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Filament not advancing through extruder motor
 STARTT   Started by Jonathan Smith   2017-07-01 06:58:53 +01:00   Comments: 7    Viewed: 1861

  1. Got the printer all put together and all seems to be working well excpet filament will not advance through the extruder motor, through the white tube, and into the hot end. The gear in the extruder motor moves and I assume it is trying to feed the filament into the printer but the filament does not advance into the printer.

    I noticed that the little metal wheel oposite the gear has a grove in it. Is there supposed to be some sort of rubber washer slipped into this grove to help the gear get traction on the filament to move it forward?

    Everything else on the printer seems to be working fine. In fact my son (the printer was for his birthday  today) skipped the extruder motor alltogether and manually fed the filament into the hotend by hand keeping the right amount of pressure on it during the whole print. He was able to get a print of the preloaded falcon that way. Lots of patience on his part to do that but we are looking for guidance on how to adjust the extruder motor so we don't have to do every print that way.
    Jonathan Smith, 2017-07-01 06:58:53 +01:00
  2. reddadsteve
    reddadsteve Member Flanders
    It could be a bit tricky getting the filament to pass through the extruder, but it is straightforward.  Squeeze the extruder tightly and manually push the filament through all the way. It should slide through without the gear.  If it does not go all the way through you may need to simply straighten the tip of the filament out and/or cut the tip of the filament so it passes through.  The support video shows this quite clearly, where the filament does not go through cleanly the first time and the filament needs to be strightened out a bit.  The filament should be completely loaded before actually using the extruder to push it.

    Hope that helps.
    reddadsteve, 2017-07-01 15:17:30 +01:00
  3. Thanks for the quick reply reddadsteve! laughing We are newbies to 3D printing and appreciate the help.

    We can get the filament to load into the printer following the process in the support video but the problems I described happen after the filament is loaded and the printer starts printing. Ib the attached video you can see that the filament has ben loaded and has extruded out of the hotend when we manually pushed it through to get the white hose secured as shown in the support video.

    However, once we hit print (in this case we are printing the elephant) the gear on the extruder motor just slides over the filament and does not push it into the white tube and on into the hotend. I marked the gray filament with a blue marker about two inches from the extruder motor to show that the filament is not advancing into the printer even though the extruder motor gear is moving. This blue mark is visable in the video and you can see that it never gets advanced into the extruder motor even though the printer is in action

    We let the printer go for about 3 minutes or so and the fextruder motor had not advanced the filament into the printer at all during that entire time.

    Here is a picture of what the print result looked like after three minues or so. The original layer that it printed started out really thin and then it got to where the print head was moving around but there was no filament coming out at all since it was not advancing through the extruder motor. 

    Any suggestions or ideas on where we are going wrong? It seems like everything else is working.

    Thanks again
    Jonathan Smith, 2017-07-01 16:45:41 +01:00
  4. Hugo Félix
    Hugo Félix Member

    I think it's the bed calibration.  The printer try to print inside the bed, then the nozzle can't extrud the PLA.
    For easier bed calibration, do this when you turn OFF the printer. don't forget to Home Z before ^^
    Try this and tell me :)
    Hugo Félix, 2017-07-01 18:06:31 +01:00
  5. reddadsteve
    reddadsteve Member Flanders
    Since you previously indicated that when manually pushing the filament everything printed correctly, it would not seem to be bed calibration.  Before looking at your specific issue, I want to remind you about a bug when printing from the SD card.  Between each print you need to power off/on the machine when printing via SD otherwise the second print starts out too high.

    Looking closely at your video and comparing it to my machine it seems that the gap between the gear and the roller is much greater on your extruder than mine and therefore the pressure is not great enough to grab the filament.  When I squeeze the extruder to load filament the gap gets larger to make room to manually push the filament.  I am not aware of any adjustment there but you might try looking more closely at the spring and pressure.  Squeezing my extruder takes a good amount of force, is yours soft?  There should be good pressure on the filament.

    Some other general questions just for sanity checking:
    Are you using 1.75 PLA?
    Is the spool rolling smoothly (test with just a length of filament without the spool).

    reddadsteve, 2017-07-01 18:27:57 +01:00
  6. Thanks everyone! It is working properly now. There were 3 things happening.

    1) The gap between the gear and the roller was too large. I adjusted the screw on the roller to move it across the gear and heard a "click" as the roller lined up so the filament could fit into the grove. Preiously the roller was adjusted so that the filament was not seated properly inside the groove. 
    2) The tension on the extruder motor was too loose. We tightened that up by adjusting the screw that is connected to the spring to make it so there was a lot more tension. 
    3) The black wire in that runs to the extruder motor had come loose. As we were down in there up close and personal with the motor, my son pointed to the black wire and asked "is that supposed to be connected to something?"

    We got all those things adressed and attempted another print and success!

    Your point about the filament being able to easily come off the spool came in handy too. Once it started working we realized that we needed to get more filament off the spool so it could pull through freely since we dont have a spool holder. Thanks for the tip on that. The filaments we are using are hatchbox 1.75 PLA and blackmagic 1.75 PLA.

    We also checked the bed calibration but did not need to make any adjustments.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Jonathan Smith, 2017-07-01 19:45:04 +01:00
  7. reddadsteve
    reddadsteve Member Flanders
    Congratulations, you are no longer a 'newbie'!

    reddadsteve, 2017-07-01 21:11:45 +01:00
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