Flossing Teeth

The plastic isn't going into the extruder. I can hear the motor turning, but nothing comes out!

  • Sometimes after some printing, the teeth of the extruder pulley inside Plastruder accumulate some plastic. This prevents the pulley from gripping the plastic filament and pushing it into the heater barrel.
  • Problems elsewhere in the plastruder can cause the filament to jam, which then increases the pressure until the extruder pulley strips the filament. This is the most common way plastic accumulates. Once this happens, future stripping can be caused by the accumulated plastic itself.

To repair this issue follow these steps:

  1. Move the Z-axis platform as high as it will go so the Plastruder sticks out the top.
  2. If the circuit board is mounted in front of the Plastruder remove it but don't disconnect the wires. You can safely re-mount it to the left and this allows you to see the Idler wheel.
  3. If you have the fourth screw attaching your motor to the Plastruder, you must disassemble the Plastruder. Don't use that screw when you reassemble the Plastruder. Make sure during reassembly that you are careful not to over-tighten the hex nuts and crack any acrylic components.
  4. Otherwise turn on heater element to 240 (220 may work too) and set the motor to reverse to back out the filament. Set temperature back to zero. Cut off and discard the mangled filament.
  5. Unscrew the idler wheel and move it to the left. The extruder pulley isn't blocked by the idler wheel or filament.
  6. Unscrew the motor.
  7. Check to make sure the extruder pulley really is free, as you can easily pull it apart if it is not.
  8. Remove the motor and place it on the z stage. You shouldn't have to disconnect it even.
  9. Use a pin, a small pointed knife, dental pick, or other fine object to clean the extruder pulley.
  10. Re-insert motor, and fasten.
  11. Use rod to reposition idler wheel.
  12. Turn up temperature to 240.
  13. Set motor to run forward
  14. Insert filament
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License.