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Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?

Posted by phate 
Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 01, 2013 12:35AM
Hello everyone, I am still working on getting my prusa i3 (by xs ink) to print quality prints. I have changed the belts, soldered motor connections, bought a new ($80) hot end, and fiddled around non-stop, all to no avail. It seems that I am constantly fixing problems only to have more come up and I am starting to get significantly frustrated. I have had this printer for over 4 months and I can barley make simple prints and if the prints require retraction or bridging you can forget it. My most recent problem (which I assume would also help my bridging problem) is that the printer's extruder (wade?) will randomly slip. I test this by putting a little sharpie mark on the feed stock and then extruding about 20mm of filament. The mark will randomly start slipping for a little and then catch again. This slipping can also be felt if I turn the gear by hand. I have adjusted the feed stock clamp to all sorts of tensions once (I added springs) again to no avail . If I run the feed stock without the hot-end I can clearly see continues bite marks, at a reasonable depth along the feed stock. Please help me out here.
Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 01, 2013 07:27AM
Hi Phate,

Have you checked your hobbed bolt?
It could be that there are little pieces of filament on the teeth of your bolt... Open your extruder and check it out...

Other possible things:
- Drill out the hole between the hobbed bolt and your hot-end, it took me a week to find out why my extruder was grinding my filament at random times in a print... Even bought a new hot-end... (and that didn't work either of course smiling smiley
- Bad temperature regulation? Have you tried to turn up the heat a bit?

And that other thing... i know the feeling, it sucks to have that thing on your desk for weeks, being a pain in the ass... I've got mine printing quite good for the moment, but it took me 6 weeks, 3 hours a day, but it still isn't how i really want it...

Sorry for my bad english! Let me know how it went...


Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 01, 2013 09:42AM
Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention that I did check out and cleaned the hobbed bolt (used some qtips, alcohol and air). I didn't try to drill out the hole but how large should I drill it out. The feed stock seems to go through the hole fine (when I push it by hand). As for the heat it doesnt really seem to change anything, as a matter of fact when i turn it up too high the filament melts in the tube (before the hot end) and causes a clog. Thanks in advance.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2013 09:46AM by phate.
Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 01, 2013 10:47AM
I drilled the hole out wit a 3.5mm bit.

Can i ask, what hot-end are you using right now?

Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 01, 2013 04:30PM
Thanks ill try that tonight. As for the hot end I bought this one [www.ebay.com] (obviously only one though)
Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 03, 2013 08:12AM
Hi - how is the quality of your filament? I occasionally get a kg with 'knots' in and it jams the drive. In fact I've just complained to the supplier because it wastes hours of printing.
Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?... Hobbed Bolts & Brass Drive Inserts are junk !!!
November 03, 2013 11:48AM
I turned my printer from a unreliable hobby toy printer, to a consistently reliable Precision 3D Printer Machine by 1) Replace Hobbed Bolt/Brass Drive Insert with MK7 Drive Insert (you must change the E Step value in the Firmware to compensate/calibrate to the change in the MK7 drive insert dia.),

No offense,,, but every time I read a post about extruder feed problems, they always have one thing in common... JUNK Filament Drive Inserts

HOW STUPID IS THIS TO USE THESE !!!... pretty stupid to use this or rely on these sub-par designs and components.

Let it be know that bolts are case hardened, and once you "hob the bolt" you remove the case hardened surface and now your filament is now driven by soft low carbon steel with no wear resistance.

The brass drive insert that some machines use is also a joke, as it is literally a part produced for a RC Cars to drive the soft rubber wheels/tires.

The MK7 drive insert is made from high quality Stainless Steel that keeps its driving edges in tact and is wear resistant. Problem solved, no more ruined prints from slipping filament/skipped extruder steps. The MK7 is Purpose Built Designed for a specific purpose,,, to drive and feed filament consistently without slipping for a 3D Printer.

For months now I can print at .1-.2mm layer height walk away come back hours/days later for long prints, and retrieve my non-failed print.

Hopes this helps !

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2013 03:24PM by ShawnT98027.
Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 03, 2013 01:38PM
Thank you for the input as for the filament i made sure to buy high quality filament from ultimaker. As for Shawn's idea, I didn't realize the hobbed bolt made such a difference. I would love to switch to a more reliable system but how would I convert my wade extruder to use the mk7. If I have to buy a different extruder could you please link me in the right direction. Thanks in advance. Oh and it would have to fit my prusa i3

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2013 01:39PM by phate.
Re: Extruder Slippage, HELP?!?
November 03, 2013 03:06PM
Ultimachine is my main supplier (quality filament made from USA pellets, and Extruded to Filament in the USA), Johnny is a great guy and stand behind his filaments.

Not a fan of Wade's extruder, seems like the blind following the blind and popularizing this design (just like the ones constantly blogging about problems using hobbed bolts). They all are NEVER going to produce quality results other than trinket/toy quality results. They all need to jump ship, change our their extruder to a Direct Drive Extruder and then PRINT Quality items free of slippage defects.

I use a direct drive extruder, NO BS Wade's Extruder Herringbone Gears printed from plastic that are not uniform or reliable, these are not ever used in any precision reliable machine. For printing trinkets & toys go for it using Wade's Extruder Design, if your wanting to print professional quality 3D prints go with a Direct Drive Extruder Design, less room for slippage errors, less room for feed rate errors (caused by plastic printed gears that are geometrically imperfect), Eliminate the above two flaws (1 any extruder using printed plastic gears, and 2 any extruder using a Hobbed Bolt/Brass Drive Insert), and you have just eliminated two sources of reliability issues and print quality issues. AND no more big headaches or failed prints from slippage ever again !

Wade's extruder with the gears look really cool verses a simple direct drive extruder that produces the quality and reliability most people want, I bought my 3D printer to print with, and not to play or fiddle with and continue to blog about the same old problems. Seems to be a social thing.

IMHO Wade's extruder design is old school, meant for 3mm filament and for producing low quality prints. Larger prints over 200mm in print size and using 3mm filament is where a Geared Extruder Design (and not using plastic gears and a hobbed bolt) might be advantageous to reduce the load on the stepper motor driving the filament through extruder hot end. Also not sure why anybody these days would want to print with 3mm filament on a desktop size printer to produce prints under 200mm print size. Wade's extruder was probably the hot ticket a few years ago, but not today.


The MK7 is MakerBots design, however I looks like now there are several suppliers for this. Personally I trust MakerBots (Made in USA) materials, so I probably would steer away from the other suppliers of unknown origin and of unknown material.

USA Quality Made.

China and Hong Kong Made from using questionable manufacturing standards and most likely sub-par materials.

I use a direct drive extruder and 1.75mm PLA to print .1mm layer height with a +- .05mm tolerance, ALL day long every day with no extruder issues ever.

You will never look back once you have made these changes, similar to people who use to print with ABS and now only with print with PLA, they never look back either.

Hope I have been of help.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2013 12:20PM by ShawnT98027.
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