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

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

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

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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Posted (edited) · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...

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

I'm having the same issue with our S5.  It seems to be mostly one specific filament type (blue Matter Hackers PLA).  I'm curious what the S5 is actually checking since it mainly seems to be this one filament.  I've tested the friction in the Bowden tube, drag of the spool itself, cleaned the extruder, changed the extruder.  This filament is also having trouble "sticking" so I suspect the problem may be related.  During the print, the layers will separate.  If the printer pauses, it will most certainly result in a failed print due to layer separation. 

 

Since the printer is in a server room, the temperature is well regulated though if the cause were temperature variations, I'd expect it would affect more filaments.

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

I have this also on my fifth or so print on the unit and can't tell which extruder it thinks is having the issue.  I resume and it resumes without incident having wasted untold time because it keeps happening.

 

As such I have two observations...

 

One, why doesn't the warning message or app indicate which extruder it thinks is out?  That seems like a no-brainer.  I suppose the designers could have assumed that'd be self-evident but clearly in the case of false positives... it'd be really nice to know which extruder to investigate.  If it does indicate that somewhere, I missed it.

 

Two, why does the mobile app not use its notification power to tell you there's an issue?  It says when the print starts and when it'd done, but one would think it's self-evident that if there's an pause/issue it'd draw your attention to that.

 

Hopefully those two oversights will be addressed in the next firmware.

 

To get the print to keep going I turned off the flow sensor and of course the PVA snapped at the extruder when the print was about 80% done.  A flow sensor would have been very useful had I not had to disable it for constant false positives.

 

 

Ben

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

I actually upgraded to the new firmware over the weekend and in this case, it did not pause the print when my UM PVA stopped due to a ground down area.

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

I wondered if it was the firmware upgrade because it hadn't occurred before but did after the update.  But I didn't have enough prints to say with certainty either way.  Still it's so strange it neither says which one it thinks is out and that the app doesn't notify you when there is an issue.  I hope they address those oversights ASAP.

 

 

Ben

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

You can certainly disable the flow sensor if you want @BRLewitt.  It's in the menu system somewhere.

 

On the other hand it can be a lifesaver.  It matters how you feed the filament into the feeder - make sure you use the correct filament guide.

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

Oh yeah I did that, that was easy to find right on the screen, but then the PVA snapped when the print was about 80% done so the last 20% had no supports.  I'd prefer to have the run out sensor to detect run outs... but not trigger six or seven times when nothing is wrong.  I still don't know if it was the PLA or PVA extruder it thought was having issues either.

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...
25 minutes ago, gr5 said:

On the other hand it can be a lifesaver. 

If it works. Kinda killed one of my prints because it failed to do so.

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...
22 minutes ago, BRLewitt said:

I still don't know if it was the PLA or PVA extruder it thought was having issues either. 

When it gives that message, notice the position of the nozzle lever switch. If it points forward, it is happening on Extruder 1. If it points backwards, away from the front of the machine, it is extruder 2.

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Posted (edited) · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...

Oh that's an interesting work-around.  Thanks.  Still think it should say on this screen... and the app should alert you.

20181106_084458.thumb.jpg.683fcec9b18ef2565a5f11068d25fe34.jpg

Edited by BRLewitt

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

Sometimes taking the print core out and cleaning the inside of the print head out and putting the print core back in will fix the false empty material warnings. Had to do this myself the other week. 

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...
29 minutes ago, Carla_Birch said:

Sometimes taking the print core out and cleaning the inside of the print head out and putting the print core back in will fix the false empty material warnings. Had to do this myself the other week. 

And on top of this: Make sure your feeder itself is not filled with filament 'shavings' as this can lead to issues with your filaments and readings.

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...
47 minutes ago, kmanstudios said:

And on top of this: Make sure your feeder itself is not filled with filament 'shavings' as this can lead to issues with your filaments and readings.

Yep the rare times (2 times) i have come across this problem i have cleaned the printhead out, feeders and also taken the bowden tubes out from printhead and made sure to push them back in tight again also.

 

Keeping a printer clean makes for a happy printer, defo the front fan that sucks in a lot of fine hair like plastic that also then gets all over the print cores. This is why the printer maintenance tasks have you clean the printer every month and the print cores every 3 months. 

 

1081336520_Screenshot2019-05-20at20_06_22.thumb.png.7deb8f80fc809010ec8bcef206d64e63.png

 

Keeping on top of them tasks @nano-l is something to try and make a habit of checking and doing if you do not do so already.

