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Suffering from constant clogging

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Posted (edited) · Suffering from constant clogging

Hello together,

I've got an Ultimaker 3 Extended and I'm suffering from constant nozzle clogging.

This is my current situation:

Printer: Ultimaker 3 Extended

Layer Height: 0,2 mm

Material 1: FormFutura EasyFil ABS (255 °C, AA Core)

Material 2: FormFutura LimoSolve HIPS (240 °C, AA Core) as Support

Printing Speed: 60 - 90 mm/s

Slicer: Simplify3D

Infill: 50%

Bed: 80 °C, BuildTak

Ultitop & Front Door

I'm printing large parts with a printing time between 10 and 20h, and at every second or third print, the nozzle (mainly Nozzle 1 with ABS) clogs. I've been printing a smaller part with ~ 6h for one week now and every single time the nozzle clogged.

I don't want to use Ultimaker ABS, because my customer needs more different colors than UM offers for ABS and I would really like to stay with one manufacturer of filament.

So far I've only heard good things from FormFutura, has anyone of you had some bad experience with it?

These are the actions I've taken so far against the clogging, with no result at all:

- place sponge in front of extruder to clean filament

- tried different extruder tensions

- oiling filament

- cleaning bowden tube

- cleaning extruder (complete disassembled & using compressed air)

- using temperatures between 240 - 270 °C (5 °C steps)

- slower printing

- replacing both printcores

So...  has anyone an other idea what I could do with this?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: I forgot to mention that I'm using a German RepRap X400 since two days for the same work. It's got a Direct Drive (DD3) and I'm using FormFutura (1,75 mm) ABS there, too. So far no issues with that one, so I'm pretty sure it's not the filament itself.

Edited by Guest
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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    Ug. Well I'm biased as I sell these but I'd buy a 3dsolex hardcore with swappable nozzles so you don't have to throw away a print core - that way you can take the nozzle out and clean it or worst case just throw away the nozzle.

    So ABS will bake into a kind of gum if it gets too hot for too long. 255C for 10 minutes should be plenty to make a core useless. Only fix is to take it apart which is difficult as these are delicate. Or buy a new one. So I recommend sticking closer to the 240C end of the range. 270C is just asking for trouble. But if you go any cooler than 240C (and even at 240C) it's hard to get good layer bonding and your parts can look and feel fine but they are actually quite weak along layer boundaries. So ABS has a narrow printing temp range (unlike PLA). This is reason #16 and #17 why ABS is not an easy material to work with.

    If you are doing dual materials with HIPS then you want the cool temperature of ABS to be way down near 200C. or lower. I don't have enough experience with this to know - I've only done one dual filament ABS print on UM2 and it came out fine - I didn't touch the profile temps. But if ABS is sitting at say 220C for a few minutes while printing HIPS it *might* clog. Probably not at 220C for just 5 minutes but still... did you use the default profile temps for ABS cool down temp?

    Anyway your clogs might have nothing to do with this if you are printing at 240C. It might be that it's grinding for other reasons. I really doubt your problem is dust. It's more likely that you are creating clogs because ABS is too hot for too long or grinding for other reasons. You could just be printing it a bit too fast or with too many retractions. You don't want the same piece of filament going through the feeder over and over more than 10 times or so. Typically PLA has issues around 20 times through the feeder so limiting that to 10 is good for PLA. I would expect ABS to be slightly more flexible and less likely to grind up so I would expect it could also handle 10X through the feeder but some prints like vornoi and all kinds of prints sometimes have excessive retractions so check that as well.

    Anyway... some things to think about.

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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    Oh. Why ABS? I guess my first advice would be to stay away from ABS. If you need high temp materials maybe consider ngen? ABS is harder to print and it tends to be weaker than PLA. It warps and shrinks more. It creates bad fumes while printing. If you need a higher glass temp material there are other options - nGen from colorfab is a good intermediate glass temp material - higher glass temp (not as high as ABS or nylon) but still easy to print like PLA. Not sure if it works with pva or hips though.

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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    Does 80C bed work okay with buildtak? I find with larger ABS parts I need a bed temp of at least 100C. 105C is better. Otherwise the corners tend to warp/lift off the glass.

    Also I hope you use a front cover and top cover to keep the air warm. This has nothing to do with clogging though. And keep the fan at 1% or you will get bad layer bonding.

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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    Oh! S3D! Does S3D lower the temp of the non-printing nozzle? That is a critical feature of Cura.

    Also consider printing at half the speed you have been printing. If you print too fast you get high pressures in the nozzle and that can cause grinding. For a .4mm nozzle a safe volume (for testing) would be 3 cubic mm/sec.

