In today’s article, we’ll be covering how to modify an FDM printer to take 2.85 mm filament instead of the standard 1.75 and see if it’s worthwhile. If you’re doing this yourself, please keep in mind that I do not take any responsibility for any damages that may occur as a result, so do this modification at your own risk.

To begin, I ordered a new Hot end since I was already looking to upgrade my machine. If you’re doing this modification, all you would need is a replacement Bowden tube, since it will fit into an existing nematic fitting. You’re going to want to pick up a Bowden tube which is 2.85 to 3 mm in width for the inside diameter. Since I was also ordering the components from abroad, I made sure to order 2 along with an extra Bowden tube of the right size. I personally already own a Bowden tube cutter, however you can use the standard filament cutter’s as long as you fix the opening after cutting the tube and make sure that your cut is straight.  

The first step in this project was to look into what component I would need to modify in order to keep the original functionality of the machine. In doing so, I discovered that there would be two main components which would need to be changed. In this, I would need to change the filament guide which is connected to the nematic fitting and modify the housing case for the electronic components of the filament run-out sensor. I will not be going over how to upgrade the hot end in today’s video, but keep an eye out for future videos if you want to see that at a latter date. Important to note, I did discover that this modification works best with a larger nozzle size, therefore you may wish to change your nozzle of 0.8 size since that’s the one I tested and achieved good results.  

When installing the new Bowden tubes, there were a couple of things that I learned throughout the years. First off, you’ll want to make sure that it sticks out as straights as possible otherwise, if you’ve cut the tip of your filament on an angle it will puncture the tube. I tied this tube to the wires which were already secured to the machine and this fixed the problem. When removing the Bowden tube, you will need to press down on the nematic fitting while pulling on the tube without bending it. This releases the mechanism which keeps the tube from being pulled out during normal operations. When using filament which is so thick, there’s a large amount of pressure that’s built up in the tube, which causes the tube to want to deform. You’re better off having a little extra room in order for it to bend around corner’s easily. Too long, however, and you’ll end up wasting more filament when you’re at the end of your printing spool. This filament will be quite difficult to deal with, and you should keep in mind that you will be wasting the amount that you have left in your Bowden tube unless you have a filament welder Connector. This is something that I’ve since ordered and will hopefully be testing in the future.  

When creating this modification, I was only able to replace the guide leading from the gears to the nematic fitting. The area where the filament enters into the gears was too small for FDM printing and therefore a resin print would be required, however most resins remain too brittle. Should I get enough requests to continue this in the future, and I’ll create a follow-up video showing this being addressed with a resin printed part?  I will need to do quite a bit of research to ensure that I use a resin which will remain flexible, so this will take quite a bit of time to achieve.  

The Bowden extruder while simple in design does have a spring mechanism that like to shoot out, so be very careful when removing this component. I would highly recommend using some form of tape to help hold it in place while you work, or remove it entirely to keep losing the spring. With this portion opened up, I was then able to take the two components which I wanted to modify out and replace these with my own. You’ll want to keep these parts in a safe place should you need to switch back in the future. I personally put these into a small transparent bag with all the original components, just in case I required them in the future.  

When remodelling the filament guide leading from the nematic fitting to the gears, I originally attempted to use a Bowden tube for this purpose, however it created enough problems that I ended up extending the part instead. Should any of you decide to use this file, you’re going to want to make sure that you sand down and clean up the printed replacement as much as possible to help reduce any friction that may occur. When re-installing the nematic fitting, it’s important to make sure that the Bowden tube it’s cut flat and that you take your filament cutter to slightly widen its entry point. This will help ensure that it doesn’t get pushed back into the machine and that the filament doesn’t get caught on its edges.  When cutting Bowden tubes, this is a simply trick that will help remove any pleats if you’re using your filament cutter’s. 

 With this portion complete, I was then able to begin working on the filament sensor modifications.  In order to do this, I had to remove the original sensor from is plastic housing to see which portions would need to be modified. In this case, I wanted to keep the pre-existing parts so that I would be able to transition back if needed. What this meant is that I need to recreate the housing to fit its original functionality while accounting from some size changes. With the portion for the circuit board completed, I then changed the filament section to accommodate the new filament size.  I also included the original hole so that it could still be attached to the frame of the machine with a longer screw. This is the final model that I ended up using in the end. 

