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Difference between AA 0.4 and BB 0.4 nozzle

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Hey,

We have a bunch of Ultimaker Extended 3s. Two of the seven we have, can't print the support material since the BB0.4 nozzle is clogged. 

It is really difficult to poke the clogged PLA out of the nozzle. We have 7 extra AA0.4 extruders that might never be used. I was wondering what the difference is between the two extruders. Is it the PCB board on the back that's different or is the nozzle different too? The nozzles have AA0.4 and BB0.4 mentioned on them.(pic attached). Could I swap the BB nozzle and use the AA nozzle instead? 

Thanks.

IMG_20180126_200026.jpg

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The BB core is slightly different in the internal geometry for the PVA exclusively. I would not know how well the AA core would print it, but what have you got to lose?

 

As for the BB core being clogged, well, PVA can be challenging. I have to regularly do a series of hot and cold pulls to clear it out as no matter how dry I keep the filament, there is always some carbon burn off that builds up inside.

 

During the hot and cold pulls I will build my temps up from about 230°C to about 260°C while pumping the cleaning filament (Any spare filament will do, you do not necessarily need cleaning filament) in a plunging fashion. Then pull it out, clip the tip to sharpen it a bit then do a series of hot pulls and then a cold pull. Make sure that during the hot pulls you do not leave it in more than 2 seconds. I usually do two 'Mississippi's'. This will give it enough time to bond a bit and not just melt and leave junk inside the core. After several of those, I do a cold pull. Lighter colored filaments or the cleaning filament is best to clean with as you can see the junk better.

 

Once I do a cold pull, I will then heat the core up again, but a bit higher and plunge and push filament through, and then hot pulls and cold pulls.

 

Rinse and repeat until no longer pulling colored gunk out of the core. It takes a bit if you have let it go too long, but worth it.

 

And, as I said, you can give the AA cores a shot. But I think the machine may not be happy about it.

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If you really want you can program the AA core to think it's a BB core.  UM seems to think it will clog more easily but like kman says - what do you have to lose?

 

If you want to disassemble your core to get at the nozzle more easily or to swap nozzles (with what though?) then here is a video instructing you how to do this that I created:

If you want to make your AA cores think they are BB (otherwise the printer refuses to send PVA through it) then here are instructions:

Frist put your UM3 into developer mode - it's in the menus on the UM3.  Your machine needs to be on your network (wifi or ethernet) if it isn't already.  Once it's on the network it will show the IP address at the top of the main screen.

Next you need ssh which is built into linux and Macintosh terminal but not windows.  For windows I recommend putty:
https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html

In putty you don't type the "ssh" part but just put the ultimaker@111.222.333.444 part and click "open".

ssh ultimaker@1.2.3.4  (don't enter 1.2.3.4 - enter the ip address listed on your UM3)
username/password:   
ultimaker/ultimaker   (much easier than root/ultimaker as it takes you straight into the utility to do sendgcode)

Choose the type and size from the list below - T0 is left slot and T1 is right slot so before running any of these make sure the core you want to program is in the left slot if it will be AA and in the right slot if it will be BB

After programming the core, slide it out and back into the slot at which point the UM3 will re-read the eeprom and realize it's new state.  The software that does X,Y,Z offset calibrations for a core goes by serial number and that can't be changed so you shouldn't lose any calibration data when you do the below changes.

AA 0.4

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3400000000

BB 0.4

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3400000000

AA 0.8

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3800000000

BB 0.8

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3800000000

AA 0.25

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3235000000

BB 0.25

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3235000000

AA 0.4

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3400000000

BB 0.4

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3400000000

AA 0.6

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3600000000

BB 0.6

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3600000000

AA 0.8

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3800000000

BB 0.8

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3800000000

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Or the extremely kugey way would be to leave it as it is, manually select PLA, but use temps and such for PVA.

 

Be aware though that PLA temps are lower and would therefore give you difficulties if you tried to move the material using the command on the printer.

 

The above way that @gr5 posted is the best way to go. But I do not know how comfortable you are with getting that deep into your machines innards.

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The difference is that the AA core has an internal structure that allows the material to 'pool up'. This reduces the oozing by a lot. PVA however, does not like being pooled up and will clog up the AA nozzles. The BB nozzles are a lot more straight so pooling wil not occur, but it results in a lot more oozing.

Edited by WesleyE

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Thank you for the response, everyone.

On 1/27/2018 at 1:33 PM, gr5 said:

AA 0.4

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3400000000

BB 0.4

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3400000000

Honestly, I wouldn't know how to go about doing this. So it wasn't my first instinct.

 

Although, I did run a test print and I've attached the print quality.

Just to be very clear, I did not swap out the entire extruder assembly. I only used the hot end (the nozzle) from the AA0.4, all the other parts belonged to BB0.4

 

The print came out fine. It wasn't as bad. Will print a few more parts and see how far it goes without screwing up.

IMG_20180128_165047.jpg

IMG_20180128_165617.jpg

IMG_20180128_165622.jpg

IMG_20180128_165632.jpg

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I agree, the internal geometry of the AA nozzle is so that it has some shoulders that work in regular build materials advantage because there is less oozing. With PVA it has the opposite effects, it ensures that some PVA stays in the nozzle for too long and will get burned and clogs your nozzle. 

 

Personally, I would prefer to give you better/more tips on how to unclog your BB core. That way you can use your print cores as how they are intended and it is much more of a scalable solution. Could you describe what you have done so far in an attempt to unclog them?

 

Have you tried cleaning filament? It is filament which has the tendency to grip burned material better than others and works better for hot/cold pulls. 

