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jemma-redmond

Software keeps switching off the extruder

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Ok, I have a problem that I just have not been able to solve... :-(

I have a um1, when I switch it on, reheat it to 210, 220 whatever, I can turn the feeder motor at the back with the controller. Material comes out no problem.

Then I run gcode, the motor is completely dead, its not disabled so I know its on but the software is not driving it.

I go back to the controller and try and operate the motor again. Its completely dead. I have to switch the machine off and on again and it works fine. I have replaced ALL of the extruder parts, everything, drivers you name it and I'm still getting this problem.

It seems to have started after 14.07. Any ideas? I'm pretty sure its not the hardware. And the firmware is the latest.

 

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its printing between 210 and 220, I reinstalled the default firmware, same problem, then i printed directly using usb and the problem vanished...

The issue now is that the quality is quite poor, it seems to be an issue with the flow of the material.So I'm tinkering with the settings. I can only assume the controller is faulty in some way?

 

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The shield on top of the Arduino is fairly simple. With respect to the drivers, there isn't much in the way of electronics between the Arduino and the driver socket with the exception of some capacitors.

I would suggest you swap the extruder driver with one another driver and see if the problem moves to the other axis.

NOTE HOWEVER THAT THE ORIENTATION OF THE DRIVERS CHANGE FROM THE EXTRUDER SIDE TO THE X,Y,Z SIDE. THE DRIVERS ARE NOT KEYED AND CAN BE INSERTED IN THE WRONG ORIENTATION.

Just note the location of the screw/potentimeter on the driver board and be sure to orient the ones you are swapping the same way. Basically, if you move a driver from one side to another, you need to rotated it 180 degrees.

IF THE ORIENTATION IS WRONG, THE DRIVER WILL BE DESTROYED AS SOON AS YOU TURN THE POWER ON.

If the problem moves to the other axis, revert the drivers back to their original position and follow the information here on increasing the driver current for the extruder:

http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Electronics_build_guide

However, it makes no sense that you should suddenly need to increase the current but its the only thing that I can suggest.

 

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i swapped the driver chip again, now its giving me max temp, checked all the cables cant clear it. fed up :-( i suspect the temperature sensor has broken again. (hurray another 30 euros) prior to that the extruder feeder completely stopped again, opened it up underneath, very hot, main fan was on. I just cannot seem to get this thing to run reliably.

 

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OK, don't panic. So you replaced the drivers at some point, correct?

One possible issue is that the drivers have thermal protection which causes them to shutdown if they get too hot.

Did you replace them with the same drivers from UM? Or did you get them elsewhere? If elsewhere, do they have the little heatsink on them?

They are pretty ubiquitous but most other sources don't put the heatsinks on them

If they are from UM, it's possible the current limit is set too high causing the drivers to overheat and shutdown.

They reenable themselves after cooling so if you are seeing the motors shut off and then back on, that might be the cause.

Let's see if we can solve this problem before the temp sensor.

However, on that issue, the Arduino is supplied by a 12V regulator on the shield near the drivers. It too has thermal protection and may shutdown leading to all sorts of problems one of which could be the temp sensor problem (if the shutdown is very brief).

One way to test this is there is a jump on the board near the extruder driver sockets that when removed, disconnects the 12V supply from the Arduino. In addition to the 19V normal power, you would need to power the Arduino via the USB connector when the jumper is removed. BUT the port to which the Arduino connects needs to supply enough current. Some adapters for devices like Kindles can provide more than a normal computer USB port. If you use something that can supply enough current can and the regulator is part of the problem, you might see the temp sensor working better on USB power instead of the 12V regulator.

 

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Ok, thank you very much for the advice! it's appreciated!

However I'm still having problems with jamming etc, its a bunch of problems really.

Some of the chips I have been using have been from ebay and the quality appears to have been dubious at best. I've had to tune them to get x and y working correctly. I replaced the chip on the extruder with a um 1. That worked better. There definitely was a software issue switching off the extruder when it started to print. This was a firmware issue. So now I am sure that the chip problem and the software problem have been resolved.

However its plugging all of the time. I have completely replaced the bowden tube, heating elements, all components and the problem still persists. Now I don't have a cooling fan below, I found this didn't work and the printer worked foine without it. I got maybe 3 or 4 solid weeks of actual quality printing.

However now it seems to be constantly plugging. The weather outside is hotter and the lab here is hotter which could be part of the problem. I do know that if the extruder tip is up close to the build platform then the heat will transfer up the top and cause a plug.

So if I clear the plug again, I will get maybe 20 minutes out of it before it plugs again, I'm going to have to try and fit a fan and see if it helps.... otherwise I may just abandon this printer and go with something else. Its just too much of a maintenance pain.

I

 

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This is a UM1 right? If so, the fan is only for cooling the material and not the hotend.

How are you cleaning the blockage? There is something called the Atomic method. Based on that, I just start with a cold hot end, set it to something like 190. As the hotend heats out, pull on the filament as if you are going to remove it. Once it hits the right temperature, it will release (I think around something like 180 but it probably depends of the brand of material). Remove the filament and cut off the end 5cm or so and discard. Replace the filament and increase the temp to something like 210 and extrude some. Let the hotend cool and repeat. This will help grab anything in the nozzle that is plugging it up.

The more extreme thing would be to remove the nozzle and heat it up to the point of burning out any plastic and anything else in the nozzle.

It's important that when the fan is used that it isn't blowing on the nozzle. This would cause the nozzle's temperature drop and could cause a jam and filament grinding.

