possibly more fail

In 3D Printing, Crafts on December 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

So i get up today and I try to restart the print job from yesterday.  The print bed won’t get up to temp. The nozzle won’t get up to temp. The lcd screen keeps blanking out and becoming unresponsive when ever i try to load the print job off of the memory card.  I unplugged the fan that normally blows on the nozzle and newly extruded PLA.  This allowed the nozzle to get up to temp.  I don’t know if the PLA will cool properly as it comes out of the nozzle though.  I had to take the memory card out and put it back in but it seems to be reading that now.  Finally I plugged the whole thing into my laptop and for some completely unknown reason the print bed will now heat up to the proper temp.  I have no idea why.  The printer does draw some power from the laptop through the USB when it’s plugged in, but only for the LCD screen.  Maybe that is the extra bit of power it needs to bring the bed up to heat.  I don’t know.  I have a kilowatt power supply hooked up to the printer so power should not be an issue.  I finally got the print job started.  I’ve been too scared to look and see if it is actually working though.  I am noticing that the printer is MUCH louder than it used to be.  I think I need to take the entire thing apart and clean everything out.  Maybe there is just a bunch of particles in the bearings from the printing.  Hopefully it is something that can be fixed.  I can always buy new bearings, but I am officially broke until early summer.  If I need anything that costs more than 5 or 6 bucks it will have to wait.  As for the heaters and electronics being wonky…  I don’t know.  I sprayed the board with some canned air.  If there was much dust on there (i didn’t see any) that was hurting the connections it should be gone now.  But I don’t really think that is the problem.  I hope it all holds together long enough to finish the steam punk chess set project.  If I can get these two Queens printed all of the back row pieces will be finished.  Only the pawns and the board itself will be left.  After all of the work I’ve put into this so far I will be devastated if I can’t get it finished.


edit: It seems to be printing ok, more or less. I was getting some big globs of burned PLA in places so the fan is necessary to keep it cooling properly as it is extruded. I cranked the heater up in my room and was eventually able to plug the fan back in and still keep the nozzle temp where it needs to be. I guess I ‘ll keep my fingers crossed and hope the next 10 1/2 hours go ok.

2nd edit: Nope. As soon as i published the last edit the printer stopped. The nozzle temp is plummeting although it still shows the set temp it is supposed to be trying to maintain. It just seems to have stopped sending voltage to the ceramic heater on the nozzle. I will have to take the entire thing apart and bust out my multimeter to see if the problem is the board (no voltage being sent to the heater) or the heater (it’s getting it’s juice but just isn’t working) or even the power supply. While I am at it I will take apart the various x and z print axis’ and see if i can clean out the bearings so they quiet down. After that I will need to spend another 3 or 4 hours getting everything dialed in. I’ve just lost at a minimum 3 days (i work all day tomorrow) with no guarantee i can get it working again. I have somewhere I am supposed to be in 30 minutes but I will scrape off the little bit of the job that did print and try again using my laptop to control everything rather than printing from the memory card plugged into the LCD screen. Maybe the problem is the LCD assembly and using the computer to control everything will fix my problems in the short term. I don’t know. I am so frustrated and depressed at this turn of events.

3rd and final edit: the problem appears to be between the power supply and the board. I don’t know if who’s fault it is though. I discovered that while the LCD was still lit up nothing else had power (heaters or motors). The LCD was pulling it’s power from the laptop via the USB port. I should have left the power supply running and got some measurements from it but I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until i had turned it off. After turning it back on it is providing the correct power and the printer seems to be getting correct power. I’ll let the laptop attempt to control this print and see how things work when I get home again.


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