What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

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UPUPandAway
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What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:46 am

Hi all,

This is my first bit of trouble with the UP! since buying it last...August? It seemed like it was printing fine for the past few days, but today in the middle of a print, it just stopped. When I tried to extrude, it wouldn't. I did a withdraw, snipped the end of the plastic, did an extrude, and it pushed out a bunch of squigglies that seemed thinner than normal extrusion and proceeded to nestle up against the nozzle (not good). Does this sound like a normal nozzle clog? I've never cleaned the nozzle and probably have at least 50-75 hours of printing on this machine without touching anything. Since many of the people on here have TONS of experience with these, I wanted to have someone with more hours of runtime weigh in before I start disassembling things as anyone that has ever done repair work before knows: don't disassemble more than you have to.

Here's some pics:

What I pulled out of the extruder head with a "withdraw" command
Image

What came out of the nozzle during an "extrude" command
Image

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DrewPetitclerc
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:28 am

Hi UpUpandAway,
:D
What you may be experiencing is what I like to call "the fuzziness" you have probably over time jammed a lot of debris down the nozzle due to static cling. :lol:
What I mean is the plastic spool is exposed to the dust and hair that drifts through where the printer works (not calling your home a mess ;) ) and it has a natural tendency to static charge collect and transport this down the extruder where some of it will not burn completely and can become an obstruction. :o
The solution is to clear the nozzle (carefully) then find a 1" cube of open celled foam and cut a slit through half of it, then clip this loosely around the filament before it enters the tube over to the extruder, this will wipe and collect the dust and hair before it can "clog" things up. Just blow off the dust every once in awhile from the foam and reinstall it, I do this every time I change colors (I do that a lot) :geek:
I learned of this technique from on the net from other homemade models of printers and noticed the "dust" collecting on my spools so I made this for my machine and the 2 at my work, I've never had a clog and I've been printing for a couple of years now. :ugeek:

Hope you get back to printing.
Regards
Drew
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
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UPUPandAway
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:17 am

so, what's the best technique to unclog it? Take off the nozzle and leave it in Acetone for an hour or so?

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DrewPetitclerc
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:35 pm

UPUPandAway wrote:so, what's the best technique to unclog it? Take off the nozzle and leave it in Acetone for an hour or so?
Probably won't work completely as what I suspect is in there is not all ABS, a very fine reamer and a delicate touch may do the job.
I purchased an extra nozzle tip (cheap) as insurance that my machine will not be down for any length of time if this issue should rear it's ugly head.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
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UPUPandAway
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:38 pm

I have another question regarding this:

Can I extrude with the nozzle removed? I ask this because if the clog reaches into the "shaft" (lets call it) prior to the nozzle, then even a new nozzle won't fix the problem. I don't see any reason this wouldn't work, but just thought I'd ask if anyone else has done it with bad side effects.

Polaris
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by Polaris » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:15 pm

Could also be that you have a build up of abs on the extruder gear*, if it is slipping too much it won't put out a continuous flow pressure of abs and can 'curl' as you can see in your photo.
(* With the amount of hours you have clocked up powdered/swarf abs can become homogenous with the heat at the gear from the stepper motor/head.)

Assuming it is a clogged feed :=
Like Drew I haven't had one for ages since I started using his foam suggestion.

But here's what I used to do :
Nozzle - Heat with a heat gun/torch to 260-300 degrees, then I use a strand of fine electrical wire - just pull one out from a type of electronics cable that is multi-strand.
(check with caliper, less than 0.2mm is common, which is safe to use in the 0.40mm nozzle.)
Pushing in the direction opposite to extrusion (through the tip) , this should dislodge any obstructions.
The brass will be a lot harder than the copper strand so you won't even scratch it. (so you don't have to be too gentle with it, but make sure strand is straight as possible)

For the shaft cleanout, I heat the shaft 'as above' and pushing in the direction of extrusion, use a 1.5mm drill bit and gently twist in reverse so it ejects any material.
(The shaft internal Dia. is ~1.75mm)

You can easily inspect each for clearance by looking at a light source through the hole.

Acetone if you want to get all the abs... I have never needed to do this as the test extrusion seems to take care of any residues/burnt abs.

