Knocking from UP Printer

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Pinkie
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Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:15 pm

Hi All, I'm new here. I just bought my Afinia/UP Printer a few weeks ago and am having a fantastic time with it. I noticed that it has recently started knocking quite loud while printing. I've sent a message to the tech folks but wondered if you all have noticed something like this. I'm hoping it's not a sign that something is about to go wrong. I took a quick video of it printing and knocking, but I assume it would be too large of a file to load here. Anyway if anyone has heard of this, please share your experience/expertise to this newbie. Thanks! Pinkie
Pinkie
NOT an Engineer, it sure would be helpful to be one though!

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Pinkie
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:30 am

Well I guess the knocking was just the calm before the storm. It seems to be due to a clogged nozzle. When I try to extrude, the filament just squiggles around the nozzle and won't drop down in a nice stream. I removed the nozzle and soaked it overnight in Acetone, but it's still clogged. I heated it up over 200 degrees and used pliers to hold it while trying to clean the filament out, no luck. Any suggestions on cleaning out a clogged nozzle? I'm running PLA. I've sent a message to the tech folks to see where I can get a back-up nozzle head too. Thanks for any suggestions/expertise you can provide.
Pinkie
NOT an Engineer, it sure would be helpful to be one though!

doraemon
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by doraemon » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:22 am

Acetone won't do anything to PLA. Maybe try heating up the nozzle to get the PLA nice and soft, then poke the opening with a thin (but stiff) wire? It definitely sounds like a clog.

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Pinkie
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:04 am

Thanks Doraemon. Yes, I learned that Acetone was useless. Thanks so much for confirming that so I don't try again. Heating it up seems to be the answer. I will have to try to get some wire. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
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wilsonj
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by wilsonj » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:09 am

While heating the nozzle over a gas top I use a needle to poke and pull most of the gunk out. While hard to get it all usually the offending bits are dislodged and removed.
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Jamie
3DPrinterGear.com.au

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Pinkie
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:29 pm

Thanks Wilson, I saw a video about holding the nozzle over a blow torch - way out of my realm and I won't be trying that. I think my next step now is to heat it up over 200 degrees on the printer, remove it and keep it hot with a heat gun while holding it with pliers and then try fishing wire? I tried a sewing needle and that didn't seem to work. I'm also driving down to Octave today to pick up a spare nozzle. Wouldn't it be great if they could figure out a way to make disposable nozzle heads since getting PLA out of the darn clogged nozzle heads seems near to impossible? :)
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:44 am

Knocking has completely stopped. I went and picked up a new nozzle head today and now the printer is running perfectly! Yay! Now to figure out how to clean out the other nozzle. PLA is pretty rough to clean out. Glad to be back to printing though!
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by JuliaDee » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:27 pm

PLA is a pain for many reasons, ABS generally works a lot better. Nozzle clogging is more problematic with PLA because the feed gear parts get hot enough to soften the filament before it gets to the nozzle and then the whole thing slips.

For clearing clogs, I've found that often it's not the teeny-tiny 0.4mm final exit hole that needs to be cleaned (and you can damage the nozzle trying to clean that hole) but the 1/16" cavity directly behind the fine exit hole. It's not really obvious on casual inspection that this cavity exists. At the back of the nozzle there's the big hole for the feeder tube, and in front the .4mm hole, but between those is a 1/16th" cavity where stuff accumulates. Once you get the plastic soft via heat and/or solvent you can gently twirl a 1/16" drill bit in there by hand and all kinds of gunk will come out.

julia

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by JuliaDee » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:30 pm

If you do have a PLA clog you can load some ABS filament (make sure to do the "new spool" thing so the printer knows), then the nozzle will get up to ABS temperature, which will do a lot better job of melting any PLA that's in there.

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by roller » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:36 pm

Generally having printed many, many, oh so many kilos of PLA usually it is relatively trouble free to print with. Generally the gunk in the heat chamber of your nozzle comes from the dust on you PLA (I find dust sticks to PLA more - maybe due to its higher water affintity??) which I resolve by having a felt filter just before my extruder... or it's a result of ABS PLA mix.

If you are going to switch a lot I strongly suggest getting another nozzle and making one exclusively ABS and the other PLA. I haven't cleaned a reprap nozzle in about 20+kgs of filament. Just don't knock them both on the floor when you're changing them - I ended up scribing P and A into them cos I'm useless.

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:11 pm

Thanks Roller. I ONLY use PLA. I'm making cookie cutters and PLA is the one that is food safe and recommended, so I only use PLA and have bought tons of it. What a felt filter? How did you make that? Are you able to attach a photo and some suggestions on how I could do that? Thanks so much!
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by roller » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:55 am

I actually use some spare buffing wheels from a dremel and run the filament through the hole in the middle. I have also used a piece of sponge. Just put a tiny hole (so filament is a tight fit) in it and feed your filament through when you load it so the dust gets brushed off as it's fed.

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by JuliaDee » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:56 am

Pinkie wrote:What a felt filter? How did you make that? Are you able to attach a photo and some suggestions on how I could do that? Thanks so much!
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26710

=^_^=

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by roller » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:10 pm

That's just too fancy ... I feel rather luddite with my bit of foam resting on top of the extruder :)

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Pinkie
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:07 am

Thanks JuliaDee this looks fantastic. Your way to deter clogged nozzles seems like a great idea. I still haven't unclogged my first nozzle and instead went and purchased a spare nozzle. I do not want to get another clogged nozzle. Have you noticed that your idea does indeed help deter getting a clog? I also love all the yellow accessories on your printer. I think I need to make mine pink! Thanks for sharing!
Pinkie
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roller
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by roller » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:05 pm

I havn't had a clog on a reprap in 12months and I print often with nozzles smaller than the Up models use so I think it works. Prior to sweeping the PLA before it entered the extruder I was cleaning out clogs once every 4-6 weeks.

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:47 pm

Ooh good to know Roller. Thanks! I don't want another clogged nozzle. I can't afford to keep replacing it and getting PLA out is NOT fun!
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by JuliaDee » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:38 pm

Hi Pinkie,

Glad you like my filament cleaner/guide :) I do think that the foam helps reduce clogs, I have very few these days. The last one was when I left the printer on overnight after a print; the plastic in the nozzle had turned into hard crud. I wish the Up! had an auto-off option to shut down after finishing a print.

I also purchased some spare nozzles as I can't afford downtime. I keep all the spares soaking in MEK when not in use.

Julia

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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by Pinkie » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:05 am

Thanks Julia. What is MEK? Is it a type of Acetone? I soaked my nozzle in Acetone for about 12+ hours and it did NOTHING to the PLA that is still stuck inside there. I might try again just leaving it in there if that's what you suggest. I might also try the other suggestion of trying to push it through with ABS.
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doraemon
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Re: Knocking from UP Printer

Post by doraemon » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:01 am

MEK = methyl ethyl ketone. It's a solvent that also welds/melts ABS. Acetone won't do anything to PLA, only make it sticky. Best way to remove it from a stuck nozzle is heat it so it oozes or melts out.

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