Calling DrRoon4660 :)

I think @roon4660 will find this very familiar.

My extruder starting clicking last night, for reasons unknown at the time. This morning I decided to investigate. I cranked my hotend up to 256C and disassembled my direct drive upgrade. With some effort I was able to extract the Capricorn tubing from the hotend. I used an Allen key, like in a video from Anet, to push stuff through the nozzle. It wasn’t going too well, so I took the nozzle off the hotend. I then used the Allen key again, and this time a sizable chunk of plastic and Capricorn tubing come out the bottom of the hotend. I took some pictures:


I know, it does look kind of disgusting. Anyway, it’s about 3/8" long, which I consider significantly large in the overall scheme of things.

I reassembled everything and, low and behold, the extruder no longer clicks, Not only that, but filament comes out of the nozzle much easier than it has for a couple of days.

Can anyone say, “All metal hotend”? I knew you could :slight_smile:

So, opinions please, which all-metal hotend should I get, and why?

I hear bad things about all metal hotends too. Irv would be a good resource for his opinion. I actually have an all metal hotend that I wasn’t able to get enough support for. I still have to burn it out before I try it again. The last time I used it it jammed fullof plastic.

The negative things that the gurus say about all metal is that you get heat creep crawling up from the hotend like I did. I haven’t had any trouble since I was complaining about it daily.

I am very surprised that your capricorn tubing disintegrated like that, It is supposed to be quite heat tolerant. I wonder what our friend on CHEP would say about all metal versus capricorn.

HEP says since he used the piece of capricorn trick on several of his printers they are printing all the time for a year without any jamming.

I had one bad heat pipe over the years. I practically saw it coming, but simply ignored it as I just increased the temperature each time it happens.

Fact is that heat pipe was in use for over 200 hours print time before causing problems and when I get a clogging I am usually on the hard side and disconnect the heat break cooler and in some cases even overheat the hotend, so the temperature creeps up the head pipe and allows to remove any residue inside by pushing new filament in.

That way I got every hotend up and running again in minutes without disassembling them. Bad side of it is that you may overheat and damage the tubing inside, but well I don´t care. Better do it once when the heat pipe is really finished than over and over to remove clogging. :slight_smile:

Got a bag of replacements at hand, so I am ready when it really fails for the next time. Was only five bugs for 10 of them. :smiley:

What is this “heat pipe” you speak of Padawan?

Heat pipe is the long pipe (har) you screw into the heater block where it internally connects with the nozzle. Usually it is often also named heat break, as it is between and inside heater block and cooling block (with fan, the real heat break). You can say it is the heal of the heater block. Depending on the hotend design the areas are kind of floating and double defined.

It is the part which comes with the ptfe tubing to in all metal fashion. At least that is how E3D hotends are set up.

So the heat pipes are replaceable. I mean, Capricorn is replaceable too, but at some point disassembly will be required, as I just found out. I presume metal heat pipes are considerably more durable than PTFE.

But they conduct heat much faster. Heat creep happens much more with all metal than with capricorn or PTFE. Whatever that means. We are playing a game of balance so far as I see it.

I can see that. Somebody must have found a way to mitigate the heat creep. I wonder if pipes made out of Monel would resist heat creep better. Or how about pipes lined with ceramic?

Now that my printer is back, well, printing, I decided, in addition to checking the E steps (which were good), I would try the Ender 3 Bed Level Test. I chose it because it has the curved line and five 1-layer circles.

I ran into some adhesion problems. I tried bed temps of 40C & 60C, but the adhesion got worse as the temp went up. So, I thought, “what the heck, try no heat on the bed”. The result wasn’t fantastic, but it was better. So, I put down a nice layer of UHU & tried again.

Success! The print adhered very nicely, annnnd, it also released nicely. Since then, I’ve done a couple more small prints, again with nice adhesion, and I’m now doing a 7 to 9 hour print of this photo infinity backdrop frame, cause it should improve the quality of the photos I take and, after all, you guys deserve the best!! ???

During your work you probably dumped alot of dust onto the bed. You also touched it. Give it a good clean and your good to go. On glass I usually just use kitchen roll to wipe in circles center to outside and repeat this a few times. You could go with IPA, but I never owned that stuff in my live. :smiley:

The use of glue probably just covered the residue on the plate. :smiley:

In my case I don’t think so. I almost religious about cleaning the bed, even taking the Ultrabase to the kitchen sink & using a nylon brush on it.

IPA: you want me to use beer? :smiley: LOL, I presume you mean Isopropyl alcohol. Yeah, I have lots of that, but I usually stick to water.

Look at the attached foto

Thanks for that [USER][/USER]. Photos really do make the difference :slight_smile: Looking closely at the heat pipes I see they’re lined with something white. Is it PTFE? If so, how are they all that much better than regular bowden tubing? Won’t the PTFE get worn out too?

Do you remember my post about changing this little PTFE tube? This is what i ment! Yes it worn out too but you can change it easily.

Hmmm, are all metal hotends like that? I thought I saw at least 1 where the PTFE tube stopped at the top of the extruder.

It depends on the materials you print. With PLA you can get several hundred hours of printing without the need of change. Just make sure to leave the temperature lower than 240°C and you are fine.

If you crank the temperature up the ptfe tubing will wear out. Same goes for using more aggressive filament types like carbon fiber enhanced filament. Aggressive filament is also one of the reasons the nozzle needs to be replaced. Well, that and when you scrape the nozzle over the build plate.

Believe it or not, I have not done that… yet.

I takes more than one attempt to wear them off. Also when printing very close to the print bed and the bed is slightly off you may scrape a little without noticing.

‘All-metal hotend’ is something of a misnomer. It just means any PTFE doesn’t see high temperatures, typically by ending the tube somewhere above the heat break.


P.S. – You are lucky indeed to have not “drawn a line” in your bed yet! ?