Nozzle diameters, print quality problems, underextrusion, and extruder grinding

Discussion in 'E3D-v6 and Lite6' started by Paul Winter, May 6, 2017.

  1. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    E3D V6 05/11/2015 Complete Heatsink/Heatbreak/Hotend/heater/thermistor and 0.4mm nozzle - has worked well, good solid prints, no extruder grinding, has largely been used with a Mk8 direct extruder.

    E3D V6 31/12/2016 Complete Heatsink/Heatbreak/Hotend/heater/thermistor and 0.4mm nozzle. Also ordered a spare hardened steel nozzle, also 0.4mm. Intended for use as dual extrusion upgrade.

    Given how satisfied I was when I made my original move to E3D V6 hotends, I thought I couldn't go too far wrong by purchasing the same kit again when I wanted to upgrade my prusa i3 style printer to dual extrusion.
    I already had an Mk8 direct extruder, so the motor etc got used to make over into a Bowden extruder setup.
    I purchased a second Nema17 and Bowden extruder kit to push filament into my new E3D V6 hotend.
    I received the two new 0.4mm nozzles I had ordered with the kit, and was a bit surprised to find that the nozzle diameters appeared to be quite a bit smaller than my original 0.4mm nozzle that came with my first E3D V6 kit.
    I duly checked the nozzle coding, expecting to have been supplied with smaller nozzles, but the dot coding across all three nozzles is identical - 3 dots.
    I could conceivably put the larger nozzle diameter on my first nozzle down to wear, except that it has never had any filament other than PLA, ABS, PETG and EDGE put through it. One of the reasons for ordering a new hardened steel nozzle was to maybe try CF at some point in the future. And I remember that it has always extruded a good clean bead of filament.

    Cut to the new hotend/brand new 0.4mm nozzle. I have yet to get a decent print out of it. The bead it lays down is less than 50% the width of the old hotend/nozzle combination.
    The print gives every indication of being underextruded, but if I push the flow rate up I start to get signs that the extruder cannot push filament into the hotend - it's being bottlenecked somehow. The extruder starts grinding and clicking, and I cannot even manually push the filament in to assist.
    All I can do is pull the filament back, and let it retry to feed.
    By this time, the print is either very patchy, or ruined because layers have missed printing.

    _NM_0422.jpg _NM_0423.jpg _NM_0424.jpg _NM_0425.jpg _NM_0427.jpg _NM_0433.jpg Filament1.jpg

    Testing:
    Tool 1 Extruder motor/Driver/settings (because this was a new tool chain) - I switched the Bowden tube from the suspect hotend to the old hotend (Tool 0).
    All signs of underextrusion, jamming, poor filament deposition disappeared. 3DBenchy wasn't going to sink this time due to holes in it's hull!

    I have upped the temperatures, tried different materials, tried different retraction settings (because it's now a Bowden setup). Bed adhesion is now a major problem as it struggles to squish down a very thin bead (PETG on an aluminium bed has never been a problem for me before), but subsequent layers are problematic to the point where prints do not finish.

    I aim to try printing at less than my usual 0.2mm layer height, on the off-chance that the nozzles aren't really 0.4mm, but it's hard to see how I can push less filament into the hotend, and still have enough to print with.
     
    #1 Paul Winter, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  2. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    165
    It really sounds like a size issue and difficult to verify without a 0.4mm drill to pass through the nozzle. I would suggest a cold pull to clear the nozzle of any metal particles from machining, as I have seen and heard that some users have suffered from this. I always wash a new nozzle in acetone or similar to degrease it and remove any contamination.
     
  3. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hi, Mike, Thanks for the response
    I first became aware that there might be a size issue when I had to try and clear what I thought was a blocked nozzle. It wasn't extruding at the same rate my original nozzle had been doing. So taking my trusty length of guitar string I found it wouldn't go up into the nozzle. Not even close.
    Checked my spare brass nozzle with the wire, exactly the same. Checked the dot codes and my invoice (and the bag it all came in etc), and it all said it should be 0.4mm nozzles. But just a visual check against my original nozzle, and extrusion comparisons tell a different story.

