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Formaker Extruder Cooler

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Formaker Extruder Cooler

Post by Uglypanda on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:47 pm

Hello everyone,

This is my first Combo Makers Forum post, and I have recently discovered some minor issues with the printer. One of which is the attached cooling for the extruded filament. The only fan that is on the formaker for cooling the plastic is a small fan that dissipates heat from the hot end. Most of my prints have not properly cooled, and have left me wondering if I could make a fan shroud for the bottom part of the hot end, and to cool down the extruded plastic. I am relatively new to CAD, and I currently use OnShape. I will try to find an attachment point that I could use to model a fan shroud. As I do not have much experience, I would like to know if anyone has encountered any of these problems, and has made a shroud, or can make one that is moderately better than the one that I am going to design.

Thanks,
UglyPanda

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Re: Formaker Extruder Cooler

Post by Digicrat on Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:21 pm

Prints should cool on their own fairly quickly - generally wait a minute or two for it to cool after printing is complete.  The small fan on the extruder is all that you need.  If the filament cools too quickly, you will likely have adhesion issues between layers.

There are many reasons a part print can fail (most common, and my main issue, is just getting it to stick to the build plate), but not cooling quickly generally isn't one of them.  At worst, you might get some distortion if your build plate temperature is set too high, which can easily be lowered in your print settings.

What sort of problems are you having with the print?  If you post details, we may be able to suggest other potential causes.

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Re: Formaker Extruder Cooler

Post by Uglypanda on Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:45 pm

Most of my prints do not solidify quickly enough, and I have to put a fan on the whole machine to get at least a good quality print. I have messed around with the speed settings on the slicer, only with a few advantages. I have communicated with some people at my local makerspace, and they recommended that I put a cooling fan on the hot end and the model. I understand that having a fan on the model can lead to adhesion issues, but if the settings are correct, it will increase the quality of the model. The problem is no the cooling at the end of the build, but within all of the layers of the print. If you could help with any of these problems, that would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,
UglyPanda

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Re: Formaker Extruder Cooler

Post by Digicrat on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:32 pm

Adding a fan seems like a bit too much work if nobody else is having similar issues. 

Have you experimented with different temperature settings?  It could be that you have the extruder temperature too high (PLA uses a lower temperature than ABS).

Another thought is that perhaps you got a bad batch of filament.  Try picking up a new spindle and see if that gives you better results.  

Also, while we haven't had the printers long enough for it to likely be an issue yet (unless you're working in a very humid room), filament does degrade over time if not kept in an air/water tight enclosure.  The general recommendation is to store unused filament in a vacuum-sealed bag with some type of desiccant to absorb moisture.

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Re: Formaker Extruder Cooler

Post by Uglypanda on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:35 pm

Hey there, I'm sorry for my absence, but here it goes...

I am printing at 220C, and have tried another spool of filament, with no result. I then noticed a clicking sound in the extruder assembly, so I disassembled that, and found that there was a small piece of filament clogging the extruder nozzle, so I proceeded to remove that piece. Next, I noticed that since the filament was not extruding, there were pieces of PLA that were stuck between the teeth on the stepper gear. After I fixed that, there were no more problems to speak of, and successfully completed a 6+ Hour Print...

Thanks for all of your help,
       UglyPanda

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Re: Formaker Extruder Cooler

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