Direct Drive VS Bowden Extruders

In this article, we will explain a popular discussion between direct drive vs Bowden extruder.

The basic principle is the same and here are the differences:

Extrusion Basics

Understand the basics helps understand the pros and cons of both systems.

FDM printers use either direct drive or Bowden extruder setups, and the extruder pushes the filament through a heated nozzle and the difference is where the extruder sits.

Direct Drive Extruder

Cartesian or CoreXY printer has the more sturdy frame to work with a direct drive extruder with no problem.


  • Compatiable with most filaments
  • Less powerful motor
  • Better and easily retract filament
  • Much more reliable


  • Can cause more vibration with the extruder mounted to the print head
  • Much more maintenance

Bowden Extruder

For precise and fast printing using standard material, the bowden extruder system yields great results. The printer pushes and pulls filament with a long PTFE Bowden tube to the warm end.


  • Smoother movement due to reduced weight
  • Higher quality prints


  • Slow response time
  • Friction between filament going through the tube calls for more torque to adequately control the filament
  • Some filament material can easily bind or wear in bowden tubes

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