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    Posted (edited) · Suffering from constant clogging


    thanks for the answers! I've ordered two 3DSolex yesterday (even at your gr5store, as the printer and me are in the US ;) ), I hope it will not only make the unclogging easyier but also prevent the clogging due to its nozzle geometry without loosing printing speed.

    I have to use ABS because the parts will be used as templates for manufacturing processes where we suppose they might fall down to the floor sometimes. In a couple of tries we have figured out that PLA just breaks to easy for that.

    I haven't tried NGen yet, but I'll give it a try if nothing else helps. But we have already lots of big FF spools in stock, so I really would prefer to use them.

    I have figured out that 80 °C with BuildTak is for my application the right thing. The ABS bonds really strong to it, I have nearly no issues with warping (I got a cover and door, of course). If i go hotter with the build plate, the HIPS supports close to the plate get soft and this occurs in high warping of supported areas.

    I can use idle temperatures in S3D, but I haven't done yet. As you told me, it would really make sense to use them, I'll try this now.

    Thank you!

    Edited by Guest
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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    Have you looked at other Ultimaker materials?

    There is a wide range of materials, which covers a lot of applications. If you stick to Ultimaker materials, and Ultimaker software (Cura), you will get the most out of your printer. In most cases no tuning is necessary, leading to a hassle free experience.

    And yes, Ultimaker materials are more expensive than many other materials. Not necessarily because they are better, but because there's 6 FTE working on these materials and their printing profiles.

    Of course I am preaching for the choir (I work for Ultimaker).

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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    So, using idle temperatures didn't solve my problem.

    But printing with 50% speed does!

    But honestly this really feds me up as I'm with 2,7 mm³/s now (before: 5,4 mm³/s with constantly clogging) and the datasheet sheet says there are 16 mm³/s.

    For this order of my customer I have calculated with 10 mm³/s before I had an UM and was going to buy a second, to get the job done in the time.

    So this now means I'm going to need 8? I'm kind of disappointed with this datasheet...

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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    It also depends on what material you use.

    In order for all of the material in your print core to melt (and be ready for extrusion), there is an ideal combination of settings (print speed and temperature) necessary. With PLA for example, you have a lot more room above the 'default' temperature (210ºC) to use which means you can also increase speed.

    ABS is already quite high on the max temperature, and therefore you can't print as fast. Besides that, printing slower allows for better layer bonding, which means less chance of delamination. So slower is usually better for ABS.

    If you are just looking for temperature resistance or strength, there are also alternatives which might get you closer to 16mm3/s.

    Printing with .4 print core, at 50mm/s and 200 micron means 4mm3/s, which is still no 16, but higher that 2.7 and should be doable.

    Have you tried printing at 300 micron or considered a .8 print core?

    I am not really familiar with s3D, so I don't know how optimized the profiles are. Perhaps (but again, dunno) Cura would allow you to print faster. Like Tom said, we do invest significant resources in optimizing Cura and its (Ultimaker) material profiles.

    Good luck!

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    Posted · Suffering from constant clogging

    Well when you get your hardcore you can try the .8 nozzle and do .3mm or .4mm layer height. I just did a print with .3mm layer height and .8mm nozzle and I'm kind of amazed that the layers are not all that more noticable than .1mm layers.

    By the way when you use a .8mm profile I suggest you:

    1) turn off retraction on layer change (that caused problems for me - major underextrusion on the wall near the back right corner where layer change happens by default)

    2) Allow it to do two passes (default settings) even when wall width is .8m (although enough fiddling and setting wall line width to 1.0mm helped)

    3) Increase all line widths to 0.8 ( I think default is .75)

    4) Set infill speeds (actually all printing speeds) to be the same value. I had problems where the speed changes was ruining the infill

    5) Consider .3mm layer height - prints faster and still nice looking.

    Also I found the new variable infill to be pretty amazing speed up for some of my parts but you have to play with it and look at the layer view carefully. But it saved another 10%. I was able to get my print which like yours are mechanical and functional and don't need to be pretty from 2 hours down to 30 minutes by fiddling with a lot of things. But it took 10 prints to finally get the right settings for my particular part.

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    Posted (edited) · Suffering from constant clogging

    I'm impressed!

    The quality with the 0.8 Hardcore at 0.3 layer height is nearly not recognizable worse than with 0.4 nozzle at 0.2 layer!

    No sign of clogging so far at 7.2 mm³/s, I think I'll be able to even increase that.

    Whenever I get the confirmation for the next UM3 by my boss, I'll order an other set of hardcores just in time.

    By the way thanks for all the tools that come with it!

    Edited by Guest
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