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  1. #1
    3D Printer Noob
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    Exclamation Cube 3- Jamming/clicking problem (Please help!)

    Hey guys, I've recently been having some issues with my cube after using it succesfully over the last few months.
    When I try to print or purge the heads, the printer does not feed the filament and clicks like it is jammed. However if I install a new cartridge/ replace the plastic it will feed it successfully, just not on successive prints/purges.

    I know it is definitely not a problem with the head as it jams before the plastic can reach it, and I have tried replacing both the metal feeder mechanism which comes with the cartridges as well as the plastic itself.
    I have also attached a link to a video of the 'clicking'.

    https://youtu.be/UzgC2pCa0hE

    I am really not sure what this could be, and would appreicate any ideas!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    We can get you through it, NS. Welcome to the forum!

    The clicking is from the filament driver stripping the filament. It doesn't have anything to push against. The teeth on the driver has sheered the filament that is needed to forward the filament. If too much force is provided by the drive motor, the filament will be the weak link and is simply sheered off by the serrated teeth.

    Purge is particularly bad about pushing hard enough to start clicking but only to a limited extent with 3DS filament.
    I have aftermarket filaments that cannot survive the purge process.

    There has to be a reason your filament is stripping. Zeroing in on whatever the restriction is will get us to the next step.

    One thing I do know is that a nozzle can get contaminated. The worst contamination is carbon as it stick like glue. But generally you get dust and other stuff that hopefully never burned (source of carbon). I drive a small copper wire back through the exit side of the nozzle and use a lighter -very- ... repeat - v e r y - carefully to get the tip warm enough to push the wire through the plastic. With any luck, when the wire comes out so is a long string of blobs that may or may not have the contaminant that is restricting your flow. You might get some early hints to trouble is the purge tends to curl right out of the nozzle or blobs as it flows during purge.
    This is one of the few maintenance steps we end up going through.

    Other thing is the drive motor. One may assume this is a new printer, but people have noted motor shaft wear or excessive use of the drive element on their own printers after significant wear. To date, I haven't been able to wear out either the drive mechanism or the motor shaft. They show wear, but every drive unit I have is functional.

    Let us know where else these observations should wander to.

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  4. #3
    3D Printer Noob
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    Hi TommyDee,
    I really appreciate the feedback.
    The printer is actually not that new, It was an old store-model and I have given it alot of use over the last year!
    I don't believe my issue lies with the nozzle (though it probably could use a clean) as when I reel the plastic back, it doesnt touch the nozzle and still clicks during a purge.
    As you have pointed out it may be something to do with the drive motor, I have tried with several standard plastic rolls, so its not the mechanism on those either.

  5. #4
    Regular 3D Printer
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    "...if I install a new cartridge/ replace the plastic it will feed it successfully, just not on successive prints/purges."

    I take that to mean it feeds ok when you put a fresh cartridge on, but if you try to do a second print then you get the clicking/no feed.

    Question: Do you do a manual Z-gap setting before EVERY print?

    I have found that if I try to print, then print again without resetting the Z-gap, the printer usually jams the printhead onto the plate and strips the filament. Then I have to 'rebuild' the cartridge.

    3DS 'best practice' says to set the Z-gap manually before every print.

  6. #5
    3D Printer Noob
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    No I must admit I haven't been doing this on every install. (Though normally every few prints i'll check or adjust it)
    I just tried resetting the Z-gap, but it still clicked when I tried to purge.

    Appreciate the advice though.

  7. #6
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    Next step. What is the ID of your bowden tube? You need a comfortable 2mm. If you notice, our filament gets squished a bit. Have you tried to see if filament that has been tractor'd through the mech has any resistance in the bowden tube? It is not a constant problem, but when a print requires a lot of starts and stops, it tends to flatten the filament more, making it wider than the bowden tube. I make sure mine is 2mm by passing a bicycle spoke through bowden tube candidates. That is also the problem with about 1/2 the old cartridges that were shipped with printers and fire-saled. The factory over compressed the over-mold and it deformed the Teflon with the nylon.

    Again, a little bit of clicking on purge is normal... failure to advance is not. I've done prints where the clicking was so bad it affected the prints, because each click was a pressure release. Each time it had to do with a restriction somewhere.

    But your having trouble without the nozzle being under scrutiny. I avoid purge! I use the test print. It doesn't click and you can pause/resume it to change filaments. If you perform the pause/resume, it does a lengthier purge into the waste bin, but not click if everything else is up to snuff. I never get a click on filament changes this way. I do have instances of stubborn nozzles though.

    One other thing that keeps the juice from flowing... choking the very end of the tube inside the nozzle. If it is being pressed against the taper of the aluminum tip, it could restrict, sphincter the filament. I've had flow problems from that.

    And of course the cool bulb... if too much space is left between the tube and the bottom of the nozzle. It makes something more akin to a micro-prostate of plastic that cannot fully melt.

    Those are my next goto restriction problems. Are you still using barrel nuts on the tubing?

    - - - - - - - - - -

    ...oh, and clean the stripped filament out of your drive mech!

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  9. #7
    3D Printer Noob
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    Success! While I initially played around with the bowden tubes I still got the jamming when purging. However when using the test print or normal printing it does not jam/click. It seems odd that purge is not working when I have successfully used it alot in the past, however the test print option will suffice.

    We recently entered Summer where I am, and I wonder if the hotter weather has made the PLA expand and become more difficult to feed through.

    I just printed a small tree off successfully earlier, so it seems I will be able to tinker with it from here.
    Huge thanks for everyones advice, I am really glad I discovered these forums and hopefully this thread is able to help others!

  10. #8
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    Thanks, NS... please feel free to bring your troubles to us anytime. Someone here has gone through it i'm certain. Again, welcome to the forum.

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