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  1. #1
    Technologist Ward's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
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    Both Extruders Now Malfunctioned

    Over the last year my Flash Forge Creator X Clone has been doing great....until the last month. Now neither extruder is working.

    It started with the left extruder. It was printing fine one day then the next about half way through a print it seems as though the filament just stopped feeding.

    About a month later, the exact same thing happened to the right extruder.
    They both still heat up and the gears seem to be moving.

    Is this likely just a clog issue or a failure of some part of the extruder head assembly?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Technologist Ward's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
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    Follow up......

    Completely disassembled both extruders.
    Found very little debris in the gears but blew them out. Only a litle dust so I assume that was not the problem.

    Removed the nozzles. One appeared clogged. Took a torch to both of them and heated them until everything in or on them turned to a fine ash powder.
    Cleaned them both thoroughly afterwards. Looked through them....both now clear.

    One PTFE tube had a bit of hardened debris in it. Cleaned both PTFE tubes thoroughly with a 2mm drill bit shaft.

    Ordered new PTFE tubing but it wont arrive for about 10 days so reassembled the assembly and running a test now.

    So far so good. Print looks great....but the problem before was not at the beginning of a print, but rather about 2 - 4 hours in.

    I have the printer on a battery backup so short power outages don't stop the printing. It is running from the internal SD card slot...not from an external computer.

    If the problem persists, I will assume there may be some kind of intermittent power supply issue and open up the power supply and if I find nothing, probably look for a replacement. Don't know what else it could be.

    One odd clue to this problem is that when the problem occurs, it does not seem to continue spewing filament. It seems to stop flowing filament altogether. There is not a mess of tangled filament. Instead, it looks like the filament flow just tapered off and left a slight "fluffy" appearance to the top of the print as the filament tapered off to zero flow.

    My best WAG is that for some reason, the heaters turned off at some point during the print.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    That "fluffy" look is familiar. I had something similar when the filament got stuck on the spool. Another time the filament actually broke off in the feed tube. My guess is that if you don't have an obvious clog then you are running dry on filament for some reason.

  4. #4
    I once had massive nozzle issues. Filament would stop extruding at random points, strange shell and roof textures, etc. Cleaned out the extruder multiple times. Same problem on both nozzles. Even replaced a heater. No luck.

    Turns out it was a batch of poor quality filament. Switched brands, never had an issue since.

    Filament ages, it absorbs moisture, it dries out, it can have impurities, it can have airpockets, it can be something other than what it says on the box... get yourself some samples from a different supplier and try that. My opinion.


  5. #5
    Super Moderator
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    I have found recently as humidity drops with winter that my filaments are getting more brittle and breaking easily.

  6. #6
    it is the clog issue, I think it should be the heater or filament issues.

  7. #7
    Technologist Ward's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
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    Could be the filament. It's been open for about 9 months (almost all used up now). But was stored in airtight containers with desiccant.

    I took the entire dual extruder head out, thoroughly cleaned it. Cleaned the nozzles (heated them until anything in them was ash them cleaned them out). One PTFE tube was kinda clogged. Replaced it. Printed about 30 hours since and SFSG. But...I notice the LED lights in the cabinet blinking out occasionally and I have about 1200 hours on the unit.

    I'm wondering if it could also be related to the power supply?
    I ordered one off ebay. 24V - 14amps. It looks exactly like the one in my printer now.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Quality...3D252618475097

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