    I'm not entirely convinced that nozzle sizes are the only thing wrong with this new hotend, but it has to go some way towards explaining some of the underextrusion and feed issues. Possibly also repeated clogging, but on that note I may have fallen foul of a gotcha re Bowden tubes and hotends....a different issue.

    So I got snappy....

    _NM_0435.jpg _NM_0436.jpg _NM_0437.jpg _NM_0439.jpg _NM_0440.jpg
     
    #3 Paul Winter, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  4. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    So I found out that a 0.4mm guitar string won't go up the new E3D nozzles, but a 0.2mm guitar string will.
    I used the Reprap calculator here https://nathan7.eu/stuff/RepRapCalculator/RepRapCalculator.html#PrintSetup to give me options. I wanted to keep printing at 0.2mm layer height for speed and a known good appearance - the calculator advised that telling my systems that I had a 0.35mm nozzle would be a good option, so I dialled that into S3D.
    That worked better than expected - I'm still laying down a very thin bead of filament, but I finished a Benchy with absolutely no jams or extruder choking. The filament is feeding in a much more continuous and constant manner, and the print has that more confident feel to it's progress.
    The overall quality of the print is denser, surfaces are finished better, infill is more regular - altogether a much improved situation from a day ago.


    Mike, I tried your cold pull, but nothing came out of either new nozzle, but thanks for the advice, well worth remembering :)

    Given that this is now a dual extruder machine, I'm not sure how S3D will handle disparate layer heights or nozzle sizes, but that's the next test.

    I am also wondering how many other users may have smaller nozzles than they expect or realise. I ordered a brass 0.4mm, and a hardened steel 0.4mm on the same order - both came in at smaller than my machine was expecting, causing symptoms that a few other users on the forum seem to be experiencing. I'm only guessing, but if these are automatically machined, and in quite large batches, there are gonna be a good number out there.....

    I need to check with E3D now
     

    Attached Files:

    #4 Paul Winter, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  5. Stian Indal Haugseth

    Stian Indal Haugseth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    84
    Is there something called a pin gauge? This could be a useful tool. Having pins fractionally lesser size than the regular nozzle sizes.
     
  6. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    165
    I feel sure that this is an issue that E3D need to be involved with as there may be a quality control issue that they have not been aware of. I would, as you infer, return the nozzles to them and get replacements and definitely give them a call or email referring them to this thread.
     
  7. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hi Stian

    Yes, there are pin gauges (more often spelt gage, for some reason), but I could buy a new printer for what some of the sets cost :)
    I think I'll just buy a wider range of steel guitar strings, chop them into lengths, and label them after measuring them with a micrometer.
    I already have 0.2mm and 0.4mm strings, and by using them I know the suspect nozzles are somewhere between the two.
    Even just setting Simplify3D to a 0.35mm nozzle has drastically improved the prints, virtually eliminated extruder clicking, and allowed prints to complete without any interruption of filament flow/feed.
    And I still get to set a 0.2mm layer height (my personal measure of acceptable quality versus speed for the type of printing I am doing).

    I also now have my doubts about how wide my original nozzle is!
    It too is marked as 0.4mm (3 dots), but when I put the 0.4mm wire up against it, it looks much bigger. It always printed OK and gave good results, and is a general purpose workhorse nozzle.

    Thanks for the feedback :)
     
  8. Kanedias

    Kanedias Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    123
    As you probably know printing with things like glow in the dark filament can very rapidly wear the nozzle. Could be that if it's been around for a bit.
     
  9. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hi Mike
    Now that I have done some more testing, and am more positive about the outcome of telling Simplify3D what the nozzle isn't, I will be taking this up with E3D. As long as the slicer knows what the nozzle IS, it makes a good job of parsing the model and turning it into a decent print, and I can work with it. But yes, they do need to check - I have a feeling that some automated turret-based CNC or lathe picked up a wrong drill somewhere and churned out hundreds.

