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Filament age / Bottom layer quality


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Posted · Filament age / Bottom layer quality

Hi everybody, I just got my hands on an Ultimaker 2 sitting in an attic for about five years, together with several spools of PLA filament. After some cleaning and greasing I got the printer to print again, but I do have problems with the bottom layer, it has space between the lines of PLA. Bed adhesion is good, I leveled the bed again and let very small room between nozzle and bed, but still got the issue.


My question is: Can this be a result of the material which is over 5 years old? Does PLA age?

The top layer is of good quality, no holes in there.


I just want to avoid to spend to much time if the solution is to get rid of all the old PLA.


Thanks, Chris


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    Posted · Filament age / Bottom layer quality

    Looks like underextrusion to me. I'd start by checking that the nozzle is clean and also, probably more likely, check the status of the PTFE coupler. On the old UM2s that part was quite often the problem:



    If it's worn out, replace it with the newer TFM (PTFE vs TFM is simply the type of material used for the coupler) for the UM2+. Also replace the spring with the spacer used on the 2+ and you'll have much much longer life on that part.


    edit: As for the PLA being old. Yeah, it does age, but personally I've used 10 year old PLA and it works just fine.

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    Posted · Filament age / Bottom layer quality

    Thanks. I did some more test print with different settings on "Initial Layer Flow" in Cura. Pictures appended are taken upside down with 100% and 125%. What bothers me is that it really only is the first layer that are underextruded. The rest of the print is of very good quality.


    I found the TFM coupler as spare part (e.g. here: https://www.igo3d.com/Ultimaker-TFM-Isolator-Coupler-UM2-), but I did not find the spacer you mentioned. Where do I get it? If I disassemble the print head, I want to do both at the same time.



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    Posted · Filament age / Bottom layer quality

    If it's only the first layer that is underextruding then you need to relevel.  Did you do the leveling procedure?


    You could just skip the leveling procedure and instead rotate the 3 knobs on the bed CCW (as seen from below) by about one half of a full turn.  Maybe less.  When you are an expert you can do that on the fly while it's printing the bottom layer.


    Leveling the bed is somewhere in the menus but I forget where.  maybe under Bed or Maintenance..  I think it's next to where you can set the bed temperature.  It's not hard to find.


    Or maybe you *did* follow the procedure but just levelled it a bit too high (nozzle too high off the bed).  Either way you need to turn those 3 knobs counter clockwise as seen from below to raise the bed up about 0.1mm or .2mm.  Each full turn raises the bed 0.5mm.  Turn all the the same amount if you aren't going to be running the leveling procedure.

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