Micro swiss direct drive clicking

After several months my micro swiss direct drive extruder has started clicking. It seems like it’s coming from the gears… almost looked like during some frequent retractions it was really damaging the filament. Could the tension arm screw be incorrectly set? Also whenever it retracts the Bowden tube moves. Could that be part of the problem too?

Tried to upload a video but it didn’t accept the file format from my iphone (weird). Will try and convert and upload.

if the Bowden tube moves then the filament isn’t retracting from the nozzle by the same amount. maybe you have a clog?

Entirely possible. I’ve never had one before - how do I diagnose and correct it?

if yours has an all-metal hot end then it’s probably right above where the heatbreak goes into the heat sink. Retractions with direct-drive extruders are supposed to Be very short. If you’ve tried tuning your retractions. they may be too long given your floppy Bowden tube (the one between the drive and the hot-end) causing it to pull molten plastic into the cooling zone. The short answer is you won’t really know until you pull it apart and have a look. I forget which printer you have and which micro-swiss setup you added? If it’s a PTFE heatbreak it’s probably right at the end of the Bowden tube, sometimes plastic can ooze out and block the path between the tube and melt zone

I’ve got the cr10s pro v2. It’s both the micro swiss hot end and direct drive.

Is the only solution to tear it apart?

If its an a metal hot end the you can likely do a cold pull to clean it out. But if it’s PTFE lined then the end of the tube may be melted and/or there might be plastic in there that won’t some out with a cold pull, the stuff that oozed out

Yes it’s the all-metal hot end. It still printed pretty well (with one layer of underextrusion I can see). I’ll have to figure out how to take things apart if I want to do a cold pull. Going to do another big print today… hoping it may have cleared itself out (since yesterday’s print finished nicely). We’ll see…

OOOOOOkay… Well I found the source of the problem (I think), I had my Cura print settings go poof the other day and started again from stock. I thought I had found every setting I needed to fix but I neglected to change the retraction distance. With a DD I have been successfully been using 1mm since I got the printer. I noticed in my Cura settings that was reset to 5mm. Sooooo yeah. Clog city. Now I just have to learn how to do a cold pull or something to get it working again. Grrrr

Here ya go… Method Three in the list. Glad you found it, and it’s good your heatbreak is all metal it means there no stuck melted PTFE in there.

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Awesome thanks! But do I have to buy a roll of that nylon or cleaning filament before I can get this resolved? PLA won’t work?

Pla can work i have done it… timing is key. I heat up the nozzle so its all molten inside. Press the filament in it and hold it so it doesnt move and shut the heater off. Hold it for a while but let the nozzle get stone cold. Then heat the nozzle again and when its about 80 degrees give it a tug and see if it will come out. You are trying to get a strong handle attached to the plug of filament thats stuck in there. Pla is weak and if it moves while its cooling it’ll be even weaker. Same process as getting a popsicle out of the paper.

But if you don’t do it right aren’t you risking a worse clog? I was doing some reading about “cleaning filament” and it sounds like, with DD, you just run it through the extruder til all the gunk comes out. Is that the better way to go?

I have never used it. And no you’ll still have the same problem as before just with an extra piece of filament in there that broke off. You could try petg of you have any. I think I’ve used that more often than anything else but ABS worked the best as far as breaking off. If it breaks just try again and wait until its a little hotter before you pull. There is a sweet spot and it’ll all just come out. Uts not going to be a … brace yourself, veins popping out of your neck pull, it’ll just offer a little resistance then come out when it works.

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Okay I did a cold pull and reset my extrusion length. Going to do a small test print to see if it’s any better.

Great! Did a lot of gunk come out?

Didn’t look like it but I suppose I should have used a different color filament to be able to tell. In any event it seems to be printing nicely now…

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Looks like some black junk came out. Usually though, like you said, it was retraction being too high. and the clog isn’t from junk it’s more from melted plastic getting up high where it can’t be reheated again.

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That is a good looking cold pull. I have cleaning filament, don’t bother. It is just soaking wet filament. It steams the inside of the hot end. IMO not terribly useful. I do really like the cleaning wire,

It helps when there is a fragment broken off inside the hot end. You just heat up the hot end release extruders and I like to easy back tension of DD and push it in. I always run it clean through when I swap nozzles. Lately I have been using an X nozzle so it has been a month plus since I swapped. Before that I was changing every week give or take.

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Yeah that’s my thought exactly. I did 5 small cubes to test and they turned out nicely so now I’m trying a 7 hour print to see if everything is truly back to normal. On the previous prints the underextrusion didn’t happen until about 50-75 layers so we’ll see how this goes.

Oh that’s kind of interesting. Might have to look at that too.

What’s an X nozzle tho? I have yet to swap a nozzle for any reason so I’m sure it won’t be long before I’ll have to.