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PLA gets stuck in extruder during print ...

Posted by timeforprunejuice 
PLA gets stuck in extruder during print ...
February 23, 2017 12:34PM
Hi Folks,

I'm sure this is a common issue, but I didn't find the solution. I'm new to printing and I've got a RepRap Wilson II (Prusa). I've leveled the bed using feeler guages and I have a PEI heated bed. My first layer sticks and the print starts out fairy well. One big issue is that I'm using PLA and I print in my laundry room, and it is raining ... No kidding - so I may have a moisture problem ...

I'm printing Makerbot red PLA at 215 degrees with a E3D6 Lite hot end ...

The problem is that the print starts out great. Then, the filament stops extruding during printing ... I pause the print job, manually pull out the filament and cut ~10cm off, reinstall the filament and continue printing. It keeps printing after this process ... Once the filament stops extruding, I can't force it to extrude by pushing on the filament. I can even see the extruder stepper working ...

Do you have any suggestions? Moisture? Bad filament? Other?

Thank you,

TF Prunejuice

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2017 12:34PM by timeforprunejuice.
Re: PLA gets stuck in extruder during print ...
February 28, 2017 09:53PM
I find it amusing that no one has replied. I do hope your problem is solved by now LOL. What temp are your printing at? If its below 200 you will have problems (presuming you are not printing with black). Heat it to persay 210, and extrude manually. Does it feel as if it gives you resistance? Your hand should be more relaxed, and pushing the filament through should be easy. If you actually need to put some meh effort, or it actually takes power, then take an acupuncture needle/piano wire blah blah blah all the variants, find something that fits in your nozzle. the end. clear it through (just put it in, in and out a few times) extrusion hole and try again. Should be easier then to manually extrude. No need to remove the filament, just have a hot nozzle.
Re: PLA gets stuck in extruder during print ...
March 01, 2017 12:37AM
I would also say temperature issues. What is your retraction distance set on because this doesn't sound like a jam at all. I print PLA at 205-210 degrees (depending on the weather outside, I live in a very moist environment).
Re: PLA gets stuck in extruder during print ...
March 01, 2017 05:09AM
Well I have to disagree with Hedgehog

Most common error, if PLA stops to extrude mid-print and is easy to resume without unclogging the nozzle, it is simply the cold end(Colling fins on top of your hotend) not being cool enough.
It ist absolutely neccesary to have a sharp temperature drop between the heatblock and the cold end. Else PLA tends to grow it's Diameter and simply gets stucked, because friction is to high.

Have your Hotend cooler on all the time, and take care nothing is blocking the in- and outlet of the air-path. - As far as I can find Pictures of your type of Printer on the Internet, it might be, the hotend-coller is blowing against the Extruder Motor. If this is correct, you will always have Problems with printing PLA.
Get a redesigned X-Carriage or change to anther type of Filament - e.g. ABS or PETG - they tend to be easier extruding (but with other issues)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2017 05:09AM by Dancer.
Re: PLA gets stuck in extruder during print ...
March 01, 2017 03:35PM
If the extruder stepper is turning smoothly but filament isn't moving, there isn't enough tension on the extruder spring. If the extruder is making click-click noises, then the filament is jammed up somewhere.

Most likely Dancer is right that it's in the cooling of the hot-end... you could try turning the temperature down a bit to reduce this issue (215 is a bit hot, I print 205 for the first layer, then 195).

But the jam could be anywhere from the filament spool to the extruder to the hot-end and to the leveling of the bed and calibration of the Z axis to software settings in the slicer.
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