Baffled by this particular problem with my extruder and could use some help.

Baffled by this particular problem with my extruder and could use some help.

My Simple has started acting up where the extruder motor is skipping. I’m using the stock wooden extruder setup but with a 40mm fan blowing on the extruder. This has worked great for the last few months.

Now the motor will skip and slip backwards as if there’s a jam in the hot end. I’ve taken the hot end apart and made sure there isn’t a clog. I can extrude manually as well as push filament into the hot end. I’ve really slowed the printer down as well as am running at 200* with PLA.

The gear isn’t slipping on the filament cause that’s a slightly different sound and I have moderate pressure applied with the filament bearing.
I’ve swapped filament and still have the same problem as well as I cranked the voltage up with the board’s POT. So much so that I cranked it back to 3/4 cause the motor was noticeably hotter.

Anyhow, I’m kind of at the end of my rope on this one. Clearly with the slippage it’s under extruding as seen in my test prints. I’ve double checked my calibration and noticed I had to slightly increase my E steps as well (which I thought was odd that this would change).

Do these sound like problems with my extruder motor?

Without filament or tension is the extruder motor able to turn properly?

If not it may indicate that one of the coils in the step motor is damaged or that one of the 4 wires is not connected properly.

Yes, it’ll work fine when manually extruding withing RH (although sometimes it’ll also skip). It really seemed like an issue of the filament isn’t at temp and able to push through the hot end, but cranking the temp up didn’t seem to make a difference. I believe the hot end is working fine though I tried to take measurements with a pyrometer but in the end didn’t know where to measure from and got varying temp readings.

I had a driver go weak on me, it exhibited similar behavior.

@Mike_Miller , thx…so did you replace the board and the problem went away?

Like Andre said check your stepper. I had one do that and it was one of the wires had broken from flexing.

@Tim_Sills yeah, I had 6 and was using 4. If you don’t have any spares, you could swap two and see if the problem follows the driver.

@Mike_Miller The Printrboard does not have swappable motor driver boards. However the swap idea is indeed the way to go. @Tim_Sills Swap your extruder and let’s say your X axis motor connectors on the Printrboard and see if your jogging the extruder makes your X platform move correctly.

@Andre_Courchesne1 , yup, I was going to swap the connectors for one of the other motors and then manually extrude to see if I could get it to skip. It seems like it’ll mainly do it when doing infill, which I’ve really slowed down.

I’ve had this problem on my Simple. I did three modifications around the same time that seem to have largely solved it for me:
I printed a filament guide that guides the filament to about 1mm from the extruder gear. Before I had this, the filament would sometimes move out of the groove, to the edge of the gear.
I moved my filament spool to a shelf above the Simple, so it was feeding straight down and not trying to pull out of alignment.
I attached a small fan to the side of the extruder opposite the motor. This seems to keep heat from migrating up and making the PLA filament soft (which often caused it to jam). I didn’t need any cooling on the motor, as it is never more than warm to the touch.
Hope this helps.

thx @Carlton_Dodd , I’ve had a fan on mine for the last few months, which made a world of a difference. I can see the guide would be helpful cause my filament sits on a book shelf above the printer but it’s off to the side so it feeds in a little crooked. I’m back to printing normally, but it took cranking temp up t 210 and slowing down quite a bit.