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

We have also been having this same issue with our S5 that we purchased in December.  The machine says it is out of filament but there is a full spool.  I have been able to trouble shoot the issue with some luck.  I believe that the issue is actually in the print core.  We have a few different print cores, when this issue started we contacted our re-seller and made arrangements to send it back for service.  They cleaned the nozzle from what I understand, while the this core was out for repair / cleaning I ran one of our other 0.4mm AA cores without any issue.  After we got the repaired core back I switched back to that care to make sure it was working.  It worked fine for about 40 or 50 hours but then started throwing the same error again.  I then switch out the print cores again and it has been running perfectly without any incident.  After this issue initially started I checked the extruder and the flow sensor connections and everything checked out fine.  At one point I even disabled the flow sensor, to see if it would have any affect on the error.  It of course did not throw the error but the core began to under extrude and then just stopped extruding, all the while the extruder kept trying to push the filament and ground the filament generating quite the mess I had to clean up.  There is no way that the spool can be dragging I have it on a spool holder with bearings so it is very low friction.  At least in our case the only thing I can guess is that the thermistor may not be reporting the correct temp causing the filament not to flow correctly.  I have contacted our re-seller again and going to try and have this issue further diagnosed.  If you have a different print core you may want to try swapping them out and see if this resolves the error you ahve been getting.

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

Your problem is probably a clogged print core and you get the message from the filament sensor and if disabled, under extrusion. The sensor measures also the flow of the filament, not only if there is one or not. 

 

So you should clean your print core regularly with some hot/cold pulls and everything will be fine.

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

Normally I would agree with you on that, however I just got this print core back from Ultimaker.  We sent it off to them to have them clean it, because even after I cleaned it it still would not work so Ultimaker wanted to try and clean it.  When we got it back it ran fine for about 40 hours then it started to do the same thing again.  While it was out at UM getting worked on I ran one of our other 0.4mm AA cores and it just kept trucking.  This morning I finally aborted the print to change out the core because it would run for 5 minutes then it would stop throwing the error, I even did 9-10 hot pulls on it and about 6 cold pulls to make sure that it was clean.  Every time I would restart the print it would push filament out normally so that tells me it was not clogged, if it were it would not be pushing anything out?  however after changing the core to the spare it took off and printed without an issue and has not had any issues.  I have been on and off the phone with our re-seller trying to get this situated it would be interesting to see if this core would re-produce the issue on another printer.  

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

Oh!  I thought you were complaining about the flow sensor.  But I see you are complaining about a core.  Just get a new one.  They are consider "expendables".  Like filament.  Some of them are bad.  Usually I think there's something wrong with the teflon - maybe it wasn't cut long enough or the inner diameter is too large.

 

Maybe consider trying a 3dsolex core?  (disclaimer - I sell 3dsolex cores).  3dsolex has had many issues with a small percentage of cores and asked for "bad" ones back and researched all the issues and I think all 3dsolex cores work every time perfectly now.  Everything that could go wrong is now known (they've been selling cores for a few years) and inspected for.

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Posted (edited) · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...

I would just go get a new core how ever the machine was only about 3 months old when the issue with the print core started happening.  I am trying to get it warranty replaced, there is no reason a core should go bad after 3 months of lite use.  I barely have to change nozzles 6 months on my machines at home and they are considerably less expensive.  After I changed out the core the machine has run for about 21 hours now with out throwing an error.  So I am fairly sure that the core is the issue, at least in my case. 

 

And we have looked at the 3Dsolex, what I love about those are that they can be rebuilt.  I think when we have to replace the next core we will go with the Solex, at least that is what I am going to recommend.

Edited by Wallabear

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Posted (edited) · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...

Is there a way to know which extruder/core it thinks is having the problem?  Some hidden logging or something because it doesn't say on the screen and I honestly can't figure out why that is.

Edited by BRLewitt

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 - Constantly says it's out of filament, when it's not...
On 5/20/2019 at 12:38 PM, kmanstudios said:

When it gives that message, notice the position of the nozzle lever switch. If it points forward, it is happening on Extruder 1. If it points backwards, away from the front of the machine, it is extruder 2.

This ^^^^^

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

Ahh yes, thanks again for the reminder.  I guess I will just have to see if it happens again.

 

At this point that switch position data is lost to time (from the 6-7 times it paused during my last print before I got frustrated turned flow sensor off... each time resuming with no discernible issue or under extrusion).  I was hoping it was logged similarly to how print history seems to be.  It really would be nice to display it on the screen or have the app notify what's having the issue though.  Having to note switch position seems like an area that needs a bit of UI/UX polish.

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

I am having this issue. Using Nylon if that is relevant.  I unloaded and it does not recognize it is unloaded. Cancel, do it again, reload. and it does not realize it is loaded. Just keeps extruding without giving me the option of confirm until many, many feet have extruded. 

 

After reading all of the comments, it sounds like the sensor may be dirty and is not realizing when filament is loaded or unloaded. Any thoughts on that?

 

I am going to try to finish the print as I do not know if doing maintenance to the print core will cancel the print or not.

Filament load problem.JPG

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