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  1. #1

    Ender-3 spaghetti factory

    Hey all,

    First time post here, I hope this is the right place (seems like there should be a specific subforum for the Ender-3, but I didn't see it).

    I won an Ender-3 in a raffle at Christmas (including black&white spools of Hatchbox PLA), we had a honeymoon period for a few months, I would just throw stuff on there downloaded from thingiverse and sliced with Cura defaults, and it would just print. Once in a while I'd have to re-level the bed, but otherwise it was happy. Based on how much I have left on my kg spools, I guess I pushed about 700-1000g of filament through it.

    Then I let it sit in the garage without printing anything for a month or 2 (SoCal -- it's not that cold), then hit it hard with a bunch of new projects (and some new filament: hatchbox grey PLA, and hatchbox green ABS (<-- accident))

    Maybe it's mad that I ignored it for a while, because now the printer is very finicky. Now whenever I start a print I watch the first layer or two, and usually stop it, scrape the board clean, and restart once or twice before it gets a good foundation (bed adhesion problems I guess). If it's a short print (~1hr or less) there's a pretty good chance it will work out, but if it's many hours, usually somewhere it goes wrong and I'll come back to a pile of spaghetti.

    Even ones that don't go as bad as spaghetti, will have one or two misprinted layers in the middle, so they break apart there. (Often I've just glued them together at the break with superglue or gorilla glue (the open waffle interior is good for gorilla glue which likes to expand))

    I noticed that some filament was hard to push into and pull out of the tube (new grey I'm looking at you), so I've tried rubbing the filament with oil -- just one small drop over 6-8in, rubbed on with one hand, and then rubbed off with the other hand, to try to make sure the filament can go through the tube smoothly.

    I've replaced the nozzle with the spare nozzle that came with the kit -- now how do I clean a nozzle? Or are they disposable?

    I've tried leveling and re-leveling, at temperature -- but how hard should it scratch the paper? If the adhesion brim looks like paste or film on the bed, does that mean (that side of) the bed is too high? I've done micro-tweaks mid-print (1/8 turns of leveling knobs) if I think the printing looks uneven towards one corner. Do I need aquanet? Is the original bed-mat worn and needs replacing?

    I've tightened the X- and Y-belts.

    I've tried tweaking slicing settings in cura: decreasing resolution, increasing fill%, using a raft, etc.

    Nothing works reliably.

    Please educate me on what I need to do to maintain my 3D-printer, and get it back up to how well it worked when it was new.

  2. #2
    Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Wow. I watched that, and then the video utub gave me next (grr, can't post links yet: 'ender 3, cr-10 - hotend ptfe fix' by CHEP

    Seems to make sense that a plug like that would impeded filament flow and cause the kinds of issues I'm seeing. So I guess I gotta start looking for screws to take that all apart and maybe I'll find a plug in there too?

    Easiest fix is to just push the tube in further? Maybe remove the nozzle, push the tube down into the nozzle threads, and then let the nozzle push the tube back up when I screw it in?

    There's also the little washer designed by OneBadMarine mentioned in the 2nd video (thingiverse thing:3203831), that seems easy to try as well

  4. #4
    OK, so I preheated, took the filament out, cooled down, took the fan housing off, took the hotend off (left all the wires connected), took the nozzle off, heated to let any plastic in there to drip out; nothing dripped out, but I scraped around in there with one of the small allens and got some bits of plastic out, used the pointy end of the sidecutters to get some of the hard plastic out of the noozle.

    Then the ptfe tube had free passage all the way through the hotend. I inserted it halfway down the noozle threads, threaded the noozle, then screwed in the tube-holding-thingie on the top. Then I screwed the noozle in all the way, letting it push the tube up, and periodically releasing pressure with the above holding-thingie (what's that called?)

    It made things a little better maybe, but didn't instantly transform it back to like new. I reprinted a half-hour part I've been working on, 100% infill ABS because the instructions say this part is the critical piece that needs to be strong. Last time I printed it, all the threads on the sidewalls didn't adhere to each other, so it was like horizontal hairy curtains all around that came off. This time there's still some hairyness, not as extreme.

  5. #5
    I readjusted the ptfe again, and this time it seemed to work. My PLA is now printing like new. I finished a 6hr print and it came out great. Just started a 9hr print with confidence!

    I will definitely be printing out a OneBadMarine washer though...

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Yeah a section for 'problems with ender 3 and why you should never get one' - might be a good idea :-)

  7. #7
    Lol, some people have more money than time, that's not me. I'd rather pay $200 and put in a little elbow grease than pay way more.

    Anyways I won mine in a raffle.

  8. #8
    Testing shows that although the printer is working great for PLA, it is crap with ABS. Hopefully when I get that washer in there, ABS will work better.

  9. #9
    Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Have a Hictop 3DP11 12volt system an a 3DP12 24volt system they are practically the same 3D Printer as the Ender 3.

    Had no problems printing ABS. Shown in the Time Lapsed Video below is a 6 1/2 hour ABS Print at 96C Bed Temperature and Nozzle Temperature at 228C.

    XY_C_Burly20
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ci...PXxvQut8DddyeE

  10. #10
    I got some decent ABS prints early on, but things went downhill. I'm sure the ender-3 is able to print ABS, but I need to change something.
    FWIW, Cura is using default temps of I think 240C/nozzle and 80C bed.

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