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Ultimaker in Africa - materiel feeding issue

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Just in the last 2 days my impressively reliable, upgraded, UM2+ has been suffering from feeding problems, with the feed stepper grinding the filament. The filament spool is well aligned with no pull on the material and I have been printing at 60mm/s at 210C.

I have had an acupuncture needle up the nozzle and done an atomic cleanout. There are no blockages and when I pull the filament out it's the perfect shape you would expect. I have increased and decreased the tension on the feeding stepper, and the feeding happens fine if the filament does not go into the hot-end, so it seems to be pressure related. I then upped the print temperature (230C), as well as tried it lower and it did get a little better, but stringing was a real problem to start with. Finally, I found that if I helped the feeding along with pushing the filament into the stepper by hand it fed fine as well.

So my only thought then is that the printer is fine but it's a material problem. But, 3 spools of PLA have the same problem, All the spools have been used in the last few days without a problem. The only thing I could think of then was ambient temperature as it has become a bit hotter in the last few days.

I then put the spool in the fridge for a while, and I got a reasonably good few layer out. I added a fan to the back of the printer and again, a few good layers.

I used to live in the UK where the ambient temperature was rarely about 25, now I'm in southern Africa where it gets to 35 easily.

I haven't tried nGen material yet, but I'm a bit confused and I use a lot of PLA.

Is it likely that the PLA is softening enough to be causing a feed problem?

Those of you that print in warmer climates, what steps do you take?

I was thinking of a funnel strapped to the front of a desk fan to just cool the material as it goes into the feeder?

Any help much appreciated.

Edited by Guest

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Hi Nigel, it could be a combination of things creating your problems but there is a feeding solution that will give you a lot more headroom before other factors limits the feeding and it is our DualDrive feeder that does not grind or slip on the filament.

Here is a summary explaining how they work: https://ultimaker.com/en/community/33674-the-bondtech-extruders

We have many happy Ultimaker customers all around the world.

With best regards


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I only upgraded to the 2+ about 3 months ago, and only been printing the last month, the PTFE coupler is brand spanking new. I have also been through several checklists regarding under-extrusion as well. The only thing I haven't done is put the spool on the floor.

I'll have a think of a cooling option. Maybe air con is required sooner than expected, and a draft hood for the printer.

I'll check out the feeder as well.

Edited by Guest
Missed a bit

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