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Problem: After about 1.5 hours of printing on my modified Anet A8 the (converted to Bowden) extruder begins to make a clicking noise. The filament is not being pushed through the hotend (E3D V6, it is an all metal hotend, and the cooling is out of the box, the heat break is inserted with thermal paste) any more.

Done so far: I experienced, that if I were to retract the PLA 10 mm and then restart the print, it would run a print fine, but the it starts all over again. I already disassembled the complete head and clear out the nozzle.

Thoughts: I think it must have something to do with the slicing settings, because if I change the flow, I can cause the problem to occur earlier. The filament is also pretty cheap and has been exposed to air a year or so...

My Settings:

  • Layer Height: 0.2 mm
  • Infill: 40 %
  • Hotend Temperature: 190 °C
  • Build Plate Temperature: 45 °C
  • Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Flow: 70 %
  • Retraction: true
  • Retract Speed: 100 mm/s
  • Retract Lenght: 3 mm
  • Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  • Travel Speed: 120 mm/s
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like heat creep? (Although this is usually not recoverable by a large retraction...) One thing that bothers me is that the flow percentage is 70 %; how is that possible, a well tuned extruder should operate at a value of 100 %. Retraction speed default is usually a bit lower, e.g. 25 mm/s. $\endgroup$ – 0scar May 25 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar If I increase the flow to 100 % the extruder starts to constantly click after the first layers... $\endgroup$ – Paul May 26 at 7:57
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds as if you haven't calibrated the new hotend? Do you use a different extruder? Is it able to provide enough force to push the filament through the Bowden tube? Never just change the flow modifier other than a few percent, if more is needed it hints to an incorrectly functioning extruder. $\endgroup$ – 0scar May 26 at 9:11

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