    I am also now less convinced that some of the hotend problems reported on the forum are down to heatsink/heatbreak issues. The simple change of telling the slicer the right nozzle size has made such a big improvement.
     
    mike01hu likes this.
  10. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    Quite possibly wear and tear, because it has been my sole nozzle since I bought the hotend, but apart from bog-standard PLA and ABS, the only exotic materials I have used are 2 Reels of EDGE, and 2 reels of PETG.
    But I didn't realise glow in the dark was hard on nozzles, so many thanks for the heads-up on that.
     
  11. Kanedias

    Kanedias Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    123
    It's the strontium that makes it glow.

    #mildlyinteresting


    I wonder if a batch have been mismarked as .4 instead of .25?
     
  12. Stian Indal Haugseth

    Stian Indal Haugseth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    84
    #12 Stian Indal Haugseth, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  13. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Just received a pair of new V6s - looking at the nozzles (by eye, with magnifying glass) and comparing them to the others I have, these are clearly marked as 0.4 (3 dots) but the hole looks a lot more like the 0.3 nozzle, but with a wider flat area around it. If I had to guess I'd say wrong size drill.

    I'll contact e3d and at least make sure they're aware...
     
  14. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Quick phone call - they are sending replacements, and will look into it. Lawson? [if I got the name right - apologies if not] wasn't aware of any other issues having been reported, and I've mentioned that some others had posted on here with what looks like a similar issue.
     
  15. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    165
    Hi Paul,
    As you will have seen you are not the only one. Good luck with getting a resolution from E3D.
     
  16. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Replacement nozzles have arrived (fedex). Not sure if these are correct or not, but I'll find out after I use one I suppose. I'll post here either way, will likely be tomorrow at the earliest though.

    Certainly can't fault how quickly they got here!
     
  17. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    In doing comparisons between my old E3D 0.4mm nozzle, and the two new ones I ordered most recently, I had the feeling that the old one was maybe getting to be a bit sloppy. This is no criticism, it's had a really good run, but as the photos below show, I don't think it's 0.4mm anymore!
    The guitar wire used as a gauge is 0.4mm

    _NM_0453.jpg

    I'm currently running the new "0.4mm" (0.35mm?) nozzles using the settings below, and managing some credible results at a layer height of 0.2mm, but all the advice points to running the nozzles at a lower layer height of 0.15mm, so that's my next test.

    _NM_0445.jpg

    New nozzle settings.JPG
     
    #17 Paul Winter, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  18. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    165
    That looks like nozzle wear; are you using filled filaments as I had this problem with an earlier printer using Laybrick and Woodfill.
     
  19. Paul Winter

    Paul Winter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hi Mike
    No, just plain old PLA, ABS, EDGE, and more recently PETG.
    It was one of the reasons (apart from going dual extruder) that I ordered new nozzles (1 brass, 1 Hardened steel to start doing composites), that got me into this problem with nozzle sizing.
    The printer is currently quite happy running at 0.35mm, and 0.15mm layer height, but it is now taking twice as long to do prints. But at least it gets to finish them, and the quality is passable (the PLA I'm running at the moment might be problematic, with stringing and shrinkage issues - sidewalls of a model are being pulled inward by cross-members).
     
  20. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    165
    OK Paul, wear is not restricted to filled filaments but some colour fillers can increase it too; of course dependent upon the volume of printing your are doing. I have not done the comparison between the brass and steel nozzles as I only use the steel one. Another thought is that, due to the lower thermal conductivity of the steel nozzle, the flow rate may be very slightly restricted giving the effect of a smaller nozzle diameter. I have many S3D profiles now to take account of different filaments as well as the tweaks to battle hardware and firmware inconsistencies. Hey, but that's part of the learning curve for 3D printing. :confused::)
     

Share This Page