How long should a Printrbot extruder last? I think I've warn mine out.

(Brandon Cramer) #1

How long should a Printrbot extruder last? I think I’ve warn mine out. It is constantly clogging and I’m not able to print period right now. I’ve noticed it will smoke and smell like burnt plastic lately. I’m using a Printrbot Simple Metal. I’ve been printing non stop since January. @Brook_Drumm

(Mike Kowalczyk) #2

(Mike Kowalczyk) #3

Surgery time. Go find your problem, I bet you will see where your issue is/what’s burning. Might just be able to give it all a good clean.

(Mike Kowalczyk) #4

I posted a picture up above for disassembly. As far longevity, might just be time for a new nozzle. Do you ever print exotic materials? Brass fill, wood? Maybe upgrade to printrbots all metal ubis. I haven’t used it yet… I have an e3d that’s been going forever. Once in a while I take it all apart and hit it with a blow torch

(Brandon Cramer) #5

I’ve tore it apart! Looks rusty inside the extruder where the cold end attaches to the hot end. Does the red insulting piece do anything besides keeping myself from getting burned? I haven’t used it for a while?

I didn’t know how the white piece attached so I didn’t want to mess with it.

It will extrude filament for about a minute and then it just starts chewing up the filament as it tries to feed it. Shards of pla filament everywhere. :wink:

(Mike Kowalczyk) #6

There is your issue. The insulator is key in minimizing the heat transition zone

(Brandon Cramer) #7

@Mike_Kowalczyk I’ve replaced the tip a few times thinking that might have been my problem. I’ve used this carbon fiber filament, but other that that just normal pla filament.

(Mike Kowalczyk) #8

I bet you will have more success with abs, but what you described is definitely what will always happen if you push pla through a heat zone that is too big…the insulator keeps the hot part hot and keeps it from “heat creeping” up the barrel

(Mike Kowalczyk) #9

The problem is your filament is going from cold to warm to chewy to hot… It needs to go from cold to hot. No laffy taffy!!!

(Mike Kowalczyk) #10

You may get away with printing at the lowest possible temp to minimize heat creep… But that insulator is there for a good reason

(Brandon Cramer) #11

I will clean it out today and see if I have the insulator still. Thanks for the info.

(Mike Kowalczyk) #12

Just lookup “heat creep pla” if you want more info.

(Jeff DeMaagd) #13

PLA and metal barreled hot ends are known to cause people grief, so you do need to have things in good condition. If you’re already cooling the barrel, maybe find a higher flow fan.

As an aside, carbon fiber filaments are known to wear out brass parts & nozzles.

(Michal Canecky) #14

printrbot extruders last about a month or two if you are lucky and they are always out of stock, lol, what a joke.

(Mike Kowalczyk) #15

I disagree. The ubis has a lot of longevity and incredible reliability with both PLA and ABS. My friend @Bob_Forster has been using his for well over a year. Its probably one of the best non all metal hotends (if not the best) out there. They do have an all-metal option too I think?

(Brandon Cramer) #16

I would have to agree @Mike_Kowalczyk My Printrbot Simple Metal has printed non-stop since I got it in January. I kid you not! Up until I used the carbon fiber pla, I never had any issues. After I used that, I started experiencing the clogged tip etc. Sure it is a pain that I can’t go purchase the UBIS all-metal version right now since it’s out of stock. @Brook_Drumm

(Ross Hendrickson) #17

My ubis has been going strong for over 3 years, carbon fiber filament can easily ruin the hot end. The insulator and cooling is key to performance. Think what would happen to your car if you just removed your radiator.

(Mike Kowalczyk) #18

The solution to printing those types of materials is to use a stainless steel barrel so it doesn’t get wrecked. (I am told)

(Tim Sills) #19

I had this issue, but it didn’t smoke or smell like burnt plastic…it just kept jamming. I too was printing non-stop on multi-hour prints. I also had added an extruder fan to cool the extruder motor. This was on an old wooden PB Simple.
But I noticed that it seemed to experience heat creep up the insulator barrel whereas you could previously touch it without getting burnt but over time it seemed to progressively get hotter.
I kept taking it apart and cleaning etc. Eventually ordered replacement hotend and problem solved. And my timeframe was about the same as yours in that after about 6 months it started having problems.
Also, with the new hotend you’ll recognize how much your old nozzle has been worn out. I’d forgot how fine .2mm can be.

(Mike Kowalczyk) #20

New nozzles are like a fresh pair of socks.