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I just got a GeeeTech Rostock 301 mixer head delta printer and am having trouble honing in on why the extruder is struggling with my first spool of ABS.

Being the main parts of the printer came assembled I am unsure of where to start taking things apart. I have a read a multitude of possible causes and am hoping for some direction on which is most likely so I can start there.

Symptoms:

Extruder clicking. The extruder makes a low grinding noise every time it tries to extrude more than 1mm of filament using the manual controls. Again I am working with ABS so I have the hotend heated to 250 degrees C. The extruder had no trouble when I was first putting the filament in and using the extruder to push it thorough the Bowden tube.

But when I tried using the manual controls to extrude a small amount of filament it seems to be fine, just a small time delay between the extruder moving and the plastic coming out of the hotend.

Things I have read to try

Again this a kit printer and the involved components came assembled (see below) so I am not sure what I should look at first. I assume that if it came pre-assembled then it is most likely done correctly.

  1. Clean out the hotend, do a cold pull
  2. Take apart the extruder and realign the driving cog, check for shaft slippage
  3. Replace your Bowden Tubes
  4. Tweak slicer settings

For the first 3 I think its new so it should be clean, in working order. And for number 4 I put what was in the manual except for the temperatures (because the settings shown in the manual were for PLA but it is a PLA or ABS printer)

Assembly:

The printer being a kit came with the print head completely assembled as shown in the picture. Printer Head-hotend

Not shown in the picture it also had the Bowden tubes in place. It also came with the extruder assembled as shown in the picture. The extruder

So aside from wiring and mounting these pieces the only thing I did was cut a clean edge on the Bowden tube and connect that to the extruder.

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    $\begingroup$ A hotend like this should always have 3 filaments loaded, or else molten plastic will clog up the unused inputs. Are you using only one colour (and leaving the others unused) by any chance? $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Jan 14 '17 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I only have one loaded... I imagine I have to clean it out now that I heated it up with only one color? What would be the best way to go about that? $\endgroup$ – Evan Jan 14 '17 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Evan, I would use cold pulls. Heat up the hotend, push filament through manually. Let it cool to ~100 deg C. Pull out once the filament is still somewhat soft. Repeat until clean. $\endgroup$ – Gunslinger Jan 15 '17 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Gunslinger, even on a new hot end? $\endgroup$ – Evan Jan 15 '17 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ Still having trouble? Can you see if it is extruder gear slipping against the filamen? Or is the extruder motor jumping back and forth? If you can see the extruder gear, paint it striped with a marker. $\endgroup$ – Gunslinger Jan 26 '17 at 9:09
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First you have to see if nothing jams the filament (blocked nozzle or anything in its path, PTFE tube not good, etc).

Second, the temp for ABS is about 225°C to 230°C. At least that worked for me.

If none of the above, then go for the motor. The problem could be from bad settings, low power or a motor malfunction. Maybe the motor is no good to begin with.

Good luck !!!

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This is worth pointing out as it hasn't been said yet, make sure your stepper driver isn't overheating. If it overheats, it will cause the stepper to temporarily shut down, and it will click when it happens. This could be caused by inadequate power or by insufficient cooling.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would this happen on the first later of a print? also the extruder steppers have cooling fans $\endgroup$ – Evan Feb 8 '17 at 15:15
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I've had the same problem, nozzle was just too close to the bed and motor required a little bit mode power so I turned a little bit a pot on stepper controller. Since then no problem, also is good to rise a bit a temperature ;)

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