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Whenever it start printing the extruder starts clicking, I tried adjusting the voltage with no luck, it's still clicking. And it doesn't extrude a lot of plastic sometimes it even stops extruding but the extruder is still turning. Can someone help?

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  • $\begingroup$ please see this answer 3dprinting.stackexchange.com/a/3205/9730 and use search box as you can find many answers for that particular problem $\endgroup$ – profesor79 Mar 24 '18 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Extruder clicks $\endgroup$ – profesor79 Mar 24 '18 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ Probably temperature too low or nozzle too close to the bed, as per @profesor79's possible dupe. $\endgroup$ – Mick Mar 24 '18 at 23:33
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The clicking you are hearing is either the stepper motor skipping steps or the hobbed gear losing grip on the filament.

Either way, it means that the filament opposes an unusually high resistence to be pushed forward.

A key information to be able to diagnose your problem is whether the clicking is on the firsts couple of layers or throughout the print.

If it is only for the first 1-3 layers the problem is likely to be the printing bed too high (or deformed), so that the nozzle touches it and the bed acts a "lid" on the nozzle preventing the molten plastic to get out. If this is the case, adjust the printing bed to be flat and level (and the nozzle at the right height when homed on the Z axis.

If the problem persists throughout the full print the problem is likely to be related to one of the following:

  • the extruder not managing to get a firm grip on the filament (worn teeth, slack spring, ...)
  • the stepper motor being underpowered (this seems not to be your case, given that you have already adjusted the voltage)
  • a clog, adhesion, or restriction in either the bowden tube or the extruder, for which the best solution is disassemble, inspect and clean (eventually changing the bowden tube if it has been deformed).
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  • $\begingroup$ I swapped the stepper motor with the x-motor and i put new filament in the extruder because the old one was damaged by the teeth of the xtruder and now it goes through the tube more easily. I also added a little washer between the spring and the casing of the extruder so it's a bit more tight. Now the clicking is gone but the filament starts slipping, so the extruder is turning but the filament stays where it is and it doesn't extrude a lot. $\endgroup$ – Yente Cool Mar 25 '18 at 8:15
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I have the TronXY X1, which uses the same extruder and firmware design as the TronXY X5. The clicking does not come from Voltage, but most likely a wrong set up of steps/mm or a lightly clogged nozzle.

Quick and dirty steps/mm

  • Start a print that you know clicks.
  • wait for the clicking starts (it comes from the extruder pushing against resistance and jumping back a step)
  • Go into Configuration > Extruder > Steps/MM
  • alter it down a little, listen if the constant clickig stops, alter again if needed.

Now, you need to make sure not to get into underextrusion doing this "on the go" fixing, and you really should calibrate your extruder.

Proper calibration

To calibrate your extruder, you could follow Thomas "Tom" Sanladerer calibration video or this rundown:

  • Move the printhead to a position where it can extrude freely.
  • heat up your hotend
  • load the filament (or have one loaded)
  • take a filament spool and make small marks on it an increment from the extruder's intake - for example with a CD marker. Tom uses 100mm (Ep for Extruded planned) for the calibration and adds 50mm to compensate for overextrusion, so places the mark at 150mm (L for length), allowing to calculate a compensation into both directions.
  • extrude 100mm of filament - it is advisable to directly send the G-code via a program here to use G92E0 to 0 the extruder and G1E100F90 for the extrusion
  • Measure the distance of your line to the extruder. Let's call this value R, for "Result position"
  • Now, we calculate Et (extruded truely): L-R=Et

Now, we have a length to compensate for. But what value we adjust? Steps/mm of course!

  • Either go into Configuration > Extruder > Steps/MM or send M503 to get the steps/mm from the configuration
  • lets call this value S for Steps/mm

Now, let's calculate the Sa, "Steps/mm adjusted": * S*Ep/Et=Sa

Now, let's get it into the machine! * Go into Configuration > Extruder > Steps/MM and adjust manually * make sure to save into EEPROM * alternatively, send M92ESa , replacing Sa with your calculated value * Then, send M500 to store the value in the EEPROM * third alternative: change the firmware configuration and reupload.

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I also have this problem with the X5S, and it's not just on the first layer (which is sometimes finicky depending on the levelling). I've narrowed it down to a few things, and I've also noticed that it varies based on the print.

Possible Causes (and a suggested solution for each):

  • Bad quality hotend assembly: My X5S has a teflon-lined hotend, and besides that I don't like the rather small heatsink, mine came such that the bowden tube acts as the teflon lining, ie the lining and the bowden tube are the same piece. Already not a great design, but the implementation is slightly worrying. I'd recommend switching the hotend for a genuine E3D, I myself am planning on getting a Cyclops+ Aqua, which will be sure to resolve any existing issues.

  • Bowden tube is iffy: I'm not sure about this one, but I've noticed quite a bit of resistance in the bowden tube while loading filaments. I think this is causing excessive force on the Extruder motor (which I've noticed heats up quite a bit more than the other motors, to the point where I've added a heatsink to avoid possible damage). My solution is to swap the teflon for the blue Capricorn tubing from Trianglelabs.

  • Extruder setup isn't that great: As I mentioned before, the extruder motor tends to heat up a bit, and I just don't like the implementation of the extruder gears. I'd recommend switching this setup for a different one, if possible.

  • Print temperature and speed: I've noted that when I increase the temperature and decrease the speed of prints, the clicking reduces in frequency, but it does still occasionally click and my prints turn out horribly. This might be pointing to an issue with either extruder calibration or the flow rate during a print, as mentioned by other people here.

Cheers!

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    $\begingroup$ Regarding #1: it is actually BETTER to have the lining be the same piece as the tube as fewer parts that could move in the filament path is better. But indeed a full metal hotend is better. #3 what kind of extruder setup? #4: this is a partial fix for such behavior, yes. $\endgroup$ – Trish Sep 22 '18 at 14:51
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I have an X5S and quite frankly, I never got it print properly because of these persistent issues. Thank you for the most excellent comments and suggestions. Lots to investigate.

I added an anycubic glass table but that takes longer to heat up. But i am unable to get adhesion on the first layers and the clicking kicks in shortly thereafter. I wonder if this thermal latency might imply a colder bed on first layers. I have tweaked the leveling so many times it is not funny. This is pointing to friction in the Bowden delivery system and the extruder itself.

I got an E3D that I must adapt. Too bad i cannot print those parts!

I have noted also a great variety of results from different printer filaments brands as well.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi Paul and welcome to 3D Printing.SE! This is not an answer, this is a comment, or a start of a discussion. SE sites are not forums, just questions and answers. Please take the tour and read How to Ask so that you can formulate a good question to help you solve your problem. Most, if not all, issues you raise have been answered here before. There is even an answer for printing parts if you cannot print yourself! $\endgroup$ – 0scar Dec 31 '18 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ On my X1 (same extruder & carriage),when did swap for an e3D hotend, I used the adapter of thingiverse.com/thing:2203334 - I did print the piece n a "unmodded" machine. $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 1 '19 at 14:19

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