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ttennebkram

Newb: trouble loading PLA for the first time

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Hello, I bought a pre-assembled unit which arrived yesterday.

I tried feeding the PLA up through the tube. Two hints for other newbs:

* I chose gray PLA as my first color, I think a brighter color would be easier to see and better while learning.

* I had to cut a bit of the outer wrapping off so I could see the transparent feed tube.

Issues:

* Is there a "feed procedure" to have the gears load the PLA? Or do you just jam it in there, all the way through?

* Although I see the filament on the other end by the print head, prints don't seem to work.

* When closing up the back feeding assembly, the black lever/latch doesn't seem to firmly hook or "snap" into place, which makes me wonder if I'm closing it correctly. It seems too loose? Although PLA finally came through, I'm not sure if it's from the gears or me pushing on it?

* Now I have a giant blob of PLA stuck on the nozzle, how do I clean it off? I let it cool, but rock hard. If I heat the head back up, what's a safe way to get it off? (clearly the first part didn't stick to the blue tape, so I've got to work on zeroing)

I wasn't able to find basic Day-1 info on loading PLA. Oddly, these Wiki pages don't explain it:

* "3D Printing Guide", "How To"

 

http://wiki.ultimaker.com/3D_printing_guide#How_To.27s

* "Newcomer guide to your first 3D print"

 

http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Newcomer_guid ... t_3D_print

Literally says "There is currently no text in this page."

I also tried Google and YouTube of course.

Thanks,

Mark

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Heat it up again and pull it off with tweezers or simply take a cloth or paper towel and gently wipe it off. Sounds to me like your feeder mechanism is too loose. You should see a track mark of the teeth on the filament. Give that bad boy a couple extra turns if you don't see those. That will tighten up your black latch lever.

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successful tightening seems to depend on the quality of the filament. In my case supposedly too thick filament caused the mechanism not to tighten properly an the feed mechanism to rub off material from the filament instead of pushing it towards the printer. So if you feed the printer electronically (eg. via the "extrude" function in the ulticontroller) be sure that the filament really moves. You check this by grabbing the filament just below where it enters to the feed mechanism (the wooden part) and check if it goes in or not. If it is blocked, don't tell the stepper motor to turn because otherwise it rubs off material and it gets a notch. This might cause problems when you print because less PLA is flowing through the nozzle.

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There should be a subtle release of tension as the cam in the lever engages itself, but it doesn't "click" or "latch" into place, if that makes sense at all. If it's tight all the way through and there's no release at the end you are probably too tight and the lever isn't getting to the break point in the cam, which holds it in place and maintains pressure. Are you seeing the track marks on your filament that has been through the feeder? If not, you are simply not getting enough pressure on the filament. If you are, you are likely having a slicing issue where you don't have the variables in the slice correctly aligned with the extruder/filament. Another test would be is the filament held in place when the cam latch is engaged (to the point you would have to muscle up to pull it out)? If not, you don't have enough pressure on the filament.

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Wow!!! Thank you Robert and Luis for the video. The thing it showed, which I had no idea, was that the top of the feed mechanism that's attached to the lever travels vertically. This should make a huge difference, and I I hope they link to that on the getting started pages, a very important "day 1" thing.

Still experimenting...

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Well, I sure have PLA feeding now. Various other problems...

When I tell Cura to cancel printing, PLA continues to extrude for several minutes. I have to go into manual mode on the control board and adjust the Z axis manually to keep a giant glob from forming and to make room so I can wipe it off.

Is it normal for PLA to keep going for several minutes after canceling? And how do you guys handle it?

I have to leave for tonight. Will resume later and start new topics if needed.

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I am not sure about the amount of PLA, but some emerges always after having stopped/finished the print. To wipe the glob off I usually wait until the next print, when the hotend is heated up again to print temperature, or I tell the printhead to go to home position and quickly remove the glob from the place the printhead has been, before it cool out.

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