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Feeder skipping regularly


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Posted · Feeder skipping regularly

What I have found is that the filaments I use vary wildly in their performance, even from the same manufacturer. So, some PLA is quite happy at 200C if I'm printing at 0.1mm, and will have to go to 215C when printing at 0.3mm (both of which I do fairly frequently); all this at between 30mm/sec and 60mm/sec. Some require way more heat to print at 40mm/sec at 0.3mm layer height, as much as 245C. When printing something really big that I need in a hurry, I run the filament as fast and as hot as possible until the smell changes from popcorn to burning plastic, then I dial down the heat a tad until the feeder stops clicking.

Essentially you are pushing molten plastic through a small hole; so to get more through (printing faster/thicker layers) you have to increase the pressure. For a given temperature there is only so much plastic that will go through. So, the only other thing you can do is increase the temperature. Even if the plastic is rated for 220C, when printing thick layers quickly, the plastic will never hit the indicated temperature. That is to say that the nozzle might be 250C, but the plastic is going to be at a lower temperature. So don't be afraid to push things a little on the temperature front.

Also, with a blockage, I usually dial up the temperature really high for a few minutes then hand-feed some material through, drop the temperature and feed some more. Or reverse hand-feed it from below, which is messy but convenient!

The upshot is that every spool will be different to the next, and it's a matter of perhaps trying things really slowly and cool at first, and then pushing things as you get more used to it.

A trick I use for tight spools is to wind it onto a bigger spool (oh so boring and time consuming, but we ll worth the effort) and then I leave it on a hot radiator for several hours for the plastic to anneal. I buy branded and garbage, and in the process of rewinding the garbage usually starts going white where it is stressed, but the comes nicely in the wash :-). It probably makes more sense to anneal the plastic first, then wind it onto the bigger spool and anneal again.


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    Posted · Feeder skipping regularly

    If you can push filament through without any issue (that is, you can straighten a piece of filament, head the nozzle, and push it through with no major issues like burning or smoking), I wouldn't expect the problem to be at the hot end--it could be either in the Bowden tube itself (ie check the ends of the tube for any potential blockages and if you feel the need run a little Teflon through it to reduce friction) or the feeder.

    I had issues with regular skipping; it turned out that I just needed to really increase the tension on my feeder. I don't know why it was so low when mine came in, but it was a pretty effective fix. Worth a shot if you know what you're getting into.


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