Bowden Wiring - Choice of cable?

  • I want a simple solution - A multi lead cable that can handle moving around a lot (yes using strain relief)

    I am not talking about the heater cable as this is a silicone I will continue to use

    I have been through a lot of iterations and currently are running a CAT6 ethernet cable with 8 wires of awg26? or is it 24.. dont remember

    The CAT 5 was suggested but as this was not in stock I went with CAT6 and it is just to stiff for my liking - Seems like a accident waiting to happen and I also find the wires one too thin

    My previous solution was various 2,3 and 4/5 lead cables of different sizes ranging from awg 26 to awg 20... Not a clean solution

    Any good solutions I have missed out there?

  • Try a Google search for "drag chain cable", e.g. Igus "chainflex".

  • If you use Cat5 or 6 cable, make sure it is a patch cable. They have copper strand wires instead of solid strand wires. The solid ones aren't made for flexing around and will break over time.

  • administrators

    The flat Cat6 cables seem to be very flexible, but I don't know how well they would last or what current they can take.

    Whatever cabling solution you adopt, I recommend you use separate cables for 12V/24V wiring and 3.3V/5V wiring.

  • Seperating makes sense. I have found some flexible controller cables I will try for this purpose thanks to @deckingman

    Easy when you know what to look for 🙂

    I ordered some to test in 7 pin AWG23 - I can have one for 12V-24V in one vertical beam and one for 5/3,3 in the other vertical beam


  • administrators

    @pro3d worth ensuring they are in totally separate bundles. @DjDemonD can let you know what happens if there is a short inside the cables 😕

    @timcurtis67 I have had reports that even patch cables work harden and cause issues over time. They are designed to move about a bit, but not 1000s of moves a day.

  • 0_1531432099313_P5170368.JPG
    FFC cable + flat spring , works perfectly and looks nice.

  • That flat cable looks great.

    Network cables are problematic they do work harden and the insulation fails, probably in my case exacerbated by having slightly too tight a bend at one point in the cable, but a short from hotend heater (was using 6 cores for heater) and 5v fan kills 2 duetwifi and 2 paneldue boards. Second one shouldn't have gone, but I presumed the first one was a dropped nut which caused the short and installed a second board. That'll learn me.

  • Igus:
    chainflex Steuerleitung CF9.02.07
    2,60 - Igus sells to privat customer and good service
    you can get a lot of test samples

    ca. 3,-/m
    Unitronic FD CP plus 7x0,25
    ca. 5,-

  • Look for cables meant for professional audio. They are sturdy, flexible and made to receive bad treatment. You will find at many gauges and wire count.


Looks like your connection to Duet3D was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.