I've been using Ender 3 Pro (my first printer) for almost a year and until a month ago it was working perfectly (there were some hiccups but nothing I couldn't handle in a day or two). A month ago I had to physically move the printer to another location (another building, 5 meters away, the printer was outside for about 10 minutes on a sunny, warm day) after moving extruder started to click/skip during the print causing underextrusion and failing prints. After about two weeks I moved the printer back to the original building. The problem persisted.
I checked almost anything I could think about including:
- wiring going from the mainboard to the extruder stepper motor
- wiring going to the nozzle heater & thermistor
- nozzle for clogging
- extruder spring tension
- PTFE tube
- nozzle height over the bed.
After checking those things I went on to replace some parts of the printer thinking that maybe one of them is the reason. So I replaced:
- Nozzle (multiple times)
- stock Ender 3 Pro plastic arm extruder assembly with Creality all-metal replacement
- PTFE tube with Capricorn one
- Aluminum heater block (a cheap one, there was some leaking due to thread being too loose)
- Whole hot-end assembly including heat break, heat sink, heater and thermistor (Creality)
I also tried multiple rolls of filament (PLA) thinking that the problem could have something to do with roll age or moisture but there is no difference. I'm printing at exactly the same settings as before moving the printer: 55 mm/s speed and 225 °C nozzle temperature.
The interesting thing is that the first few layers come out really good, the problem starts at about 20 millimeters of height and is more pronounced while printing on the bottom-left of the heatbed. I can print almost perfect calibration cats (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1545913) but when I try to print anything larger clicking & underextrusion start.
- replacing TMC2209 stepper driver (I upgraded to Bigtreetech SKR E3 Turbo mainboard after a few months of having this printer)
- replacing extruder stepper motor entirely but before I try them (and spend more money) I would like to ask the community whether these are good ideas or should I try something else before.
I would be very grateful for any suggestions because I'm slowly running out of ideas.