Extruder motor replacement

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Extruder motor replacement

Postby mrmaleficus » 2017-May-Fri-08-May

Hi everyone.
After a few dozen hours of printing on my Printrbot Play, it looks like my extruder motor isn't working. When I have time later today, I'm planning to check all the connections, try swapping it out and trying other motors I have around, etc. I've already done a bit of googling, but I was wondering if any of you could point me to any particularly detailed info I may need(motor datasheets, firmware edits if I need to adjust power or step angle, exploded views and assembly instructions for relevant bits of the extruder, etc).
I'd appreciate any help. I've done modding and troubleshooting of other printers, but this one is still pretty new, so any time savers figuring things out would be fantastic.
Thanks much.
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Extruder motor replacement

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Re: Extruder motor replacement

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-May-Fri-10-May

It would help a lot to know what the symptoms are when it "isn't working"
Does it not move or make any sound at all?
Does it try to move but make a regular clicking sound?
Does it try to move, but erratically?
-RJ
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
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GT2 belts & pulleys
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Re: Extruder motor replacement

Postby Mooselake » 2017-May-Fri-10-May

First try swapping the motor connectors, putting the (filamentless) E on either X or Y and doing manual moves on the appropriate axis. This allows you to determine if the problem is the motor or the motor driver.

Your motor may have a model number sticker; you can google the model for specs. Printrbot sells replacements, select the various motor sizes from the list and it'll tell you underneath the pulldown list what size motor that covers. PB's not a discount supplier, and their shipping can be pricey, but at least you know you'll get the right motor. If they give specs (they might on one of their support sites) you use those to match up an equivalent motor (you don't need to be exact, just kinda close for voltage, current, and holding torque).

If it's the driver try increasing the current, probably won't help but easy to test. The driver chips aren't replaceable unless you have soldering SMT skills and equipment, but new boards are reasonable (for 3D printer controllers). Get the USB-B connector version, less prone to pulling the connector off the board.

And with only a few dozen hours you may still be in the (way to short) Printrbot warranty. At least open a ticket there with your symptoms and what you've tried, and see what they suggest.

Hobby (and professional) 3D printers are like the house in the movie Money Pit...

Kirk

I see RJ and I were typing at the same time. I'd make the great minds crack, but, well, there's the whole moose thing
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Re: Extruder motor replacement

Postby mrmaleficus » 2017-May-Fri-10-May

I went through and checked the connections. One may have loosened, or powering off and on again may have helped, because it's up and running again. Though, happen to feel like posting links to pages or discussions on the Play you've found particularly useful, I'd love the input. I've put in a ton of hours working on and with Prusa originals, clones and a few other cartesian machines but, like I said, this one's new(like a week and a half old). Good word of mouth trumps dubious hits from searching a lot of the time. Thanks for looking, regardless!
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Re: Extruder motor replacement

Postby Mooselake » 2017-May-Fri-10-May

I have a 5 year old Kickstarter plywood bot, not a play, but there's a number of Play purchasers here. That's kinda general troubleshooting info, works on pretty much every Printrbot (or probably cartesian bot for that matter). Glad you found it! The warranty is at least a couple weeks these days (more like a month or 3); mine was until the package cleared the factory although they were pretty generous with part replacement in the early days. More generous if you paid for them :)

A couple dozen hours in a week and a half, after all those other bots? You're hooked. There might be a 3D printer's anonymous 12 step program that we should join (Hi, my name's Moose and I'm a 3D printer addict) :) Post pictures, Plexus is footing the bill so we like pictures here. You can upload and attach them (scale to around 800px wide to save the scrolling), just not link offsite until the undefined anti=spammer criteria is met.

Problems seem to run in batches (I'm discounting the just notice them more for a while theory), and loose cables is the current batch. Try a little dab of hot melt glue (just got a replacement glue gun, hammer, nail) on the connectors to hold them in place. The electronics guys call it hot snot, although I wonder if the real pros like RJ actually use it.

I'm involved in a new hot end beta test; my current interest is primarily melt volume in cubic mm per second. I have some test gcode (currently configured for 1.75mm filament but that can change). Feel like running it on some of your collection and finding out just how fast your various extruders and hotends will squirt out plastic? It's a good tuning test so not just all altruistic.

Kirk
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Re: Extruder motor replacement

Postby mrmaleficus » 2017-May-Fri-11-May

It depends a bit on my free time, but the local maker group I'm in would probably be interested in doing some testing. I should add that after getting things going again, the motor extruded for a while, and now is down to weakly trying to move and clicking at me. So, I'll have to get back to delving in when I have a skosh more patience for troubleshooting.
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Re: Extruder motor replacement

Postby Mooselake » 2017-May-Fri-12-May

That sitting with the heat on may have cooked the plastic. With it hot (otherwise it won't unscrew) remove the nozzle and try and run some plastic through the nozzless hotend. Maybe clean it out with a pipe cleaner or similar (I've used bamboo skewers when the pipe cleaners were elsewhere). I've had good luck with the burnout technique, heat the nozzle with a torch or similar (I use a burner on our gas cooktop), then dump it in a bit of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) for a quick quench. Dig out any crud that's left, or repeat the burnout. I use a welding tip cleaner, which is designed for cleaning out small orifices, but that might be excessive. More info on the IPA burnout if you search the forum

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