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Should I scrap this reel of filament?

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Nick Clarke 307/03/2021 10:28:50
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1159 forum posts
48 photos

Fitted a new reel of Filament to the 3D printer (Ender 3) and it was quite springy. The feed to the head was a bit jerky but I didn't notice until a duff print was produced.

I realised the spool was not keeping in step with the needs of the printer but sometimes over ran allowing the filament to go slack - not only between the reel and the head but on the reel itself.

I think I have fixed the original problem with a couple of elastic bands (thoughtfully left on the drive by the postman) wound round the tube it sits on providing a minimal amount of friction and preventing the over running but due to having been loosened the filament now jams in the loose winding on the reel when the feed reaches the cheeks of the spool.

What to do? Carefully unwind the filament until a tightly wound section is reached and dumping the excess, the same but try to carefully rewind it tightly or saying 'to hell with this its only £20' and dumping the whole reel to obtain reliable printing?

Bazyle07/03/2021 10:49:56
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5834 forum posts
217 photos

Do lyou expect the filament to be tight between the spool and the feeder? I always stand by the machine pulling it off to avoid this and leaving a suitable amount loose. Means I can't leave it for more than a coupe of minutes though. Rather than adding friction I keep meanig to make a ball bearing spool holder.
If it is jaming itself up perhaps rewind it onto an old spool using some model engineering ingenuity to make a motorised gizmo to assist that.
my most worrying failure to date has been a short section of about a foot where it had gone brittle and perhaps hard so the feeder wouldn't grip it to feed. I think perhaps it was where there was a join during production. Lucky it was only a few minutes into the job and I was there to see it stall (and hear the feeder juddering )

Nick Clarke 307/03/2021 10:54:23
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1159 forum posts
48 photos

Bazyle -

I didn't seem to be the looseness that caused the problem but rather the top layer in the spool becoming loose and then trapping the outgoing filament so it jerked before carrying on.

Dave Halford07/03/2021 11:36:36
1395 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 07/03/2021 10:28:50:

Fitted a new reel of Filament to the 3D printer (Ender 3) and it was quite springy. The feed to the head was a bit jerky but I didn't notice until a duff print was produced.

I realised the spool was not keeping in step with the needs of the printer but sometimes over ran allowing the filament to go slack - not only between the reel and the head but on the reel itself.

I think I have fixed the original problem with a couple of elastic bands (thoughtfully left on the drive by the postman) wound round the tube it sits on providing a minimal amount of friction and preventing the over running but due to having been loosened the filament now jams in the loose winding on the reel when the feed reaches the cheeks of the spool.

What to do? Carefully unwind the filament until a tightly wound section is reached and dumping the excess, the same but try to carefully rewind it tightly or saying 'to hell with this its only £20' and dumping the whole reel to obtain reliable printing?

I would have thought that any filament 'spring' would always cause the outer layer to uncoil the first chance it gets given a bit of slack. You might have success with making a soft foam 'grommet' to fit between reel and drive to run the the filament through.

That said it's a shame to waste a whole reel and Creality talks about a tight filament pathway, which you don't seem to have so perhaps the spool is not to spec.

Journeyman07/03/2021 13:02:29
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943 forum posts
173 photos

Don't ditch it, the reel can probably be saved. Firstly rewind the reel to get rid of serious overlaps and more importantly make sure the filament is not trying to tie itself in a 'clove hitch' where the end has managed to get under one or more previous turns. Then make sure the filament is dry, put it in a bag with some fresh silica-gel for a couple of days. Also worth checking that the entry and exit points to the bowden tube are nice and smooth, no sharp corners. Restrict the reel from swinging too much, as you have with the elastic bands.

It helps to buy quality filament have a look at the following images the first is from Prusa (Prusament) note the even wind. The second is an unknown brand but note how uneven the wind is. The difference is fairly obvious as is the outcome. Always try to keep the filament under control when loading. Even a smoothly wound roll can end up in a mess if the turns become too loose.

prusament.jpg

tushreels.jpg

The second image also shows some useful ball-bearing spool holders (search TUSH on Thingiverse). I have recently made myself a dry filament feeder box using these ** Journeyman's Workshop ** and they work well.

John

Edited By Journeyman on 07/03/2021 13:02:57

Alan Wood 407/03/2021 20:30:12
190 forum posts
11 photos

I would echo the comment that despite being a new reel the filament might have a high moisture content and needs drying out. I always soak heat a new reel before using. 36 to 38 degrees for PLA/ABS /PETG for 5 hours.

fizzy07/03/2021 21:12:52
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1775 forum posts
120 photos

I have this problem - I have a stick leaning against the spool, in contact with the filament to act as a restricter, works perfect

Neil Wyatt07/03/2021 22:52:31
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Moderator
18558 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles

It's amazing how filament bvaries in its vulnerability to humidity. I recently had a reel of PLA where the unwound length filament would spontaneously snap after about 24 hours. Because of the move another PLA reel spent weeks with an unused section when moving the printer I had to cut it because I couldn't get it to snap, even bent double!

Clearly there is PLA, PLA and PLA!

Neil

Henry Brown08/03/2021 13:02:44
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438 forum posts
100 photos

I've had similar issues with PLA, even though the printer is in the living room and apparently the more exotic filament can be worse! I have some silk silver PLA that seems to be very susceptible to moisture and some Aldi black PLA that has gone brittle as its got towards the centre of the roll.

I started off by putting them in the oven for a few hours at 50 degrees C but found that the enemy wanted to use it for cooking so invested in a cheap second hand food dehydrator that has a timer and temperature control that seems to do the trick just as well. There are several blogs/videos on the web showing how to do this.

Bazyle08/03/2021 13:48:36
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5834 forum posts
217 photos

Those spool holders immediately made me think of rolling roads. Got the ruler out and yes, my spool is gauge 3.

Is brittleness the sign of damp? I hear people mention it and thought the problem was the danger of steam generation during melting.

Journeyman08/03/2021 13:57:38
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943 forum posts
173 photos

Yes, unfortunately moisture can have many unforeseen effect on filament. Plenty on the web about it, try for example, this article from the Product Automation Corporation or this from MatterHackers.

John

Henry Brown08/03/2021 18:55:02
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438 forum posts
100 photos

This is what moisture does, the little pits are just about visible:

moisture pits.jpg

It can be heard popping while printing and if it happens on the outer layer is quite visible and it is supposed to weaken the print if excessive. This is the silver silk PLA I mentioned in my earlier post, after drying I have almost removed the moisture and it has printed quite well this afternoon.

I made a spool holder from some 50 x 50 box with some POM wheels that the spool mounts on, I mounted it on a large block of oak as the spool has to be parallel to my printer due to space limitations.

spool holder.jpg

Edited By Henry Brown on 08/03/2021 18:57:27

not done it yet08/03/2021 19:25:37
5790 forum posts
20 photos

Nylon is the worst for a steam problem - it can absorb loads of moisture.. PLA will be brittle and break easily if it picks up moisture.

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