It was finally time to level the bed, which in my case was pretty close and only required some minor tweaks to get it working. Then came the part of changing my print settings until I had something which was closer to what I had originally had. Now keep in mind that this is a large nozzle size, and therefore it isn’t really designed to get details, it’s best suited for larger prints that you don’t want taking a long time. So in my case, I use this machine to create tools and rigs for my internal manufacturing process. If you plan to sand and finish a piece anyway then this will also still work, but you may want to print a lower height and seal the parts of some form of epoxy based putty too so that it doesn’t take as long to finish.  So in the end, was this mod worth doing? Well, for most of you, it probably isn’t. Unless you happen to get a lot of filaments that’s in the wrong size, then you might want to look into doing this, however there are quite a few issues which could arise. First of, this filament is far more brittle since it has a much larger diameter, so trying to get it to print without interruptions can be a challenge. Secondly, you’ll want to see if you can even print at higher temperatures that will be needed. In my case, I had to increase it by over 15 Degrees Celsius to get completed prints. Anything less and the filament was too prone to clogging within the nozzle, and the extra pressure also caused the filament to break more often. Another important thing to note, is that you’ll have to work with your flow compensation to get it perfect, otherwise you’ll have issues with how it comes out of the nozzle. Removing clogs was often tedious at best since the method I found was to remove the Bowden tube entirely and then do a “cold pull” to remove any residue. I believe that this mod is best suited for filaments which are less brittle but flexible, since these will be less likely to break or bend within the Bowden tube. So if any of you attempt this at home, I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say amount this mod in the future.


In today’s article, we’re going to take a look at alternative cleaning solutions for your resin prints.  During the writing of this article, there’s currently a limited amount of products on the market for cleaning resin prints. As someone who develops and produces their own products, this has been problematic, so I’d thought I’d share what I discovered in my testing. 

To begin, let me make it clear that no company has paid me to review their products, and that all the products that you see in this video were purchased by me for this purpose. There’s a fairly large list of products which I’ve tested, however I will be showing you the ones which were spanning the largest range of products and if some of them didn’t work at all they were not included but mentioned latter. For these tests I will be using a slightly less toxic resin which is advertised as being safe, however I still recommend taking the normal precautions when handling this material.  

Let’s also establish some basic testing guidelines for the products which were used. First and foremost, I didn’t use any heat while testing the products. This is important since heat can often change the properties and in certain cases begin releasing fumes.  Also, other than water in most cases, no other products were mixed together.  Other than agitating the product within the confines of a jar, no mechanical scrubbing was used.  Wherever possible, items which weren’t toxic, corrosive or flammable were tested, however for certain products this couldn’t be avoided.  If obvious signs of melting were noticed a more diluted version was also tested, however if the results weren’t promising these were deemed as failures and in certain cases weren’t included in the final notes.  

To start things off, I printed a series of test calibration models, mainly the AmerLabs Calibration Test as well as Twisted Rook. And the products that were tested were quite varied indeed. I tested Alcohol Free Mouth Wash, oil soap, odourless solvent, Mr Clean M.Net, Backing Soda, Vinegar, Simple Green, but the most interesting results came from a select few products.  Isopropyl Alcohol is our control sample from which we’ll be comparing all the results to.  Isopropyl Alcohol has many benefits, included it’s re-usability if used currectly.  Although it removes the resin, if it’s allowed to sit the resin will separate from the Alcohol, allowing you to poor it into another container.  Doings this greatly increases its longevity.  

Simple Green is an all-purpose cleaner which boasts being a non-toxic biodegradable alternative. This product is similar to a liquid soap in certain aspects.  According to the instructions it’s intended to be diluted with a 1 to 1 ratio for heavy-duty applications and this is how it will be tested. 

Vim was tested at full strength as well as it’s diluted counterparts and as you will see the results were very similar. 

Natural Safe Strip is an interior paint and varnish remover which is labelled as natural, ready to use and non-corrosive.  In the instructions it mentions not to dilute with water, therefore two tests were completed with this product.  The first test was a 50% mix of the remover with 50% water, while the second test was in its purest state.

CLR is a multipurpose cleaner which is known for cleaning calcium, lime, rust and boasts that it doesn’t damage the septic pipes.  This product also comes with its fair share of warnings, which include specifics about its hazardous nature when mixed with other chemicals.  This mainly means that this could potentially react with anything other than water, and is something to keep in mind when testing.