Regards Matt
|=Polaris D+sign =||= designing the bleeding obvious since 2005 =|

UPUPandAway
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:10 pm

Success!

So, I soaked the nozzle in acetone and then poked the hole with a sewing pin from both sides and apparently that was enough to clear the clog. My assessment is that some of the ABS that managed to attach to the nozzle and burn (you know, that black soot that forms on the outside) found its way into the nozzle and dried, making a block that was too much for the normal extrusion to push through. I also think the fact that my nozzle has apparently always been about 1/8 turn from properly tight may have given the burnt ABS a small nook to build up until there was no getting through (not my fault, I received it that way). It was also fortunate that there was an ever so slight amount of acetone still left in the nozzle that helped push the remaining residue out when I did some test extrudes. Now my printer is working better than ever, it barely even smells when it prints (I used to have to leave the room, now I can sit next to it and I smell almost nothing).

How I feel right now:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqJaBbsPGk

note: let me add to anyone else trying to remove their nozzle, DON'T USE THE NOZZLE REMOVAL TOOL! It sucks. Use a crescent wrench (known generically as an "adjustable wrench") and adjust it onto the flats. That nozzle tool barely even sat on the flats properly, I would've stripped it for sure if I had tried it with any significant force.

UPUPandAway
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:58 pm

Well, that was short lived :\

So, after a couple successful prints post-clog, it has started jamming again. I think the culprit this time is the feed gears as they probably got the teeth full of plastic when the nozzle was clogged the first time. Does anyone know where I can find teardown instructions for the extruder head on the V1.0 printer (I never upgraded to the G2)? I'd rather read through a guide before going banzai on it since there's usually hidden tricks you don't realize until it's too late. This is kind of annoying, I've only gone through about 3 spools of 700g PP3DP ABS (never used 3rd party plastic). In the printer's defense, these problems started arising when I started doing some pretty intricate small things and heat soak probably played a hand. Once I get this problem solved, I'm going to print a long rectangle next to it to clear the plastic between layers and keep it from stagnating and stripping the plastic and in turn filling the gear teeth with plastic powder.

edit: realized I put 1.1 by mistake, I have a 1.0 with original DC feeder.

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josejuako
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by josejuako » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:08 am

The clearing of the head has no problem has little pieces do it more carefully and not the mechanism is very simple. be careful with the wires of resistance and the heat sensor.

braneless
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by braneless » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:27 am

I struggled with this a while back. Same symptoms, rough plastic extruding. I cleaned the nozzle with abs, used a sewing needle through it, extruded without the nozzle on (to hopefully clear the plastic feeder) Just like you it printed for a while, and it *seemed* to be the feeder gear stripping the plastic. They would work longer if the printer was cool when I started. I measured the extruder stepper temperature right after a print and it was amazingly hot (85-100c) probably due to strain trying to push ABS through a restriction and was probably softening the ABS.

Problem was that the nozzle simply wasn't clean enough. it wasnt the pinhole part but the inlet part of the nozzle that needed cleaning. I used a metal rod just smaller than the inlet and scraped it around, installed and on the next extrude, a whole bunch of black crud came out with the plastic. Since then the printer has worked perfectly.

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DrewPetitclerc
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:16 pm

braneless wrote:a whole bunch of black crud came out with the plastic. Since then the printer has worked perfectly.
You should place a piece of soft open cell foam rubber around the filament where it enters the plastic tube that runs to the extruder, this will wipe off any particles that are attracted to the static charged plastic and keeps them from being burnt into the nozzle, I've been running the same nozzle since I got my printer and never had to clean it out and our house has an abundance of animals (3 dogs, 4 birds and 2 guinea pigs) :lol: and hardwood floors so all that tries to clog the nozzle and does not completely burn up and gets stuck, I learned this trick from the WEB before I got my printer and applied immediately. :geek:

Regards
Drew
Drew Petitclerc
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UPUPandAway
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:06 am

Update:

Never actually took the extruder head apart. I went out and made sure I had pure acetone this time and soaked the nozzle for about 18 hours. After that, the nozzle was like new. Best prints I've ever had since then.

