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ALDI Printer Problem

Filament sticking in PTFE tube

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Kevin Pickard15/07/2019 12:54:49
5 forum posts

I have been using my Balco printer for months with no problems. My printer has developed a fault where the filament seems to be sticking in the hot end PTFE tube. I have replaced the nozzle and tube, did a successful print then the next print stooped shortly after starting and when I stripped it down there was again hardened filament in the tube. I couldn’t add or remove filament. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

jimmy b15/07/2019 16:57:47
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537 forum posts
29 photos

Hi Kevin,

I had exactly the same experience with mine!

Problem turned out to brittle filament, breaking up. All I have done is switch to a different filament.

Good luck.

Jim

Kevin Pickard15/07/2019 19:11:32
5 forum posts

Hi Jim. Thanks for the reply. It’s happened using filament I’ve been using for a while. The printer is still under warranty but I had to deal with Balco before and it was hard work!

XD 35115/07/2019 19:50:22
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1365 forum posts
118 photos

I would be looking at the drive roller and how much tension there is on it , it could be slipping and shredding the filament as it passes through if it is set with a light tension or it could be crushing it if too heavy tension .

Lainchy16/07/2019 07:19:10
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165 forum posts
42 photos

I don't have the Aldi printer, but I do own an Ender 3. These also suffer from blocked nozzles. When you reassemble the hot end, there must be absolutely no gap between the PTFE Bowden and the nozzle. There's a specific sequence to assemble it. It might not be your issue of course, but worth a check. **LINK** Page 35 details the Ender 3 but it may give you some help.

Kevin Pickard16/07/2019 08:17:52
5 forum posts

Thank you all. Taking Jim’s advice, I tried a different filament and made a successful print. I am now trying the same file again to see if I can get two good prints consecutively. We have had a very dry and warm spell - could the filament have become too dry and therefore brittle? I will admit that the filaments getting stuck were cheaper EBay purchases!

Lainchy16/07/2019 08:26:51
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165 forum posts
42 photos

Have a look at SunLu PLA + from Amazon. It prints a bit hotter, 210-215 but its the best I've used so far. Usually, if it goes brittle, I'd suggest it's degraded due to moisture. Do you keep it in a bag with some silica Gel? out of the sun too.

Kevin Pickard16/07/2019 10:16:40
5 forum posts

Ok - will look at that. I do keep them in bags with silica. This all started with a brand new filament from eBay. Unfortunately I left feedback before trying it - big mistake.

Neil Wyatt16/07/2019 13:12:24
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Posted by Kevin Pickard on 16/07/2019 08:17:52:

We have had a very dry and warm spell - could the filament have become too dry and therefore brittle? I will admit that the filaments getting stuck were cheaper EBay purchases!

Counter-intuitively, it's humidity that makes filament brittle.

If I leave my printer unused fro a week or two in damp weather I sometimes hear a 'ping' and the filament spontaneously breaks between extruder and reel.

With PLA cutting back to the reel is usually enough to get going again.

On the other hand damp nylon is a nightmare, it pops and crackles and you get terrible results.

Neil

XD 35116/07/2019 16:33:51
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1365 forum posts
118 photos

With the PLA filament I’m currently using i cant leave it in the tube overnight without it breaking , i run a dry box with two moisture absorbent canisters in with my filament . I haven’t had a problem while printing with the stuff but a few months back i ran a few prints and shut it down with the filament still in the hot end - mistake #1 , i then after some hassles got the filament out of the hot end and thought i would pull some fresh stuff through but this stuff crumbled in my hands . I thought maybe somehow moisture had infiltrated the tube somehow and left it at that and got on with running the prints i wanted . After i had finished i pulled the filament out of the hot end but left it in the tube as i was going to run some more the next day , when i started to set up the next day i needed to pull some more filament through to feed into the hot end but it broke off so i opened the dry box and pushed through some more which broke again and i was left scratching my head as to why - surely moisture couldn’t do that overnight could it ?

I ended up asking Angus from the Makers Muse channel on Youtube and he replied stating that it is not moisture doing it , A filament when pulled off the reel / spool has set in it and if you force it into a different shape without heating it the filament will sometimes snap if left long enough and some brands will and some won’t . I set up some filament and pulled it taught ( only enough to straighten it ) and left it overnight and sure as he was right - it had snapped ! I now remove the filament completely and haven’t had a problem since . I bought some ABS a couple of years ago and the supplier contacted me to tell me they had no black filament in stock as the batch they had was crook but he sent me two spools for free with the rest of my order to try and this stuff was buggered - I couldn’t get one full turn off the spool without it crumbling in my hands !

Neil Wyatt16/07/2019 16:57:04
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16752 forum posts
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My printer has a Mk8 hot end, modified with a simple 'flexible filament guide' that bridges the gap between rollers and the tube. This has the side effect that broken filament in the extruder can be pushed out by a new piece

Now I NEVER remove the filament backwards - russian roulette for it getting stuck.

Instead I cut it square and feed through until the rollers start 'missing'. I can then feed a new filament through, about 50mm is enough to change colours.

Neil

Kevin Pickard16/07/2019 17:54:03
5 forum posts

Wow - so much info! I never knew filament could be so tricky, although have been watching Angus’s channel and that was where I got the interest from. This forum is amazing - so much help, thank you!

XD 35116/07/2019 19:36:28
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1365 forum posts
118 photos

Angus also taught me a little trick with removing the filament and if you fit a quick release for the filament tube it is even easier .

Unplug the filament tube from the hot end and lift it up to expose a good 75 mm ( 3 inches ) of filament then heat the hot end up to at least 210 c for pla or at least 230c for abs , once hot release the drive roller tension and push the filament down so it oozes out the nozzle then quickly pull up to pull the filament all the way out in one movement .

This will pull the glob of filament in the nozzle out with it and i have yet to have any problems with stuck filament , ideally you will be there when the print finishes or very soon after and this makes removing the filament even easier as everything is still nice and hot .

I once left the filament in the printer for about 6 months and what a pia ! Mistake #2 i call it ! It was a complete strip down of the hot end to get the filament out because it went brittle and as soon as i tried to grab it with anything it would disintegrate leaving me with no other way to get the nozzle or tube clear .

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