[Solved] Extruder clicking and wont load filament.
My printer has been working great since I built it just before Christmas - until today. I changed over the filament and now when I try to load the new filament the extruder starts clicking and nothing comes out of the nozzle. I've tried the following, but still have the same issue-
1. Heating up the nozzle to a higher temperature - as it suggests in the handbook.
2. Inserting the small needle - that came with the printer- into the end of the nozzle. It goes right in as far as the copper section - on the needle- with no problem.
3. Checked for jammed filament by opening the cover on the side of the extruder.
Is the issue a blockage somewhere or should I try something else? I did update the firmware last week could that have anything to do with it?
Thanks for the reply.
No, there wasn't any filament jammed. I've disabled the filament sensor and inserted the filament manually into the extruder. The filament goes well into the hot end, then stops - I did this when it was up to preheat temp.
I did try adjusting the idler screw but that doesn't make a difference.
Can you go back to the old filament to check? If it makes it to the hotend, sounds very much like a clog, Did you try step 4 in https://help.prusa3d.com/en/article/clogged-nozzle-hotend-mk3s-mk2-5s_2008#how-to-fix-it ?
Yes, I tried step 4. I managed to insert a wire about 7cm into the extruder - and that's with the IR sensor cover off. Does it look like the blockage is in the PTFE tube or the nozzle or will I need to start at the PTFE and work down? I did manage to insert the needle or the way into the nozzle, so is it more likely to be a PTFE tube issue. What do you think?
And you can't press any material out of the nozzle when you insert the rod? Well, may be time to start disassembling the extruder...
No can't press any material out. Ive just ordered some PTFE tubes and nozzles from Prusa, so Ive got them ready to swap when I take the extruder apart.
Good luck. It's not that hard but a pain in the ass.
Just one more thing. I know it sounds stupid but you sure you've got the right filament loaded?
It pains me me to admit it, but once I had a problem with extrusion just to find out after a lot of headscratching, followed by a boatload of cursing, that apparently I had ordered 3mm filament instead of 1.75 mm filament and hadn't noticed (a discovery that was followed by many more choice words...).
And another time, nothing came out of the nozzle, and in the end I figured out that I had loaded ABS instead of PLA...
Just to show that stupid can happen...
Yes, ive checked to make sure ive been using the right finlament.
Ive just dismantled the PTFE tube today and its fine, no blockages or damage.
I then removed the nozzle, cleaned it and made sure that it wasnt blocked. When I insert a wire from the top of the extuder it goes quite far down and then comes to a stop soemewhere around the heater block. How do I go about fixing that? I'm not very happy as I only got the printer just before christams and Ive not had any issues to explain why there could be a problem with the heater block.
Well, I've spent all day on this. I removed the PTFE tube, yet again and it was clear. I also removed the heat break, again clear, and removed the nozzle from the heater block, the hole in the heater block was clear. The nozzle was discoloured and clogged, so I cleaned it again. After putting it all back together, I set the temp to 280, so I could replace the nozzle, but couldn't get the temp to go higher than 200 and then it would come up with temp error and start to cool down. Does it sound like the thermistor is faulty? and could this have been the problem from the beginning with the temperature not going high enough and resulting in a clogged nozzle or could there be something else at fault? How would I go about testing the thermistor to make sure its working right?
Sure, a bad thermistor could be an issue, in particular if it fails intermittently, which could result in clogs. Not sure how to test it, I'm sure there's a way but I'm not an electrical engineer. I would just splurge and spent the $10 or so to get a new one. Actually, I guess it may also be the heater element... Maybe best thing to do is to get on the chat with Prusa Support and ask them how to diagnose it. In either case, I'd buy a few spares. Very easy to kill the thermistor or heater elements when you replace the nozzle or deal with a blob of death... I always have a few extra around for that reason.
Ive been in touch with Prusa and they are sending me out a new thermistor- as my printer is still under warranty. If that doesnt work Ill try replacing the heater block - but rather than wait for one to come from Prusa, ill order it from a third party.
Where do you get your spares from?
I'm in the US, I get most of my spare parts from PrintedSolid.com, or even Amazon.com, in particular if I need something quickly. I have also ordered parts from Prusa directly, they're actually amazingly fast getting things shipped to the US, usually only 2 days in transit.
In the US, you can get Prusa parts from PrintedSolid, MatterHackers, FilamentOne, Filastruder and others. I find Filastruder tends to have some of the smaller Prusa versions of some parts.
okay you got me here. What do you mean by “smaller Prusa versions of some parts“?
Thanks. It looks like being Prusa then, unless I can find somewhere in the UK - but I'll have a look on Amazon.
[...] okay you got me here. What do you mean by “smaller Prusa versions of some parts“?
Ah, sorry. Let's try "stock smaller Prusa-specific variants of some parts", so E3D thermistors and heater cartridges with the Prusa-specific cable lengths, for example. Some resellers only stock larger items such as full hotend assemblies.
I'm now back up and running! I replaced the Thermistor and it still wouldn't heat up past 200 so I decided to replace the heat cartridge, but couldn't release the grub screw from the heater block – no matter what I did. I even tried heating up the block with a hairdryer but it still didn't work. In the end, I got a new heater block. I found out the E3D is a UK company, so was able to order the parts for the hot end very easily.
For good measure, I replaced the thermal compound on the heat sink – although I did damage the collet on the heat beak when I replaced the PTFE tube and had to order some more. So, the short version is, the heat cartridge was the problem. Now I've re-calibrated, I'm printing better than before!. Thanks again for your help.
I would recommend using a bit of copper or aluminium paste when assembling the heating block components, (aluminium paste with the aluminum heating block). This prevents corrosion and sticking of the screwed elements.