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  1. #1

    Fillament cuts out during long prints.


    My name is Martijn, and i'm completly new to 3D printing.
    I bought myself an adventurer 3 a few days ago, which as I understand is ideal for beginners.

    (English is not my main language, please be patient with me)

    After a first few succesful prints (the stock square box, and a Benchy boat) I wanted to try something I've wanted for a long time, the Eiffeltower.
    Most factory made models of the tower are rather basic, as where the Thingyverse one has (almost) all the edges and struts and so on... beautiful.

    So I calibrated my bed in the 9 required steps. Put in some in grey fiilament, and sent the code to the printer. And the printer came to life.
    It would take 11 hours to complete, so I went to my work. Via IP camera I watched the printer. My wife was sitll at home, handy for in case of an emergency.
    After approx. 8 hours, it stopped giving out fillament. The extruder and printbed are still making print movements, but the extruder is about 3cm higher than the printed project.
    Once I was home I cancelled the print.

    I did some research and learned about clogging and cold-pulls.
    So i perform a cold-pull by heating up, manually putting in white fillament, turn off heating whilst fillament is coming out of the nozzle, then once it's cooled pulling it out the top of the extruder.
    This gave some grey residu on the white fillament. I repeated this 3x untill the fillament cold-pulled out white.
    I didn't have the feeling it was clogged at any time, the white fillament came out the nozzle just fine.

    Then I set up to print the tower again.
    This time I scaled it up and cut it in two parts, maybe it was the small details that made it go wrong I thought.
    Now the print wil take 32 hours to complete... I have no idea if a printer is capable of such a task, but here we go.
    I swapped the grey fillament for a silver fillament.
    But again, now after approx 12 hours it;s the same again. De extruder is printing in thin air way above the already printed parts, but no fillament to be seen.

    So again I perform everything that I am able to do with my knowledge.
    Cold-pull procedure, printbed 9-point calibrated, fillament feeder cleaned. I saw nothing alarming anywhere.
    I am convinced that everything is good as it can be at this point so I start up the print from the beginning.
    But unfortunatly once again the same story...
    After approx. 24 hours it stopped the fillament, and is still making print moves.

    Now I'm not going to start the tower up again. Clearly i'm doing something wrong.
    I do have a replacement nozzle now. i read that the stock nozzle is not the best. Allthough the replacement looks the same.

    With the new nozzle I have now succesfully printed some othter things, without any issues.
    But again, when I print the Eiffeltower it stops giving filament at some random point during the print.

    What should I do or check to get it to finish a long print?

    I also have some dummy questions;
    1. When he's "printing air" well above the object without fillament. Is it possible to resume the print job after fixing the error, and let him resume at a specifiable layer? That way I don't have to throw away a lot of hours waiting.
    2. Whilst printing for a long time, is it advisalble/possible to pauze printing, perform a cold-pull, them resume printing? Maybe that could solve my problem.


  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Hmm, tricky one and probably nothing to do with clogged nozzles.
    If it hasn't clogged within the first hout or so - it's unlikely to clog after that.

    try printing a simple cylinder the same height as the tower and see if that stops at the same height.
    You can set layer height to 0.3mm and speed to 75mm/s
    If you use a simple 5mm pillar with 20% infill, it should not take long.

    That way we can determine if it's cutting out after a given period of time or after a certain print height.
    5mm x 100mm cylinder attached - you can rescale it in flashprint to the same height as the eifle tower model.

    Are you printing the file from an sd card or through a usb cable ?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
    Hi, thanks for your reply.

    The height is not the issue. It stops at various heights.
    Also the density of the model isn't the problem. On 'standard' as well as 'hyper' the same happens.
    Time is also different each time.
    I tried to post photos but it wouldn't post then.
    I can (and have) print anything but the tower wihout problems so far, no matter how long the print taken, or how high it goes.

    I have replaced the nozzle/hot end, PTFE tube and fittings. (Dispite that the machine is brandnew)
    The filament roll is running off freely on a purpose stand.

    When he stops giving fillament during printing, I can see that the extruder gear is still turning. It is slipping on the filament.
    If I then swap filament he loads it fine and it also comes out the nozzle. No blokkage.

    My theory;
    The tower has a whole lot of small struts and beams. This means that the printer does a lot of back-and-forth movenment with the fillament whilst delivering a very small needed amount.
    Could it be that it eats into the fillament excessivly and then starts slipping.
    I allready have placed a washer under the extruder spring to increase pressure but that doesn't make a difference.

    I print via WiFi hotspot or USB stick. The problem occurs on both.
    All other projects are transfered the same and do got without problems.

    A new brass 40-tooth extruder gear is on it's way.
    And I'm going to look for an other STL file of a Eiffeltower. Just to see what happens.
    At the moment he is printing a mediumsize unicorn for my daughter on 'hyper' setting. And there is no issue at all.
    It's really only on the Eiffeltower.


  4. #4
    The first time it stopped.
    Grey filament. 8-hours

    Silver filament. -/+ 12h

    Silver filament. -/+ 24h

  5. #5
    Beautiful work, very interesting to see the final model

  6. #6
    Well, unfortunatly it won't finish the model... I've given up.

    After repalcing all the obvious parts without the wanted outcome I think to understand where the problem lies.
    During the printing of all those tiny struts the nozzle travels a lot but only has to give out a tiny bit of fillament.
    When it goes to travel it retracs the fillamen 5mm t to avoid stringing. But because it needs so little fillament to print those struts it keeps retracting and extracting on the same 5mm of fillament, wich wears out that piece of fillament in the extruder, and the gear loses grip.
    I have seen this happening on a removed piece of fillament, it had deep worn out sections over a short length, intermittent as paintlines on the road.
    Shortening the retraction length helps avoid this, but then the model suffers from exessive stringing and doesn't look nice. And the stringing is also very deep into the models core structure wher it is vissible but practicly un-removable.
    So as said I've given up trying to print this model.


  7. #7
    Failure is also a rewarding experience!

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