Bowden connectors/couplers

Bowden tube is self explaining - uses Teflon and is PTFE (very low friction), or you could go with capricorn which is meant to be even better

but when it comes to bowden connectors - even though i am able to research sizes/threads/push through - cant find the difference between blue and black top, one youtube said said the blue have plastic grabbers (on to the tube) and the black are more sturdy with metal grabbers (on to the tube)…

but i can’t find anything about it (to confirm), anyone here know

I don’t know if there is a standard for the colours of the connectors but the ones I own are as you have described.

thanks rojaljelly it didn’t occur to me that bowden connectors were a design and not a company that first had the idea :grinning: live and learn

thanks for looking at your connectors for me, now at least i know what i am looking for :smiley:

Dumb question: you doing some funky mod or what? You know SM isn’t a Bowden printer, right? :slight_smile:

@halr9000 he is probably looking for PTFE tubing to go from the extruder coller out of the enclosure and to his filament roll. it seems to be a fairly popular mode that acts as a good filament guide and reduces exposure to dust and moisture.


@halr9000 - i am sure you have helped me before? so your statement would seem really out of character, i am going to assume you are having a bad day instead of reporting the comment.

@Atom yes, mostly right (thankyou) - as i couldn’t find an answer on the net, maybe it was a mistake to ask here - but there is so many knowledgeable people here :grinning:
what i am trying to do (as filament is hydroscopic) is make a drybox and feed it through the enclosure to the printer - the PTFE reduces exposure to dust and moisture (and a good guide) but it also is very slippery (not much drag).

my plan was to start a thread (when i had finished the job) of explaining everything i did (with links) so others could copy/expand on what i have done.

thanks again Atom - really appreciate it

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@Nazar something might be getting lost in translation. “Dumb question” means what follows is likely trivial / redundant / obvious, but since halr9000 isn’t sure he was trying to make sure you DIDN’T take offense at the question.

He’s asking what you’re trying to do with Bowden connectors, since they aren’t found on a Snapmaker that’s straight from the factory.

One thing would be some sort of modification you could be doing that adds Bowden tubes, something fairly rare here on the forums, hence the question.


its okay, and we should really drop this - the further it is discussed, the bigger of an issue it becomes. thanks anyway brent :smiley:

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Edit: just want to point this out to help resolve any confusion from others in the future

another thing is that the term “Bowden” is usually associated with an extruder style. otherwise they tend to just be referred to as PTFE tubes. and i could be wrong but i think “Bowden” specifically refers to the method of pushing the filament through a tube to a hot end. so you would not be considered to be setting up “Bowden” tubes unless you where relocating the extruder away from the hotend.

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Brent has it right. As we don’t have Bowden extruders, I was just wondering why you were asking. Atom had a good answer, so is all good.

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In my opinion, the Bowden cable is not necessarily just related to the sort of extruder. I understand that many people think that this means that the extruder feed is on one side of the bowden cable and the extruder on the other.
But in the sense of the word Bowden cable, Nazar was not wrong either. We have the “flexible” filament, which is pulled from the filament roll through a sturdy cover. The tube is used to protect the filament from mechanical damage and friction from bends and edges.
When talking about PTFE tubes in 3D printers, you could only mean the part in the extruder inlet.

Personally, I have provided all of my 3 Snapmakers with long PTFE tubes to guide the filament inside the housing. With the A250, I used pneumatic connectors on both sides to attach the tube, so I made a classic Bowden cable.


Ah! What we have here is the (understandable) misuse of the term Bowden tube (or cable). The setup shown is using a press-fit tubing connector to route the filament to the printhead. On a number of 3D printers that use a Bowden tube they use similar (if not the same) parts. The difference is that a Bowden tube will have a (stepper) motor at the far (filament spool) end of the run to push the filament through the tube and the hotend.

I do like your solution to the filament routing problem!

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just want to say, love the pic you use :grinning: it has been a long time since i have seen the muppets :smiley:

i never thought this thread would generate so many posts :slight_smile:

so there is a difference between PTFE and bowden tube, i understand the difference (thanks to rojaljelly) but to me - the difference is very small. personally i am using bowden couplers on both ends (classic bowden cable like rojaljelly)

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HAHAHA, should we turn this thread into one where we try to define the word “bowden” as it relates to 3d printing? @rojaljelly has a good point that Bowden cables are used outside of 3d printing and in those cases it is almost always a pulling force on the inner cable. witch would mean that a direct drive extruder with a PTFE tube to the filament roll would constitute a Bowden system. on the other hand, in the 3d printing world it is mostly used for a pushing force… i find this all very interesting thank you @Nazar for brining this to my attention XD


The color of the coupler don’t say anything about the grabber material.
I’ve just ordered couplers with blue top and stainless steel grabbers…

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Wow that is a really cool idea, we have all kinds of connectors and tubing like that at work from a pneumatic product we were creating. is it working well?

@rojaljelly that just goes to prove what you said earlier - about there being no industry standard. i am not likely to buy connectors from the USA (as postage is very expensive to AU - but i am interested to look at there website, would you mind giving me a link?

@MooseJuice many people use dry boxes for their filament - as filament is still hydroscopic - saw a printing test of different stages of filament absorbing moisture from the air (test over many months) - the more the filament absorbed moisture - the worse the print became (visually) until the print was unusable.

i am making my box up now - plan to do a “how to post” when completed, but if your interested - will give you links for what i decided (no point in doing the research again). have changed two aspects due to reading problems on this forum.

is it working well? most people keep their filament dry, only bringing it out when they want to print - or dry it in the oven before they print, but even bowden connectors and tubing going from the filament to the print head - is worth it, as it is a slippery path for the filament to follow (many people use it)

rojaljelly above uses a Bowden connector on the print head (4mm connector, easy to install) or if unsure - print this for 4mm tubing by coppertop01

so you know they are also called “push to connect” fittings and are used for all sorts of pneumatic and hydraulic applications. again “bowden” applies only when pushing/pulling a solid through the tubing. i have used similar fittings in HVAC applications for monitoring building pressure.

HA :upside_down_face: your right Atom, it is just when ever i am searching to buy connectors for use with 3d printers - if i type in bowden - i get the 2 industry standards for 3d printers (there are 2 size of tubes, i prefer the 4mm tube).
the search doesn’t give me every different type of pneumatic connector out there.

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There are tons of supliers for 4 mm tubes and connectors.
I live in Austria so my main “market” is German speaking.

At this shop I got everything I was looking for.

  • PTFE-tubes with 2 mm inner diameter and 4 mm outer diameter for the filamet guides with push connectors (Link)
  • PTFE-tubes with 2 mm inner diameter and 4 mm outer diameter for replacing the tube inside the hotends of SM1 (and maybe SM2 - I haven’t checked) - (Link)
  • various IQS mini connectors for connecting the 4 mm tubes to the machine (Link)