with what materials (are you going to want to print in ABS, HIPS, T-GLASS, PETG or are you also going to want to print in PLA, FLEX, Wood Fill, Bronze Fill, etc.?).




Thanks for the detailed response and for sharing your wealth of experience. I’m developing a product and ninjaflex provides the flexibility and tensile strength that I need for my functional prototype. I’ve tested other flexible filaments and nothing else performs as well as ninjaflex, so far. I haven’t tested the new FPE (Flexibel PolyEster) yet because it was too expensive to ship to the US, last I checked.

Thanks for sharing this. I had looked at the flexystruder but I didn’t know it was such a standard for flexible filaments.

Forget Zortrax that uses their own materials, and in any case it will not load ninjaflex or any TPE/TPU filaments.

In order to print TPE/TPU I am using Sharebot NG that allow loading filament with different hardness.

However reaching hi quality with TPE/TPU is hard using FDM because retraction must be disabled.

The best resut I have seen with rubber-like materials is using PolyJet (Objet 30 Prime printer) but printer costs a lot.

May I suggest printing a mould and a core in normal plastic and then casting some soft material onto that.

E3D hotends are also designed for every material, especially the “special” filaments like Ninjaflex.

Thanks for the reminder on this. I had come across some rubbery polyjet samples that looked very good. I’ll probably use a service for some of my final prints, where my confidence in the model is higher and I’m able to accept the delay in shipping. There’s also a makerspace near me that has one (or had one, last time I visited).

Thanks for this tip. While I still find the CEL interesting, and I’d consider it in the future, I decided to buy the lulzbot mini with the flexystruder, just because I’m interested in using whatever has the most direct testing of flexible prints behind it. I had previously purchased a different extruder which was also meant specifically for flexible filaments, and I discovered I was walking into a minefield of untested minutia, which all added up to lots of downtime (unacceptable setbacks).

I have an E3D, and I was very disappointed. It simply refuses to print ninjaflex for me.

For small detailed Ninjaflex prints and reliability there’s really only one option - Lulzbot with a Flexystruder (either the Mini or TAZ5). If it’s just small prints, then the Mini should be perfect for you. I recently saw them at a trade show with a Lulzbot Mini making these amazing little Aztec figurines out of Ninjaflex on the new V2 Flexystruder. You can see a picture of one here:

AFAIK this is the only hotend specifically designed for flexible filaments, and I’ve read that Fenner Drives, makers of Ninjaflex, use Lulzbot Flexystruders themselves in development and testing of Ninjaflex filament.

As for reliability, Lulzbot has received top scores from both 3D Hubs and Make.

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Nice, I think you’ll be very happy with your choice. I run a few mini’s and have been very impressed with the print quality. The auto-leveling and nozzle self-cleaning features make it a great plug-n-play printer. Be sure to post some pics of your Ninjaflex prints once you get it.


Which one? I have yet to try NinjaFlex out on my E3D V6’s, since None of my customers have requested it (nor do I have an application). It’s listed as one of the tested filaments for that model.

with ninjaflex you really have to slow things down heat things up and make sure to measure the average diam of the filament and input in filament diameter section that should get you printing let me know if you need anymore advice, i am currently going through the tweaks my main issue is blobs on side walls on medium to large prints

thats an incredible print job! keep up the gresat work. I might be reaching out to you for some tips