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Extruder stops extruding randomly during printing

Posted by wheredidjengo 
Extruder stops extruding randomly during printing
October 02, 2013 12:37PM
Hi All,

I am new to 3D printing so please excuse me if I sound idiotic at times. I have recently built a RepRapPro Mendel and am performing test prints with a single material (PLA).

When performing test prints of a cube or even a flat disc of material I am having issues when randomly during the print the extruder doesn't seem to extrude anymore material thus leaving gaps in the piece (picture attached). I have performed the extruder calibration and it seems to be working fine but the problem still seems to arise. I have also cleaned the hobbed gear and slowed down the extrusion speeds but these inconsistencies are still present.

Please help any suggestions would be of great help! I have found myself pleading with an inanimate object which is driving me crazy!

Thanks so much!
open | download - photo.JPG (161.7 KB)
open | download - photo(1).JPG (101.1 KB)
Re: Extruder stops extruding randomly during printing
October 02, 2013 08:05PM
You must start the process of adjusting and calibrating your extruder.

That gear in your mechanical extruder doesn't always push the filament correctly
Adjust idler pressure on gear
The gear could be just chewing up filament
Clean gear and adjust
Your hotend Not hot enough
Adjust temperature
Inside of your Hotend (the tube that carries the filament) is not smooth enough
Clean out & polish
You nozzle plugged or partially plugged
Clean it out
Filament not sticking to bed or last layer
Level bed --- check z steps
Change color, type, or provider

Adjust 100s of parameters in software (slicer and program running printer

Then it could be a combination of any of these

You will get it right after 1000 meters of filament
Re: Extruder stops extruding randomly during printing
October 03, 2013 04:43AM
Hopefully you won't waste a 1000m of filament !
and hopefully it won't be that hard to solve.

Does the extruder drive keep turning, but no filament comes out ?

If so, it's mechanical, check your hobbed bolt, tension etc.

If the extruder drive actually stops turning, it's electrical.

I had something similiar once, it was just a loose connection, the extruder itself stopped turning.


Re: Extruder stops extruding randomly during printing
May 24, 2014 10:03PM
Hello, I am having a very similar issue except it seems as though the extruder just stops turning on some features but not on others. It is doing infill and rectangular perimeters just fine but when it goes to extrude circular perimeters it just stops turning. I cannot figure out what would cause this since it is specifically targeting these features and targeting them consistently. Any idea what might cause this? It is a pretty big build but nothing my printer hasnt been able to handle before. It causes this very sparse looking shell that is probably a result of residual pressure from extruding previous features.

Re: Extruder stops extruding randomly during printing
February 27, 2015 08:47PM
Try increasing the extruder temperature by 10 degs. I had a similar problem and it turned out because of the material. Every reel of new material needs a little tweaking. Try increasing the temperature, also increase gap between nozzle and bed.
At times, due to less gap, nozzle gets clogged by material, this stops free flow of material.
Let me know what works for you.
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