I was part of the DMS workshop where the group purchases the Prusa and built them together in a workshop.
I have successfully printed several things in PLA, but my printer has been idle for about a year. Needing some knobs for a guitar pedal, I fired it up after making the model in Fusion 360. The printing didn’t go near as smoothly this time as I remember in the past.
The initial problem was that the 1st layer wouldn’t stick, so I upgraded the firmware and used the first layer Z adjust. This fixed the problem for the most part.
The next issue was that sometimes when starting a print, no material was coming out of the extruder. When I tried to unload the filament it wouldn’t come out because it had a ‘fat’ end that apparently wouldn’t feed into the extruder. This issue also occurred with ABS and PETG (more on this later). I adjusted the filament feeder tension screws by waiting until the springs were just contacted, then adding another turn or so. The pic below shows the fattened filament end. I don’t remember this happening with initial and subsequent printer use.
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to remedy this? Should I completely remove the extruder and clean it?
One thing that may be contributing is that I haven’t been keeping my filament in vacuum pack with desiccant, as I’ve seen recommended. I have the vacuum bag, pump, and desiccant, but got lazy the last time I made a print and didn’t re-store it correctly. However, the PETG had never been opened and it appeared to be vacuum sealed. I don’t know if filament that has absorbed moisture has issues similar to that with stick welding rods. Anyone have any knowledge on this?
Lastly, my PETG prints didn’t turn out well at all. Printed PETC parts didn’t stick well and small things (such as a guitar pedal mini sliding pot knob) just ended up being a blob.
All of the filament being used is from MicroCenter, with the exception of the PLA that came with the printer. Is it coincidence that my PLA prints have the least problems?
Without committing to do a full upgrade from a i3 MK2 to i3 MK3, what changes can I make so that this printer will work better. New extruder? What kind? Other reasonably priced upgrade recommendations?
I assume that the Polyprinters don’t suffer these issues - or at least not to this degree.