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Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...

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Hi there,

 

My company bought an Ultimaker S5 to compliment some other 3D printers we have.

 

Whilst the S5 works great overall - we are having a major problem whereby the machine constantly says it's run out of filament and pauses the print... yet there is plenty of filament left on the spool.

 

Not only this - but in the actual machine settings/overview on the display - it says there are many tens of meters of filament left!

 

I am wondering if this is a software issue as the machine obviously knows it has meters of filament left... yet somehow thinks it has run out.

 

Could someone please advise what to troubleshoot? We have lost several days worth of prints as many of our prints are 15hr+ and run overnight... meaning that if the machine stops, it won't be resumed until the next day... and may even stop again, and again, and again...

 

We updated to the 5.1.7.20181023 firmware yesterday and there was no change in behaviour. I am happy to upload any required log files, etc.

 

Thank you!

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Hi and welcome here!

 

The filament sensor on the S5 also checks if the filament is moving through the feeder, so if your spool, for example, has a too much friction or the filament itself cannot unspool for whatever reason, then the sensor detect these issues. The sensor doesn't (as far as I know) use the counter - how much filament is still on the spool.

 

You could try to find out which spool/feeder causes the error. Do you have this behavior also when you just print with ToughPLA and without PVA? Could be that the PVA has absorbed too much moisture and got too soft. PVA is very hygroscopic, so store it always dry and remove the spool if you don't need it.

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One of the things I do when I get that error is to check the spool first to see if it comes off the spool with no force....an easy pull.

 

If that is the case, I then pull the filament through the bowden tube at the nozzle end. To do this, pull off the Collette ring and press down to release the bowden tube and pull the tube out of the nozzle. Release the filament lock and pull on the filament at the nozzle end.

 

This will let you see if there is any friction in the tube that prevents it from being fed easily. Usually, I will find a grind in the filament if it got temporarily stuck, as @Smithy mentioned. This grinding will create ridges in the filament and that creates friction. And, depending on the filament used, you then may have 'dust' build up in the bowden tube. Some filaments are just really easy to cut loose and build up the particles in the bowden tube. This can also be an issue no matter what filament you use if it has grinded a bit.

 

If it pulls easily, then at least that did not happen. But, also look in the tube to see if there are dust particles in there.

 

And, as mentioned above, the PVA can actually 'noodle up' in the feeder and that will cause it to stop.

 

While it is a bit of an oversight for the software to not tell you what filament is the issue, you can see it in the nozzle position. If you are using two extruders then when the swing arm that actuates the position of extruder 2 is facing to the back of the machine, it is activated and that is the filament to check.

 

If the swing arm is pointing to the front of the machine, it is extruder 1 that is having an issue.

 

Edit: Oh yeah, check to make sure your fan is working as well as that can cause an issue with the filament just getting heat creep into the nozzle thereby plugging up the nozzle. That drove me nuts until I realize the fan was not running. Once I got it running again (basic cleaning and pulling fine filament strays out) it worked as expected.

Edited by kmanstudios
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