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On 2018/1/28 at 2:33 AM, gr5 said:

If you really want you can program the AA core to think it's a BB core.  UM seems to think it will clog more easily but like kman says - what do you have to lose?

 

If you want to disassemble your core to get at the nozzle more easily or to swap nozzles (with what though?) then here is a video instructing you how to do this that I created:

If you want to make your AA cores think they are BB (otherwise the printer refuses to send PVA through it) then here are instructions:

Frist put your UM3 into developer mode - it's in the menus on the UM3.  Your machine needs to be on your network (wifi or ethernet) if it isn't already.  Once it's on the network it will show the IP address at the top of the main screen.

Next you need ssh which is built into linux and Macintosh terminal but not windows.  For windows I recommend putty:
https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html

In putty you don't type the "ssh" part but just put the ultimaker@111.222.333.444 part and click "open".

ssh ultimaker@1.2.3.4  (don't enter 1.2.3.4 - enter the ip address listed on your UM3)
username/password:   
ultimaker/ultimaker   (much easier than root/ultimaker as it takes you straight into the utility to do sendgcode)

Choose the type and size from the list below - T0 is left slot and T1 is right slot so before running any of these make sure the core you want to program is in the left slot if it will be AA and in the right slot if it will be BB

After programming the core, slide it out and back into the slot at which point the UM3 will re-read the eeprom and realize it's new state.  The software that does X,Y,Z offset calibrations for a core goes by serial number and that can't be changed so you shouldn't lose any calibration data when you do the below changes.

AA 0.4

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3400000000

BB 0.4

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3400000000

AA 0.8

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3800000000

BB 0.8

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3800000000

AA 0.25

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3235000000

BB 0.25

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3235000000

AA 0.4

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3400000000

BB 0.4

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3400000000

AA 0.6

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3600000000

BB 0.6

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3600000000

AA 0.8

sendgcode M151 T0 A8 D7800000000004141
sendgcode M151 T0 A16 D20302E3800000000

BB 0.8

sendgcode M151 T1 A8 D7800000000004242
sendgcode M151 T1 A16 D20302E3800000000

if do this, make a HardCore 3Dsolex into thinking its a .25core and set UM3 back from developer mode, the HardCore will show up as a .25core in CURA and stays that way until i change it again right?

 

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By the way, I don't recommend taking apart your core, @gr5 has hundreds of hours of experience under his belt with that, and there are parts that are easy to break if you dissemble. If the PVA has sorta glassed in there, trying to get it reamed out of there with hand tools will be frustrating and not that succesful. So your best bet is using the heater cartridge as still assembled to get things moving again. And keep @kmanstudios 's best practices in mind for backing out material from the core in mind for the future. 

 

I'd suggest trying to cleaning examples above, grab cleaning sticks if you can (or us a high-temp warpy material like PC if you have some handy) 

 

Where are you physically located? Just in case there are folks on the ground local to you who might have some tricks up their sleeves to help.

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Just some extra info for people having spare AA cores but a shortage on BB cores:

The AA core differs from the BB core by its internal shape; the AA core is staged to reduce oozing where the BB is smooth to prevent clogging (but oozes a bit more).

 

Using PVA in an AA core is strongly discouraged! Because of the internal sharp edge shape there is a small space where material will remain longer, PVA will start to carbonate there. Once carbonated material is in place it will catalyze the process and carbonate even more material quickly.

 

What you can do is to convert an AA 0.4 nozzle to a BB 0.6 nozzle: use a 0.6 drill to increase the extruder diameter. This will remove (part of) the stage in the AA nozzle, making it smoother, and also the larger diameter will help to extrude small clogs before they can accumulate and block the nozzle.

Use the above listed procedures to modify the printcore's electronics to report as the new nozzle type.

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On 2/21/2018 at 7:25 PM, ultradryan said:

if do this, make a HardCore 3Dsolex into thinking its a .25core and set UM3 back from developer mode, the HardCore will show up as a .25core in CURA and stays that way until i change it again right?

Right.  I mean this is not the standard way to do things and Ultimaker will never condone this.  But if you are an engineer or a hacker and aren't afraid of modifying stuff then this works great.  

 

After you modify the eeprom on the core you have to remove it and re-insert it for the UM3 to notice.

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2 hours ago, BDub said:

Does anyone know how well Breakaway will print from the BB print core?  I'd like to avoid having to buy a second AA just to use breakaway.

You should have gotten a second AA core when you bought your machine.....did something happen to it?

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All UM3 machines were shipped with 3 nozzles: 2x AA and 1x BB, exactly for your use case. Please double check that you didn't store that extra AA core somewhere.
 

That said, the AA and BB cores are almost identical, except for the shape of the last part of the extrusion channel. Using a BB-material in an AA core will cause major problems as described in posts above.  The other way around, a BB-core can be used for anything the AA core can print, except that it will ooze a bit more. Try and see for yourself if the results are acceptable.

 

Summary:

- BB can print anything but oozes a bit more.

- AA oozes less but don't try to use materials like PVA in it !

Edited by CarloK

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3 hours ago, BDub said:

 

My machine (U3ex) came with the PLA and BB.4 print core.

That is not right. Did you purchase new or used? If new, I suggest that you contact your reseller. That is a good chunk of change. If used, who knows what they did with or, to the machine before you got it.

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17 hours ago, kmanstudios said:

That is not right. Did you purchase new or used? If new, I suggest that you contact your reseller. That is a good chunk of change. If used, who knows what they did with or, to the machine before you got it.

 

I meant PVA earlier, but yes it was bought new.  I also purchased an AA.2 nozzle at the that time, ao I do have three, but I do not recall ever having to AA .4s.  I will check this evening to be certain.

 

@CarloK - thanks for the info.  I will give it a go then.

Edited by BDub

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