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My MakerBot 2 jams after a couple hours of prints. It is a couple months old, and the tip stops extruding after a couple straight hours of prints. I am guessing that there is a design flaw and that the media is melting inside the extruder before the feeding teeth. Does anyone have experience with this?

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  • $\begingroup$ I noticed that your question has a few answers available and has been open for a while, just curious if any of the available answers was able to help. If not, then what questions do you still have? $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Jul 3 '16 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ I am interested in the outcome as well. We have a MakerBot Replicator 2X that does the same thing. After about 20 minutes of running it just starts to air print. We've tried a number of things and the best success we've had so far was to hang a fan on the side of the frame pointed in at the extruder. I'm seriously considering an extruder swap out with a 3rd party head. $\endgroup$ – Dave Oct 11 '16 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ I dont remember how this was solved. $\endgroup$ – Dan Powers Oct 13 '16 at 4:24
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As you stated, it could be a result of the material beginning to melt before the extruder. Here's a few things to look out for:

  • Is your extruder temperature appropriate for the material? Typical printing temperatures can range anywhere from 200 - 225 °C for PLA (depending on the supplier). Often, if the extruder is too hot, the material will bubble or over extrude.
  • Is the material of proper quality? There's a reason MakerBot Industries wants you to use their filament (besides putting their hands in your pocket book), and that is repeatability. They've tested their filament on their hardware and ensured that the material will extrude with regular print settings.
  • Is the material being stored properly? Sometimes people forget to store PLA in a dry place to avoid absorbing moisture in the filament. If moisture is absorbed, it can perform poorly in the print. Indications of moisture can include a slight steam from the extruder and/or bubbles in the extruded material (similar to overheating).
  • Are the fans operating correctly? If the fans aren't running or aren't running enough, the filament begins to heat further up the extrusion assembly (closer to the drive gear) which can inhibit extrusion. I know that MakerWare/MakerBot Desktop has been updated lately with more emphasis on controlling fans for active cooling, so make sure that your fan(s) are operating for duration of the print as necessary.

All and all, your filament is getting too hot. If you can't determine the sudden change, consider printing with a lower extruder temperature from now on. However, if you're using MakerBot filament (or similar quality) then I would definitely verify that your machine is calibrated, wires are fully connected, and settings are double checked. If all is as expected, then you should call MakerBot support (since they're closed source now, they technically have an obligation to help you) especially since the machine is so new.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, but this website does not want me to type thank you. Maybe I should leave no response. $\endgroup$ – Dan Powers May 14 '16 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ @DanPowers We show our appreciation by voting and accepting answers. SE works a little different than a regular forum. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Apr 12 at 7:11
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Check if your tapes on your extruder have worn out. If that is the case, the heat will travel into the motor. when it pushes the filament through the ambient temperature is greater than the temperature of defrom of PLA (~70 °C). When this happens the filament starts bending inside and clogs inside. This is one case only. You could hear a small repeated noise, also the motor will be extremely hot.

Edit: Also make sure your fans are running at speed. sometimes due to improper wiring it runs at 30-50 %. just give it a light tap. The speed difference is visually noticeable.

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