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extruder clicking? possible stupid fix
So, we have all heard of the clicking extruder.

I am in the process of changing to a bowden / e3d setup when i noticed something really stupid that i haven't seen pointed out before, nor did i pay any attention to it.

Without additional delay look close at the "quick release" lever on the existing exist with the clicking filiment in place.

Does your lever actually touch the metal frame to stop it from going any further?

I don't believe it should. I just bent my tab slightly and guess what? That's right, the clicking went away instantly.

I'm not saying this is the problem in every case, but it could be a big part of it.

Compare the gap in mine after being bent to that on your extruder.

PLEASE let me know your results if you try this.

Btw, this could be why some filaments click and others don't; a thicker filament won't need the lever pulled over as far.

Also, you can try a stronger spring at the expense on additional wear on the bearing and motor.

Kieth[Image: 20150105_163948.jpg]
Thanks for this Kieth, Ive always noticed this when the clicking gets bad and I assume the filament broke and there is nothing between the gears. Always surprised to find the filament in tact, with an addition of a small filament bloat that I just cut off, reload, and resume. I have a object right now that will click everytime, due to overhangs raising up slightly and blocking the nozzle. Ive overcome the extruder clicking obstacle with a filament oiler for the most part and can now print objects I never could in the past, most without a single gear click. Ill try your fix tonight on a problem object that I havent been able to print successfully yet and post results. If this will increase the pressure around the filament and provide enough force to push out the blob of filament that accumulates at the end, it will free up so much printer babysitting time!
I can confirm this does help the gear clicks and probable filament jam. Im only printing PLA right now but I had several problem pieces that I could not complete. At some point in the print Id get gear clicks that would get progressively worse. I could print other models, some for over 4 hours where Id never hear it click once. This provided more tolerance for the nozzle being too close to the model in problem areas in my case. I was on my 12th try for a particular print, all failed, changing one variable at a time. Changed nothing from last failure, bent the tension handle back for additional clearance, success without a click.

Good lookin out Kieth, there is nothing stupid about this fix. As yours, my tension handle was resting up against the metal frame, and now that its bent away, i can see where this allowed it to travel a little further.
Thanks. What is happening is the idler is a piece of crap and as it wears the tolerance is increasing.

Part two of the stupid fix is to file the rectangular cut out that limits movement. Here is a picture of it, unmodified.

It should be pretty self explanatory how to file the metal plate.

Kindly note, this is a temp fix because i have identified the root cause as being apoorly designed idler combined with gear wear. This results in less tension, and subsequently the filament slips.

Kieth[Image: 20150106_102839.jpg]
Yeah, im familiar with that piece. Well, Im about to the point where I can reliably print all types of filament I own. That naturally means I now need to get new types of filament. Smile Next time I have a click fest Ill just cut to the chase and file that notch down.
I do not have any click and this is my extruders - I see spring is not touching the metal so I guess that is why

[Image: P_20150107_110051.jpg]
I think on 2.0 they figured this out. Smile

My fix is for single head printers. I should have said that. Sorry.

So by placing something to keep the piece let's say (0.1-0.5mm) out that would allow me to loosen the extruder tension so it don't 'bites' that hard?

Thanks for the post!
In theory, yes. But i don't know why you would want to reduce tension. The problem with clicking is coming about due to insufficient tension.

Are you trying to print flexible, like ninjaflex or some other type of "rubber"?? If so, i would suggest saving your time, as it is never going to work with the oem extruder.

Honestly, my recommendation would be to print out the e3d carriage and an Airtripper to have ready to go for when the stock parts fail. I'll promise, they will fail. The idler on my machine can visible be moved in any direction due to wear.

I want to lower the tension for wood filament. I have aio and the head allows pla. It does work but on long prints it bites too hard the wood filament so it fails to push it up or down. That why I think that could help. On other machines I readed that loosening the tension does help with this filament that it's more 'breakable'. I will try tomorrow but first I'll try to make a 3d part to attach there to change the tension with a external screw or something alike.

Btw I can print wood but disabling any retraction on slic3r/s3d but if I can change that hard bites that would improve a lot the printing
My extruder was clicking 10 days ago and was clicking today.
In both cases I fixed it by cleaning the nozzle with a very small diameter drill bit.
The metal level was never touch the body of the extruder.

So cleaning with a drill bit is another thing to try, just make sure you don't scrape the nozzle itself.
My daVinci 1.0 has a gap that's about what is shown here, from the get-go. Indeed, i've actually got a couple of ~28AWG wires sitting in the gap on mine.

Regarding the wear of the idler, etc -- how many hours / meters have you printed on yours? I'm wondering what sort of lifespan it is we're talking about before the thing starts to wear too much...
I ended up bending the lever out and filing the notch down. My idler gear now rides right on the drive gear when no filament is inserted. I expect this will lead to increased speed of the wear mentioned above... but I'll deal with that when I get there. I'm already looking at using a different drive gear and idler...
There shouldn't be more wear when filament is in the extruder, unless you alter the spring pressure.

The issue is the wear is already present or you would not need to file the notch. Wink

If i had the stock extruder, i would consider replacing the existing idler with a ball bearing. You could probably print a tube to adapt a roller skate bearing or similar. Imo this should have been a ball bearing from the factory... And maybe toss in a mk7/mk8 for the gear depending on which will clear all the parts.

That's exactly what I'm working on. I have both mk7 and mk8 gears inbound, but the mk7 is closer to stock diameter. Going to replace the idle with a skate bearing. Plan was to mimic the setup in the neustruder bowden thread, but with the OEM direct drive.
Where is the clicking coming from ?

I have the extruder assembly completely apart and thought of filing the hole to make the stop pin move further, placing more tension, but
the idler and drive gear seem tight enough on filament to me.

If it had a stuck nozzle extrusion, I would think the drive gear would spin wearing a groove thru the filament.
I wonder if the filament is bending below the gears and then snaps back up-click ?
Or is the stepper motor itself clicking missing steps trying to push the filament.

12hr print it stopped at 2hrs using PLA Silver. Lots of clicks on diagonal moves. Not on straight moves.
It just stopped extruding. I found nothing wrong in the breakdown of assembly. Doesnt click using ABS.
Genius Keith!

New filament was clicking, look what I found...

EDIT: Upon closer inspection looks like the extruder gear had chewed through the filament, allowing the idler to contact fully. Dern! Was excited this could've solved some big problems...

[Image: image.jpg]

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