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Recently, the ticking sounds started to come from feeder of my UM2. Inspecting it I have noticed that once in a while stepper motor jumps back for few steps. I have an idea of what can be the reason, but I just want to hear what you can think of. That is the video of feeder during the printing :) https://youtu.be/z6CzudMOeD0 First tick at 10sec

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Ultimately, your stepper motor is unsuccessful in driving the filament through the extruder. A couple potential reasons:

  • extruder temperature isn't high enough. This could either be operator error from not setting the temperature correctly or your machine is getting a false reading. Typically, for ABS/PLA, you can get away with a low extruding temperature of about 210c.
  • filament tension is too high. This happens if, say, your spool of filament gets kinked or wrapped around the spool spindle.
  • your nozzle is clogged. I've encountered where I had back flow coming out of the nozzle (filaments oozed around from the hotend at the threads). This was a result of not putting the hotend back together correctly. There was a enough hardened plastic backed up in the hotend that when I threaded the nozzle back on, it technically didn't fit back on all the way.
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    $\begingroup$ For the record, and for people interested, I believe this is a feature of the Ultimaker 2's firmware, whereby the voltage to the stepper motor that drives filament is regulated to prevent the feeder gear from grinding into the filament when the filament can't move enough. This causes the stepper motor to jump backwards. $\endgroup$ – PostEpoch Apr 13 '16 at 2:23
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I had the same issue. It can happen for number of reasons. One of them is too low print temperature as stepper cant push the filament through. Also you could have partially blocked nozzle or if you print with PLA and have left it out for a while its diameter can enlarge and get stuck in the bowden tube.

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So, problem was too low printing temperature. It was 200c. For PLA I have it was too low. Now I'm confused, for PLA the temperature range for printing is given from 180-210 (It is even written on particular coil). Does it mean that even printing in this range I should adjust temperature for each of plastics I have?

Update: I have researched a bit about phenomena I had. According to RepRap wiki http://reprap.org/wiki/Hot_End_Design_Theory the flow of material dependent on many parameters, starting with softening point of plastic and ending with environmental conditions. I can conclude that in my conditions temperature of 200c did't give enough material flow (but feeder still tried to push it as much as it required). And ticking was one of indicators of it.

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Oh yeah that is way too low for the ultimaker.

That temp is a general "this is what PLA melts at" so if you took plastic, heated it up to that temp it would melt.

However, you don't heat all the plastic at once. Your hotend it at that temp and if you let it sit it would heat up (fairly quickly). Printers like the ultimaker are fast, and well designed. They have a very small heat melt zone. So the plastic only has a fraction of time to heat up.

Solution? Higher temps!

(do not do this example. Not liable if you hurt yourself) You know how you can take a lighter and almost slowly wave your finger thought it without getting burned? You know if you let it stay even a full second you would regret it. Same thing here. It is going too fast to heat up.

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