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wilsonj
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by wilsonj » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:16 pm

Did you know stratasys consider the nozzle disposable ? Thats why in their new printer, the Mojo, you get a new nozzle with every roll of filament. I'm sure the nozzle's life could be extended by washing them though. But it begs the question, when should we replace ours ?
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Jamie
3DPrinterGear.com.au

UPUPandAway
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by UPUPandAway » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:13 am

Stratasys has a very cash grabbing business model. Their printers are all about being the best FDM possible with no cost saving measures whatsoever. To be fair, they do accomplish this, but it's hardly worth the price difference for most users. UP! tends to be a little more cost-effective by allowing any plastic to be used with it and actually encouraging things like removing the nozzle and soaking it in acetone instead of replacing it.

I think nozzles should probably be replaced when they get physically damaged or show signs of wear (most notably in the actual exit of the nozzle) and the print quality degrades. If anything, I think Stratasys is just removing any possibility of user error when it comes to potential for a nozzle clog as most firms with enough cash to buy a Stratasys machine might even sue if a print problem caused them to miss a deadline.

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wilsonj
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by wilsonj » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:47 am

All very good points. Probably a lot of perfectly good stratasys nozzles in the tip somewhere !
Regards
Jamie
3DPrinterGear.com.au

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JuliaDee
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by JuliaDee » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:40 pm

braneless wrote:I struggled with this a while back. Same symptoms, rough plastic extruding. I cleaned the nozzle with abs, used a sewing needle through it, extruded without the nozzle on (to hopefully clear the plastic feeder) Just like you it printed for a while, and it *seemed* to be the feeder gear stripping the plastic. They would work longer if the printer was cool when I started. I measured the extruder stepper temperature right after a print and it was amazingly hot (85-100c) probably due to strain trying to push ABS through a restriction and was probably softening the ABS.

Problem was that the nozzle simply wasn't clean enough. it wasnt the pinhole part but the inlet part of the nozzle that needed cleaning. I used a metal rod just smaller than the inlet and scraped it around, installed and on the next extrude, a whole bunch of black crud came out with the plastic. Since then the printer has worked perfectly.
Having the same problem myself now with Octave black ABS. I've done a number of the things recommended here but it's still clogging. Just want to be sure I understand, braneless - when you say "the inlet part of the nozzle", do you mean that section in the upper part of the brass nozzle itself, or the separate feeder tube above the nozzle?

Thanks,
Julia

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josejuako
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by josejuako » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:37 am

[img]http://i574.photobucket.com/albums ... .jpg[/img]

I use the sponge in this manner to avoid particles in the nozzle.

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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by JuliaDee » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:41 pm

Thanks, José, I am using the foam trick to try to minimize future clogs but it doesn't help me with my current clog :)

I found the same thing as braneless: an 18-hour solvent soak and thorough reaming of the 0.4mm extrusion hole with a piece of wire allowed plastic to flow, but it didn't completely solve my problems - the plastic would curl strongly immediately on exiting the nozzle, which screwed up prints badly. The nozzle has three sections: the fat one at the top where the full-width slug of filament enters, then there is a section that's a little over 1/16" (maybe it's 2mm?) prior to the final 0.4mm nozzle. I stuck the butt of a 1/16" drill bit into that middle section with the nozzle bathed in solvent and plunged and twirled it, which removed a bunch of crud, then I turned the bit around and very carefully gave it a few twirls with the business end. The plastic is still not exiting perfectly vertically; it still has a slight tendency to curl, but I am at least able to produce decent prints until my fresh nozzles arrive.

julia

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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by wackojacko » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:17 pm

The needle nose tweezers that are supplied with your 3D Printer are great for cleaning out the ABS from the nozzle after soaking in acetone.

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Bruce
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josejuako
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Re: What's wrong with my printer? nozzle clog?

Post by josejuako » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:26 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image

The first is the lebel X and Y , second calibrate and the next :

You need to put pressure in the nozzle case "123.02" by 2 decimal fractions .

And need to measuring the first layer in every corner and in the center .

Whit the glass and the capton tape. No raft , no perfboard only glass , if do big prints + mek or glue in the corners only.

I never clean my nozzle into and I do best prints like a Stratasys.

Only clean exterior whit a rotor tool whit a bronze brush . Like a tooth . Brilliant surface nozzle .


J

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