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Overnight print failed - found these odd little drops/balls on the build plate.

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I've been using an Ultimaker at work successfully for a few months. No big issues that couldn't be resolved by checking out the forum/community here.

Yesterday I started a 14 hour print that was printing well when I left for the day (about 6 hours into the print). When I came to work this morning the print had failed and I found these odd little plastic drops/balls on the print bed. [images below]. I'm wondering if anyone has ever seen something like this before.

The print seems to have failed due to a clogged nozzle - haven't been able to unclog it yet but should be able to when I find a needle or something small enough to fit in the nozzle (atomic method hasn't been able to unclog it).

I was using 2.85mm Ultimaker Silver Metallic PLA filament.

Any ideas/answers appreciated.

20150902_080317.thumb.jpg.6a7b00b7fb8800564baacbd7763adc04.jpg 20150902_080247.thumb.jpg.d7d4fb5e299ee8c715286d9d81eb5a58.jpg



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Did the print have lots of retractions? Sometimes that can cause grinding and a print fail. Or it could be a tiny bit of metalic or wood dust or house dust that traveled up the filament and into the nozzle and clogged it.

You might want to get an olsson block (google it) from my store as the nozzles are easy to unclog when it's a really bad clog.

I would remove the block and put it in a flame and burn the hell out of anything in there. If you buy anything from my store I always include a free nozzle cleaner tool with first purchase - I make the tool from a hypodermic needle that is .35mm diameter. Acupuncture needles also work well. When you heat the nozzle with flame be careful not to melt the brass even though you have a very wide margin between "burn things to ash" temperature and "melt brass" temperature don't let it get any hotter than necessary.

There are videos of how to take the head apart - the tricky part is often getting the temp sensor out without breaking it. I sell those also (as does fbrc8.com in usa). Some videos here:


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Hmm, the drops are indicative of pla thats been sat in the nozzle for a while, and go super hot and dripped (instead of extruded) out. As gr5 mentions, perhaps its the feeder and grinding. The UM2 has a direct drive feeder, so the stepper and knurled bolt sleeve get very hot, and can melt the filament slightly. This leads to excessive grinding and the appearance of a blocked nozzle, but is in fact the material not feeding correctly.

Its just a guess, I have a UMO!

Edited by Guest

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Thank you for the responses!

I was able to unclog the nozzle by heating it and inserting a needle and doing the Atomic method a few times. I have successfully printed 3 small (less than 2 hour) prints with 2 different filaments. It seems to be working ok.

My guess is it was caused by some dust that got caught in the nozzle. The feeder seems to be working normally.

I didn't need to burn the hell out of anything...yet.

I'm still learning.

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