Ye Olde Extruder Skipping issue
If swapping nozzles reduced the clicking, a bit more heat (5C) might eliminate the last of it. The P3-D nozzles are supposed to have better thermal conductivity than brass, so that might explain the improvement.
Still concerned about the temps needed though. I print PLA with Apollo series nozzles at 190-210C.
Thanks! The P3D Apollo is very good, you can tell how much faster it heats up when you try screwing it into a hot heat block :-).
Yes, I switched to Apollo 3D (possibly on your advice?) to improve my printing of ASA, which it did very nicely. Though I have spares for the gears I'm kinda inclined to leave well alone, rather than pother around, while it's basically working. Got things I want to print 'n all that.
Let's see if my luck lasts :-).
Something to note: overnight I printed something wide and flat, came out perfectly, had to re-print it with a tweak this morning and in the middle of the first layer the louder extruder clicking and under-extrusion returned (the quiet extruder clicking was always there, both last night and this morning). It is a hot day here in the UK so I decided to switch a fan on and point it at the extruder motor/head and that has resolved the problem, possibly including, when I switched the noisy fan off briefly to check, the quieter click.
The extruder motor had been getting quite hot, almost too hot to touch; it is now at room temperature.
I've never really (consciously) touched the extruder motor before, kinda assumed it would get hot anyway, as would the gears, and that was simply an expected part of the printer design. And of course the filament will be being cooled by the fan also, though less effectively than the metal bits.
Could the extruder motor itself somehow become faulty and so get hotter, pushing things out of kilter?
To be clear, I've never had such issues caused by the ambient temperature before and the printer has always been in the same room of the house, no changes in the immediate environment.
If you think it's the extruder motor I would think about replacing it. Plenty of people run their printers in enclosures and for days on end so it should be able to handle ambient temperature while printing. I have two of mine in a converted upright freezer that will get above 100f/37.8c easily if I keep the door shut. I did moved the power supplies outside the freezer, but have never had any issues with them. Thanks for keeping us updated it's nice to know the progress. Keep on trouble shooting. 🙂
oh man, I just wrote an hour long response to your recent post, pictures and all, and as I went to add a quote in to part of the reply the entire thing vaporized. I just don't have it in me to write it all again, so I'm just going to say extruder motors can go bad any of the drive motors can and materials that you worked with before can suddenly act strange for no obvious reason.
Oh dear! I'll be very careful with this slightly peculiar forum software in future. I'd resisted changing the gears 'cos I didn't want to completely disassemble the extruder head, same goes for the motor, but maybe I should consider going the whole hog (@ EURO37 for a motor)? I was reflecting earlier on that you wouldn't consider having to "tune" your 2D printer, shows just how primitive 3D printing is at the moment, though I guess if you spent a couple of orders of magnitude more on a machine you'd get what is today the "2D printer" experience.
Wow, your gonna make me write another hour long post with that one, 🤣
This is the second time its happened to me here. Peculiar isn't how I would describe it, but I will be considerably less inclined to do long post or explanations here in the future.
At work we have Stratasys printers I'm not the guy to quote the prices but it seems to me I heard 20k a piece and a 50k a year service contract. that gets you a duel extruder, heated chamber, baffles to your motors to cool them, almost point and click print my model software and unfortunately a somewhat limited amount of types materials that can be used, as well we pay about $200 a roll for ABS, that's the only one I know the price of. and they break also I've seen failed prints from them. My Prusa printer from a quality of print stand point will go head to head with those machines, and I have proved it to them at work, to the point they allowed me to buy one and use it there, to help expedite my projects.
All that said, I'm the key ingredient there, I'm the artist that makes it successful.
The printer is your tool, the modeling program and filament are your medium.
Your knowledge of these things in our case, @ our price point is what give us success or failure.
I better stop before I loose this post to the void, I think you are looking at this the right way, have a spare wait it out and keep paying attention.
you seem like a smart person and I've been enjoying following this post.
So it seems it's all art: both the printing process and the product. Maybe we won't be replaced by machines so soon after all :-).
To conclude this thread, the problem stayed with me and so I changed both the extruder motor and the gears, not wanting to do half a job while I had to disassemble the extruder body. And lo, perfect prints are back.
If I had to put my money on anything I'd say it was the gear change that did it: when I originally assembled my printer I don't recall there being any advice to grease the gears and, though there is no visual sign of damage, there were metal flakes inside the extruder body. I don't think it is likely to be the fault of the extruder motor since that wouldn't cause clicking; a weakened motor might cause under-extrusion but it wouldn't cause the gears to slip on the filament.
Anyway, I am very happy to be confident in my prints once more. Keep greasing those gears guys!