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Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues


StefanF
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Posted (edited) · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

SOLVED! 

Symptoms: Printing starts nicely, but after a short time the printhead is blocked and no material rendered any more. 
Issue: Axial fan (the front fan) was blocked by debris, thus the feed in the printhead would overheat and the material would get to soft. 

Analysis: Start your Ultimaker, go to System -> Printheads -> Temperature and set the temperature to roughly 50°. Verify whether the front fan is activated. If not, this is your problem.
Solution: Cleaning out the axial fan using tweezers; to do so, you might have to dismantle the printhead. 

Resources:

* How to exchange the axial fan: https://support.ultimaker.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012826479-Replace-the-axial-fan-of-the-Ultimaker-3

* Guide on other possible issues causing the symptoms: https://support.ultimaker.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012112739-How-to-fix-feeder-issues
* The fan's serial number (in case you have to exchange it) changed, the original one is not in production anymore (at least the one in my Ultimaker). The currently (end of 2020) available one is MF35100V2-A99-A from SUNON.

 

ORIGINAL POST: 

 

Hello,

 

My Ultimaker 3 has been printing nicely for quite some time, but the Feeder 1 is currently not forwarding enough material, only dropping occasional dots of PLA. Usually, it starts out nicely, with e.g. borderlines printed properly. But after minutes, it clogs up and doesn't print any more. 

 

I already tried to clean the print head, cleaned the feeder itself incl. dismantling it, cleaning it out and putting it back together, and I also changed the material. I also tried to change the pressure of the feeder, all to no avail so far. I did only a visual check of the bowden tube, there doesn't seem to be any debris creating additional friction. 

 

Sometimes the feeder really grinds into the material, and you see where it was blocked, but quite often it also is only having slight signs of having been blocked (just a bit of additional material taken away, no full grind). 

 

I'm a bit lost what might be the reason, anyone has had such stubborn levels of non-feeding already? 

 

Thanks for your help!

Stefan

Edited by StefanF
Making the solution visible immediately for anyone with similar issues.
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    Posted · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

    Hi @StefanF,

     

    since this happen after some time printing, I'll think this is maybe due to a faulty/partly blocked front fan (hot end cooling fan).  As lack of this fan gradually increase the temperature at the "cold" upper part of the heat block and make filament become soft here before entering the heater (so it will create a lot of additional load for the feeder)..

     

    Check this fan..

     

    Thanks

    Torgeir

     

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    Posted · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

    Hi @Torgeir,

     

    that's a very promising lead! There actually was some PLA residue inside (mostly threads); I removed what I saw but didn't really think about it too much, so there might be enough left to block it. Do you have some hints how to clean that fan best? 

     

    Thanks

    Stefan

     

     

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    Posted (edited) · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

    Great, hmm -you might look more closely with a good light and see if there is more that's locking the fan from rotating.

    If you can't find the problem this way, it might be easier for you this way:

    So here's a video made by @fbrc8-erin if needed to open the extruder unit:

     

     

    Good luck

    Thanks

    Torgeir

    Edited by Torgeir
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    Posted · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

    Hey, 

    I guess you were right. I went to System -> Printhead -> Fans and ramped up the fans - the front fan wouldn't move. The video is awesome, I already disassembled it with this guideline, which is also nice: 

    https://support.ultimaker.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012826479-Replace-the-axial-fan-of-the-Ultimaker-3
    Currently, I'm removing lots of fine PLA threads from it using tweezers. Hope that helps 🙂

     

    Thanks!

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    Posted · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues
    2 hours ago, StefanF said:

    Hey, 

    I guess you were right. I went to System -> Printhead -> Fans and ramped up the fans - the front fan wouldn't move.

     

    That menu does not control the front fan. That menu controls the side fans.

    The front fan is controlled by the firmware and will automatically run when the nozzle is at 50 C.

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    Posted · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

    Interesting, then I'll put it back in (it's fairly clean by now) and heat up the print core to see what happens. Thanks for the tip!

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    Posted · Ultimaker 3 Feeding Issues

    It's printing again. I owe the two of you big time! 

    If anyone from the official FAQ is monitoring these topics - this would be a nice extension to https://support.ultimaker.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012015880

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