Friday, October 3, 2014

You know when you're just trying to fix one little thing

Thus ends my run of board game related 3D printing posts. But don't worry, I'll have more eventually. Maybe even very soon.

I don't report on every fix and repair I have to do on my printer these days. I like to report when things are "done" and I feel like I'm in the middle of a lot of repairs right now.

But this week I finished something. Of course it wasn't supposed to be anything note worthy. Just replacing the right thermocouple after it went out, heavens known why it went out so shortly after the left one did, but it did. But I had a spare, so I didn't worry about it. I just ripped it out, put the new one in, and ran a test print, which almost didn't fail until the filament knotted around itself.

There was something wrong. I couldn't pull the filament out. I couldn't' put it through any more than a trickle either. The filament broke and I had to take the feed assembly apart to get at it, which I did. I heated the nozzle again and I pushed and pulled and eventually the filament was a mangled stump.

I had no choice. I took the heater assembly apart. I unscrewed the nozzle and I got a toothpick and I cut off the end of the toothpick, and I shoved and then I found the problem.
The filament had heated, expanded, then cooked while jammed inside the PTFE feed tube, jamming the whole thing up permanently. At this point I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm frustrated, but I'm not worried because I have another PTFE tube in my old extruder, same place the thermocouple came from that started this adventure.

I put in the new tube, get everything back together, load the filament, and the nozzle was showing very clearly that it was damaged as well. But again, I didn't worry. I still had another nozzle in my old extruder, same place the thermocouple and PTFE tube came from.

It's about this time that I notice the fans in the new assembly aren't bearing fans. They're going to die soon. But I'm not worried. I have two more fans in my old extruder. But that can wait until the next time.

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