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Saturday, July 6, 2013

PLA can't finish a print

Having some trouble with PLA this week. Almost caused me to give up on the nice things I've said about it. So far it's worked fine for the Modibot experiments, but when I tried making something taller like the Angular Dice Tower it would get to about 60-80% and start air printing. As I went on it got worse. Then when I tried to unload the PLA it got stuck and broke off right where the plastic enters the thermal barrier flush with the bar mount. And it was stuck good. Sorry I haven't got any pictures but it really wasn't good for taking pictures and I needed both hands to do the job. (Anyone want to get me google glass for this?)

The Makerbot group had several suggestions. Bob suggested it was the heat of the summer causing the problem, which is entirely likely. It's been a week of 100 degree (37 C) days here. Big-E suggested heating up the filament and pushing it through with a length of ABS but that only broke the ABS and the toothpick I tried after it. Nope, it's stuck good.

Bob's suggestion was a vice and a torch, neither of which I have, but I did use a match instead and that managed to soften the clog which then expanded enough that I could get purchase on it with needle nosed pliers and pull it out. surprising how much it stretched. With the clog free I was able to heat the hot end and pull out the clogged plastic. Then I fed some ABS through to clean it out. Then I reloaded the PLA this time with a little dab of canola oil on the tip, and a little more touched around the filament as it was feeding in for good measure.

The twisty dice tower is a good 18 hour print so I'll have to update this after trying that again this weekend.

Book update, working on 2nd drafts for the last few chapters and final drafts for the first chapters at the moment and then the book will be proper finished and the pre-order period will be over. Now's the time to order. Makes for a great birthday present. I mean for me. Because it's my birthday. Today. Also ordering things from my Etsy store makes me happy and gets you cool stuff.

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