I’ve been printing a bunch of dividers for a case my son wants to use for storage.
My black Euro PLA was running out, so I grabbed the only other PLA I had on hand - Hello3D Black Matte PlA from 3dPC.
That went well although the transition from glossy to matte in the same printed item is rather jarring but it’s going inside a case where no one will see it, so whatever.
After a while I start hearing a clicking. It happens occasionally so I ignored it but it gradually became more frequent.
I looked closely. It didn’t appear that the print head was digging into the part and jamming the extruder, but the clicking would intermittently continue.
So I’ve just changed filament and now this, but why? It occurs to me that maybe the filament is too large - out of spec. That would lay down more plastic per extruder revolution and, given that I’m printing a large, flat object, maybe the plastic has nowhere to go and it’s backing up the hot end and causing the extruder to skip. But how to fix it in a live print?
I contemplated increasing the speed of the print but I’m fairly sure that increases the speed of the extruder proportionately.
Then I’m thinking; maybe there’s a g-code I can send that will slow the extruder step rate slightly. I can repeat this until the clicking stops. But will sending g-code in the 80% of the way through a print screw the print up? I decided not to risk it.
The clicking becomes more frenetic.
Then it dawns on me: I’ve just changed filaments. I wonder if, for some reason, it’s creating a clog? I go hunting and realise I don’t have any more 0.4mm nozzles, so I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed.
And the clicking continues.
Once again I look over the print and wonder if it’s going to make it to the end. And that’s when I noticed it: a clogged nozzle prints intermittently with blobs and under-extrusions; an over-extrusion prints rough furrows.
It’s then that I realise that in the ceiling above the printer is a live catch mousetrap with a mouse in it.