 

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So two of the fans I put on broke... so I replaced them with three 12v fans from a bfb (they are on a separate power supply), its worked ok so far but still... I'm not convinced it will keep working.

When I clear a jam, usually I open up the bowden tube pull back out the filament, take off the hot end and put the screwdriver up to clear the blockage which always works. The temp is kept at 210. The last time I simply unscrewed the hot end, retracted the filament (all at 210) and then pushed the screwdriver up and cleared the blockage that way. It totally worked too. I also use a 34 gauge needle tip to clear the hot end.

I would upload some photos but I have no idea how to do this with this forum????

 

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I can find the gallery but there is no upload option...

Also I have a separate temperature probe, it doesn't fluctuate too greatly from what is there.I also have about 3 spare sensors, I've swapped them, it makes no difference, same with the heating element.

The problem appears to arise not in the hot end itself but in the barrel I would say. I've tried to keep it firmly clamped, there are no leaks, but it just keeps slowing and slowing and then the filament stops going through. I would imagine a plug is continuously and gradually forming inside. ALL of the parts have been replaced even the filament.

 

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So since you replaced most of the components in the hotend and it seems that the temperature is right, let's look elsewhere.

I would pull the filament back a little (10cm or more) and while holding the filament where it enters the feeder/drive on the back of the printer, try to advance to filament with the controller to see how well the feeder is gripping the filament. Note that the hotend needs to be hot otherwise the firmware will prevent the cold feed.

Also examine the filament for the knurled pattern the drive bolt makes and check for spots where the drive bolt may have ground a divot into the filament when you pull it back.

It could be you don't have enough pressure or too much pressure on the wheel that presses the filament against the drive bolt.

Also note that the "latch" the holds the pressure bracket closed needs to be pushed all the way down vertically while you hold the bracket closed before you lever it out. There is a bit of a cam action when the end of the lever it is push all the way down and flipped out that adds more clamping pressure.

Been burnt by that one a few times as when it is closed and only partially pushed down, the pressure bracket remains closed and seem to apply some pressure to the wheel.

The bolt that holds that lever should be all the way to the bottom of the slot and then you rotate the level out:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ultimaker/8634469689/

Also peek in on the knurled bolt. It might be covered with plastic especially if you had some slippage/grinding. I tore mine down once to clean it and it greatly increased it's gripping ability.

While you are at it, check that the wheel on the hinged portion of the assembly smoothly pushes in and out against the spring.

These are the assembly instructions for the feeder -

http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Ultimaker_rev.4_assembly:_Material_feed_mechanism

When you load the filament, is there much resistance pushing the filament through the tube into the heater?

 

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Oh and one major question!! Did you measure the filament size? It's referred to as 3mm filament but the UMs actually use 2.85mm and anything muck bigger than 2.9 can jam. A lot of vendors sell 3mm that is really 2.85 but some sell filament that is truly 3mm and can be too big for the UMs

 

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Hi, I decided to keep away from this problem for the weekend... ok so in answer to your questions/ suggestions in no particular order...

1. There is no upload function in my gallery or an ability to create an album

2. The filament is fine, I have a digital calipers and it appears to be within spec

3. There are large indentations in the filament from the feeder which I am wondering are causing the problem, so I am going to remove it, put through smooth filament with out the feeder mechanism and see if I get any jams for the duration of the build.

Also with regards the feeder we ordered two um1;s, the feeder never worked in either case unless you put cable ties or tape around the top. So there are cable ties there and its the only way it will work.

I was also thinking about the fans and the machine worked perfectly well for a long time without them so I don't feel they have any relationship to the extruder jamming.

My best guess so far is the deep indentations in the filament are causing a jam inside the extruder.... I'll test no and see. Hopefully I can solve this and get back to doing some actual experiments!

 

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Ok so far, its printing well, very well indeed... (fingers crossed it continues) I loosened up the feeder, cut out a whole chunk of filament and fed through a large smooth section.

Since then it hasn't jammed up, slowed down, etc at all. Its worked well. Now I wouldn't say its perfect, far from it but its so much better... :-)

 

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Glad to hear you are getting something out of the printer.

The indentations might be from the extruder grinding into the filament. This can happen if you are attempting to extrude faster than the nozzle can melt the plastic. It also occurs if the bed is too close to the nozzle effectively plugging the nozzle or you get a real blockage in the nozzle.

Once you get the indentation, it's likely, depending on the tension, that the drive won't be able to "push by" the indentation making it worse.

It's strange though that you have had to go to such lengths to get the feeder to work. I have a UM1 built by me from a kit and while I can't say the feeder never chews into the filament, I can say that when clamped correctly using nothing but the latch, it usually feeds very well. I don't try to run the printer too fast so the only time I get the filament grinding is when I don't correctly level the bed or have a genuine blockage in the nozzle (I have pets and a lot of pet hair!).

Are they older UM1s? If so, you might want to look at the extruder upgrade kit -

https://www.ultimaker.com/products/ext-drive-upgrade

 

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Hullo, its jammed again :-( same problem. The extruder / feeder is the upgraded kit. When we finally got the original 1's here, parts were missing or had to be replaced as they were faulty.

It was working fine until I tried to fit upgrades. Now it just won't work at all, it just keeps on jamming. The um 1 is a super finicky machine. If you build it and get it running, you should leave the machine well alone I have found.

At this stage, considering the amount of time and effort I have put into trying to get the machine to work, I think I will start looking for another printer.

 

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