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kmanstudios

Da Clumsy Noob proves he is still noobish in many ways

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Ok, so I have been fighting with my beloved UM3E. It just finished a really nice print the other day (Wednesday, and would not start of new print properly to save my life. I mean, I checked everything I knew to check. Sorta...turns out I overlooked something whilst fighting with the printer. Now, keep in mind, this was not a gradual decline. But literally from one print to the next.

 

It. Just. Would. NOT. Lay.Down.....A PROPER FRIGGIN' FIRST LAYER!! AAAuuuugggghhhhhh!!!!

 

OK. Now, with all the grinding and such that it was doing, I purchased new Bowden tubes. I also cleaned, and recleaned my feeder (it is a one colour job, so not involving the dreaded PVA), put in a new nozzle, changed buildplates, did a few manual levels, etc. I also considered that it could have been related to the change in environment. It finally got cool enough and dry enough to open the doors to my apartment and let it get some fresh air. It did cool enough that first night that I thought it may have hardened the filament enough to creat an issue with it unspooling and going through the bowden tubes easily. It was stiffer, but not so much as it came about. Turns out all of that was just serendipity. One must remember that correlation does not equal causation.

 

Tonight, I finally found the issue. And, dummy me, I had made this observation before, in a sort of way with the S5. It all has to do with heat distribution inside the printhead.

 

Tonight, I noticed the danged fan was not running. So, I cleaned it out and got it running again. Suddenly, no grinding, no bad first layers, Nothing amiss.

 

What I noticed is that when I would pull out the filament to clear the grinded areas, it was bent at the nozzle. This puzzled me, as a great many things do. But once I got the fan running, it all made sense.

 

Without the fan running, it was letting heat creep up the nozzle top. I dunno the proper nomenclature here, I just kinda feel my way through these things. But as it would creep up, it would soften the filament way to high up the nozzle and would not let it be pushed into the hotend. This is why it would start out ok and then putter out quickly during the brim and first layer.

 

The fans do more than cool the filament when depositing material. They keep a healthy ecosystem inside the printhead by allowing the areas that need to be cooled, stay cool and, the areas that need immediate cooling, around the nozzle tip to be cooled as well. But is also allows the hotend to keep the heat in the area that needs it.

 

Suddenly the clouds  part, a choir of printing angels filled my head and I have a wonderful, wonderful first layer going down.

 

Now for the bowden tubes. These bowden tubes are nearly 2 years old, and with all the grinding and such, I am sure they have taken a beating interiorly (And not just this week), so, I have no regrets about getting a new set for each printer.

 

But, sigh...it is always the simple things. That and I have been in major design mode lately and just printing and storing. I have so many prints backlogged it is crazy. But, I got too focused on one part of the printing experience and kinda let a few things slide.

 

Sometimes, the ol' if it ain't broke, don't fix it' thing is just an illusion. It was breaking and when it went, it went in a very tangible way.

 

So,:

DO NOT BE ME!! CLEAN YOUR MACHINES....duhhhhhhhhh

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Well, it's usually the pros that share like this, in just about any industry I've worked in.  They've figured things out to the point that they are already thinking past their experience to help out the next person. 

 

So thanks, but I think you need to not connect this to noobiness.  Yur setting the noob bar too friggin high man ?

 

We have a saying, 'there's them's that have, and them's that are about to'.   The older I get, the more I get to live both sides of that saying at the same time.....

 

Thanks again for the heads up.  Good advice.

 

John

 

 

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