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PLA Jam [SOLVED] with olive oil... believe it or not

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:47 pm
by James
I'm completely gobsmacked.

I was screwing with trying to get PLA working all day, constant nozzle jams, you know, motor clicks (not stripping the filament, just loosing steps) randomly. Typically NOT during the first layer, or raft, but usually when the actual bottom of the part started to print. The plug appeared to be at the tip of the brass nozzle, and was very difficult to clear each time. Had to use a tiny little drill (which I broke each time, of course). I was getting it clear, because it would always extrude just fine for a while after clearing.

Same printer had been printing /perfectly/ for many hours with ABS, so I don't think it was an issue with the extruder gearing or pressure setting, or any of that.

I tried multiple different temperatures (did you know you have to register to put in a custom temperature? how annoying) and that didn't seem to do anything for it.

Someone on this forum (@outsider) suggested using Olive Oil. after rejecting this idea as stupid out of hand, starting thinking about it and decided to try it as a last ditch crazy "hail mary" pass. And it works! Of course... I'm posting this before the print is finished (because the Fates totally get off on my tempting them) but the improvement is obvious at this point. I've been working with 3D printers for years, and I'd never heard of this before, so I wanted to share it.

I cut off a chunk of standard yellow kitchen "sponge" about 2" long and maybe 1/2" square, then drilled a hole down it lengthwise. To be a little bit neater, I put the sponge in a large diameter clear heatshrink tube and torched it before filling with oil.

Best thing? The place smells like an Italian restaurant now! LOL.