Murphy Oil is a wood cleaner, which is an oil soap that’s commonly found in most local cleaning supplies stores.  Most of the products used to make this cleaner are biodegradable and are fairly safe when used as directed. 

Terpenoid Natural is somewhat similar to isopropyl alcohol in that it doesn’t mix with the original resin and can be poured out once settled.  It is, however, more of an oil soap cleaner, so testing it for residues will be a very important step. This product it also claims to be non-toxic and doesn’t have corrosive properties, which makes it more interesting as a possible alternative. 

Mr Clean M. Net is a concentrated product which is normally diluted prior to being used.  This product normally recommends being left on the surface for approximately 10 minutes prior to wiping and cleaning the surface, and therefore 2 tests will be performed.  The first test will be in it’s diluted state, while the second will be the full concentration. 

Goof Off Pro Strength Remover is a cleaner which is well known for removing glue, tar, dried paint and adhesives.  This cleaner requires a well ventilated area since it has strong odours and comes with both a poisonous and flammable warning on its label.  This is a cleaner which when used normally doesn’t tend to leave any residue since it evaporates quickly. 

Generic Odourless Solvent was one which I found through my local art store and is normally used for oil painting purposes. This does help clean off oil or thin oil paints and this particular no name brand is marked as odourless, HOWEVER….. This product does still release toxic fumes and should always be used in a well ventilated area. It should always be caped while not in use. 

Degreasers are normally used to prep surfaces for future finishes and are normally used for cars.  In this case, it’s a shampoo which is formulated to wash and strip away waxes or sealants.  Normally this product would be heavily diluted for this purpose, and it is for this reason that I will be testing it in it’s diluted state. 

The following products produced such terrible results that there weren’t included in the final video.  These products include water, vinegar, Alcohol Free Mouth, backing soda, degreaser, generic odourless solvent and lighter fluid.  During testing, certain cleaners such as Yellow Magic Cleaner 7, Isopropyl Alcohol, acetone, denatured alcohol or methylated spirits weren’t tested because of local shortages.  It is important to note that these products have yet to be tested for painting or casting after treatment, and those will be a separate upcoming coming videos. If you’re interested in those results, please keep an eye out for those in the future. 

So what were the final results?  Isopropyl Alcohol did very well cleaning the final prints without leaving any unwanted residues and finished with an expected 10 out of 10 result.  Simple Green wasn’t very effective in it’s cleaning properties, leaving a substantial amount of residue on the finished print.  It was for this reason that it scored a simple 2 out of 10 in its results.  Vim scored very similar to the Simple Green, with the same amount of residue left on the surface.  As a result, it got the same score, with 2 out of 10 being its final mark. Natures Safe strip scored extremely well in its final marks with a result of 10 out of 10.  This product left very little residue if used with a 1:1 ratio when mixed with water.  When used at 100% concentration, the results were actually poorer than when diluted, and may be because of the difficulty in being able to apply this product along its surface.  CLR didn’t fare so well, with a score of only 2/10 because of the amount of residue left on the surface of the print.  Murphy oil hand the worst results, scoring 1/10 with it’s wet and sticky residue.  Terpenoid Natures had decent results with a small amount of residue along the surface and ranked a 7.5 out of 10 in its final score.  This product is probably best suited for applications where a second cleaning cycle is present or where the item can remain submerged in water after the initial cleaning cycle.  Mr.Clean didn’t do well in its performance tests, ranking only a 2 out of 10 in its final score.  Furthermore, I can confirm from personal experience that residue will react with certain silicons in a such a way as to prevent these from fully curing. Goof off did very well in its testing applications and was compatible to isopropyl alcohol.  This product didn’t leave any residue and was quick in it’s cleaning application, even if the smell was quite strong. 

Seeing as there’s been a significant supply chain disruption, some of these may work as a suitable alternative for the time being.

Final Verdict

Testing Mythology

  • No heat was used.
  • Only water was used to dilute products (based on instructions).
  • No scrubbing. Only Agitating the cleaning Jar.
  • If melting was noticed, a diluted version was tested.

Scores (higher is better)

  • Isopropyl Alcohol = 10/10
  • Terpenoid natures (Canada only product) = 7.5/10
  • MR.Clean = 2/10
  • CLR = 2/10
  • VIM = 2/10
  • Murphy Oil = 1/10