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Trouble with Colorfabb White PLA

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Hi all! I've just gotten a batch of colorFabb PLA/PHA 2.85mm (White) for my Ultimaker 2 based on all the rave reviews.

When I print on my Ultimaker 2 Go (brand new! I'm so excited!) it prints like a dream. A little bit of stringing but not a big deal.

When I print on my Ultimaker 2, it printer really well in flat layers (although there is a bit of separation between the lines) but when it comes time to do uprights, all hell breaks loose. The layers start skipping and it gets really bad.

I've tried reading the troubleshooting guide, and the material guide, and the forums posts and set my nozzle temperature higher (227 or so) and that fuses the lines together on the flat runs, but doesn't make a difference when it comes time to do the uprights. I've done 210, 220, 225 and they all act the same. I also had some warping so I tried 60 and 65 on the calibration print, and I'm not seeing warping but I saw warping on a much bigger print, so I'm not sure if that's resolved. I did an atomic clean five times and we're good there. I also leveled my bed which might help the warping.

I'm using the standard calibration test print, so I don't know the Cura settings for it.

I have Robert's feeder on the Ultimaker 2, and I am having a small problem where I have to manually feed the filament past the motor, and guide it into the bowden with a file handle (this is new with the Colorfabb) so I'm not sure if Robert's feeder is adjusted right. I do have slight marks on the filament once it gets past the feeder, but not as deep as with the Ultimaker filament.

I'd sure love some advice. I'm scratching my head. This Colorfabb is AMAZING on my go! I'd love to have it working on the regular size Ultimaker!

Thanks!

Johnny

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What are "uprights"?

The pattern in your filament looks okay to me.

Anyway everywhere in your print I see underextrusion - the flat areas have holes in them indicating underextrusion and the most recent layer walls look very underextruded.

CAUSES FOR UNDEREXTRUSION AND HOW TO TEST FOR THEM AND REMEDY THEM

As far as underextrusion causes - there's just so damn many.  none of the issues seem to cause more than 20% of problems so you need to know the top 5 issues to cover 75% of the possibilities and 1/4 people still won't have the right issue.  Some of the top issues:

1) Print slower and hotter!  Here are top recommended speeds for .2mm layers (twice as fast for .1mm layers):

20mm/sec at 200C

30mm/sec at 210C

40mm/sec at 225C

50mm/sec at 240C

The printer can do double these speeds but with huge difficulty and usually with a loss in part quality due to underextrusion.  Different colors print best at quite different temperatures and due to imperfect temp sensors, some printers print 10C cool so use these values as an initial starting guideline and if you are still underextruding try raising the temp.  But don't go over 240C with PLA.

2) Isolator - this is most common if you've printed extra hot (>240C) for a few hours or regular temps (220C) for 100 hours.  It warps.  It's the white part touching the heater block.  Test it by removing it and passing filament though it by hand.

3) Curved filament at end of spool - if you are past half way on spool, try a fresh spool as a test.

4) curved angle feeding into feeder - put the filament on the floor -makes a MASSIVE difference.

5) Head too tight?  Bizarrely MANY people loosen the 4 screws on the head by just a bit maybe 1/2 mm and suddenly they can print just fine!  Has to do with pressure on the white teflon isolator.

5b) Bowden pushing too hard - for the same reason you don't want the bowden pushing too hard on the isolator.

5c) Spring pushing too hard.  Although you want a gap you want as small as possible a gap between teflon isolator and steel isolator nut such that the spring is compressed as little as possible.

6) clogged nozzle - the number one problem of course - even if it seems clear.  There can be build up on the inside of the nozzle that only burning with a flame can turn to ash and remove.  Sometimes a grain of sand gets in there but that's more obvious (it just won't print).  Atomic method (cold pull) helps but occasionally you need to remove the entire heater block/nozzle assembly and use flame.

7) Temp Sensor bad - even the good ones vary by +/- 5C and bad ones can be any amount off - they usually read high and a working sensor can fail high slowly over time.  Meaning the sensor thinks you are at 220C but actually you are at 170C.  At 170C the plastic is so viscous it can barely get out of the nozzle.  You can verify your temp sensor using this simple video at youtube - on you tube search for this: mrZbX-SfftU

8) feeder spring issues - too tight, too loose

9) Other feeder issues, one of the nuts holding machine together often interferes with the feeder motor tilting it enough so that it still works but not very well.  Other things that tilt the feeder motor, sleeve misaligned so it doesn't get a good grip.  Gunk clogging the mechanism in there.

10) Filament diameter too big - 3mm is too much.  3mm filament is usually 2.85mm nominal or sometimes 2.9mm +/- .05.  But some manufacturers (especially in china) make true 3.0mm filament with a tolerance of .1mm which is useless in an Ultimaker.  It will print for a few meters and then clog so tight in the bowden you will have to remove the bowden from both ends to get the filament out.  Throw that filament in the trash!  It will save you weeks of pain

10b) Something wedged in with the filament.  I was setting up 5 printers at once and ran filament change on all of them.  One was slowly moving the filament through the tube and was almost to the head when I pushed the button and it sped up and ground the filament badly.  I didn't think it was a problem and went ahead and printed something but there was a ground up spot followed by a flap of filament that  got jammed in the bowden tube.

11) Hot weather.  If air is above 30C or even possibly 25C, the air temperature combined with the extruder temperature can soften the filament inside the feeder such that it is getting squeezed flat as it passes through the feeder - this is obvious as you can see the problem in the bowden.  The fix is to add a desk fan blowing on the back of the printer.

12) Crimped bowden.  At least one person had an issue where the bowden was crimped a bit too much at the feeder and although the printer worked fine when new it eventually got worse and had underextrusion on random layers.  it's easy to pull the bowden out of the feeder end and examine it.

Edited by Guest
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Just wanted to let everyone know that my problem is solved! The problem was under extrusion due to the feeder. I've used Robert's feeder for a while now and have been happy, but I didn't pay much attention to the screw that holds the bearing assembly. As it turns out it was way too loose, and when the feeder motor spun, the bearing did not. So, the feeder wasn't feeding properly. Robert's feeder design is awesome, but I didn't understand how tight that bearing was supposed to be, but that's what it was. Now the Colorfabb is printing REALLY well!

Than you all!

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