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  1. #1

    Ender 3 extruder motor clicking

    I have a Creality Ender 3 printer, and I have been having continual issues with the extruder motor trying to push the filament through, but it seems unable to get enough torque, and just clicks, acting almost like a ratchet. I have replaced the factory bowden tube and coupler with better quality ones, and the issue is still there. With the new tube and couplers, there is no build up of filament inside the hot end. I am new to 3d printing, and have no idea where to go from here. Thank you for any help that you have to offer.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    When replacing the bowden tube you have to push it in quite hard otherwise it will not reach the bottom, thereby forming a pocket that causes a clogs.
    You may need to burn out the nozzle, this can be done heating nozzle to red hot this will remove all debris.

  3. #3
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    Just a silly question is you hot end getting to a high enough temperature ??

  4. #4
    I was printing PLA, at about 235 degrees

  5. #5
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    At that temperature (if the nozzle is at that temperature?) pla is melted. Just check you can push filament through manually. Pinch the side of the extruder as if you were loading filament and try to push filament down the PTFE tube. For every cm you push in bout 3 cm of extruded filament should emerge from a 0.4mm nozzle.

    Once youhave tried that and get back to I will try to help further

  6. #6
    So, I did what you said and got about 3 cm from the nozzle for every cm i pushed through. One other thing that came to mind is that I was printing 0.3 mm layers with a 0.4 mm nozzle. Could that be the problem?

  7. #7
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    You can successfully 3D Print up to a 0.32mm layer height with a 0.4mm nozzle.

    max extrusion is about 80% of the nozzle diameter. 80% * .4 = .32

  8. #8
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    Because you can feed filament by hand suggests that there is not a blockage in the tube/hotend But that the force needed is beyond that that the extruder mechanism can supply.
    a couple of reasons come to mind
    1 the filament is not being softened enough for some reason you say you are printing PLA at 235C which should be enough but a faulty thermistor are not unknown. If you have some way of measuring the nozzle temp such as an infra red thermometer I would check that.
    2 That the Extruder is not gripping the filament hard enough. Is the extruder gear actually rotating or just just moving forward a bit and the dropping back.
    3 The stepper motor might be jammed or 1 phase of its supply absent.
    You could take the Bowden tube out of the hot end and then try to see whether it will feed filament down the bowden tube.
    If it does the next test is to see if it will feed filament without the nozzle .Its going to be messy but just warm the hot end up and remove the nozzle then try printing.

    let me know

  9. #9
    I was unable to test the temp on the nozzle, but its hot enough to melt PLA in a quick touch. The first few layers of a print are usually fine, but after a while the gear will move forward a bit and then click back, like you mentioned.

  10. #10
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    That indicates that the filament is trying to extrude !! you could try giving it a helping hand by pushing the filament gently and seeing whether that helps. Have you tried changing the nozzle
    question after the fault has occurred can you pull the filament back while it is hot with little force (after disengaging the extruder camp wheel of course)

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