PLA stuck behind gear - possibilities to clean this up?

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navymilkshake
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:00 pm

PLA stuck behind gear - possibilities to clean this up?

Post by navymilkshake » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:21 pm

Hello everyone,

I just made an account to post about a problem with my Up! Mini I wasn't able to find addressed in the forum so far.
I bought my printer in mid December. From the beginning I was having problems with PLA - not uncommon, I know that by now. I used to hear constant 'tac tac tac' sounds coming from the stepper motor whenever I started printing and when disassembling the print head I found lots of PLA stuck at the gear wheel. By now, I downloaded a temperature mod and since then working with PLA is fine.

But recently I'm having this nice (read: annoying) little issue that my printer stops extruding material in the middle of printing and proceeds to print "in air". Now what makes my problem different from what I've read here in other threads are two things:
1. I'm having this issue with all kinds of filament - it doesn't matter if it's ABS, PLA or PET. It also doesn't seem to be directly related to the temperature, I can print PLA with just 180°C, but will still run into this issue.
2. As a result from the PLA related problem at the beginning of this post I found that there's quite a lot of plastic stuck BEHIND the gear wheel. I think this might be the reason for this air-printing problem, because I guess the PLA crumbs melt while printing, because the motor gets quite warm, and ultimately blocks the gear. So when I leave the printer open for cooler air it will last roughly five more minutes before it stops extruding again.

I have no chance to get this mess away from behind the gear just by unscrewing the plastic parts because the PLA pieces are too big to fit through that tiny space. Then again, I saw that there should be a way to open the motor since there's four screws in the back. I already tried unscrewing them, however I wasn't sure if I could just pull the motor apart without destroying anything.

So: Does anybody here know how to open the motor? Or how to get the gear wheel out of the way so I can get to the PLA?

Any help is appreciated!

brainzilla
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:41 pm

Re: PLA stuck behind gear - possibilities to clean this up?

Post by brainzilla » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:07 am

Do NOT open any stepper-motor. You will break it!

But you can take apart the whole head, exposing the drive-wheel.
That is simple.
Just make sure to never take out all 4 long screws from the stepper at the same time!

Try adding two 40mm fans to your stepper.
The problem with the Mini is: The stepper gets hot, the driving wheel too, it digs into the filament and stops transporting.
You will hear the CLANK CLANK everyone here dreads.
If it only happens sometimes, you can still go into the printer settings and pause the print, then eject the filament, cut of some cm and re-extrude and resume your print.

MadMatt
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:38 pm

Re: PLA stuck behind gear - possibilities to clean this up?

Post by MadMatt » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:44 am

How do you attach the fans to the motor?
Any pictures if what that might look like?
Do i need to design and print something to attach them to first?
Where do i get the additional powwr from?

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