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CMonster

Ultimaker S5 Flow Sensor Not Reliable

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My issue is is related to this issue but not identical and nothing posted to that thread has solved my problem.

 

 

I have a new Ultimaker S5. Whenever I print a largish print, the S5 will pause the print occasionally because the filament flow sensor detected the filament is out when it is not out. If I continue printing sometimes it continues for a long time sometimes for a short time. If I swap out filament with the same roll it goes a bit longer usually. If I swap it out for a new roll it usually completes. I have noticed this happens more often when the filament is half empty. I am only using Ultimaker PLA filament. I have mostly used blue filament. I have tried to clean the sensor and have upgraded the firmware. I will do that all again today. I will also try different colors. I could turn off the flow sensor but that is one of the primary reasons I purchased the printer and it is an expensive printer and should work. Is this a known issue or does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

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Hi and welcome!

 

This can have several reasons, but it seems to me, that there is no failure or problem with the filament sensor, but there is a problem with your filament spool. When it comes to the end, the spool has more friction than a new spool has and the radius of the material is smaller than with a fresh spool. 

 

So, I think without the filament sensor you would probably get some under extrusions. 

The filament sensor doesn't just check if there is a filament in the feeder, it also checks if the filament is actually moving forward to guarantee the needed flow at the nozzle.

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I have wondered the exact same thing. Often times I see the filament has moved from print head 1 to print head 2 spot on the spool holder. I used a clamp to hold it in place but this didn't help. If this is the case, then this is a problem with the spool holder because I am using only Ultimaker equipment and filament. Are there any suggestions for better spool holders? I have to say, I am very unimpressed with the Ultimaker filament spool holders and have been tempted to replace it as I did on my Taz but figured there must be something I'm missing.

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I tend to run into a lot of things that others don't. None of my friends have run into these issues either.

 

I use the additional arm sometimes, sometimes not. I personally don't like it. It doesn't fit non Ultimaker filament and it's rather clunky. I have been following all the directions and using Ultimaker filament and using the print arm (most of the time) butI haven't noticed a difference as it has paused the print even with it on.

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Ultimaker PLA, I've been printing mostly with the blue lately. When I first got the printer I printed a couple rolls of silver, orange and then blue. I think there's something to the binding issue Smithy mentioned above. I will try a few test and report back. I've been printing all morning with the spool holder arm for position 1 in place without issues. Maybe I thought it was random and that's all it is. I hope that's the case 🙂

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It just happened again right before my eyes with the spool holder arm in place. I thought it had done it before with the arm. There was no unusual tension or friction on the spool that I could tell. I suppose it's possible that the arm caused the filament to bind in the little hole. I'm really surprised that nobody has experienced this and that nobody thinks it could be a faulty flow sensor.

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Have you taken the feeder off and cleaned it out? Grinding may have made it to where it no longer grips if the knurled wheel is fouled with filament dust.

 

Have you taken the bowden tube off and cleaned it out to make sure there is not dust in it to help create more friction?

 

Have you considered that you may need to increase the feeder tension just a slight bit? Do the above first, then try to increase the feeder tension.

 

 

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Note that this is a tangent issue about the spool holder and non-Ultimaker filament: I have been running a Taz 5 for years and more recently a few Ultimaker 3 Extendeds and now the Ultimaker S5. I really like the Verbatim filament, but the roll is too large for the spool holder.

 

Attached are photos you asked for. I made a roll around enclosure for the Taz so now it's on the lower shelf which is very inconvenient and will move once I cleanup a few other things in the garage. The last photo is a comparison between the Ultimaker filament that works, and the Verbatim filament that does not. I should also specify, the Ultimaker spool holder does not hold a 1kg filament. You might be referring to 750g filaments, which is will of course hold just fine. But I find the cost of the Verbatim to be super and the quality to be excellent.

IMG_0954.jpg

IMG_0955.jpg

IMG_0956.jpg

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Last night I ran a couple jobs that were about an hour. One I mentioned above stopped. If I tugged on the filament it moved fine but there wasn't enough on the spool to really need the spool so I pulled the entire thing off. You can see that in the photo in my previous post. The next job ran fine. I'm about to run another job and see if the flow sensor actually works when the filament runs out. Assuming that all works then I will follow @kmanstudios steps.

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I also really don't like 2 spools on one holder, it's just an annoyance imho. But just like on any Ultimaker you can just hang spools from the side, much easier to reach as well. I don't care about not having the printer read the nfc chip of the spool, as at least half the time I use non nfc spools anyhow. And indeed with some bigger spools, like the 1 Kg spools from extrudr, It wouldn't fit otherwise.

 

Basically I use this thing attached to a piece of wood...

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:235925

 

image.thumb.png.627d1497efd7d17f52f4bbc1e4cbb0c5.png

 

edit; and btw I never have any false positives from the filament detection.

 

Edited by ultiarjan
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I am 100% sure the problem I am having is not caused by extra friction. I just ran a print and the flow sensor triggered pausing the print twice when there was only a foot or so of filament stickup out the back of the printer with no spool involved. I took the everything apart, feeder, bowden tube, every last bolt and part laying on the floor cleaned and reassembled. I will see maybe tomorrow or Thursday if it fixed the problem. There was a bit of dust in the feeder box, but not a lot. The tube was clean. Nothing was on the sensor.

 

At this point if I had to venture a guess I have a faulty sensor.

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