Super long prints: Can I stop part way?

Hey there, so I know if I don’t take care to pull the filament off the spool every so often, the printer will skip parts and my print will fail. This has kept me from printing super long multi hour prints.

I know that this printer has a resume printing function, so does that mean I can just flick the switch off at the back at night, then flick it back on in the morning to resume my print? Short of babysitting my print I have no other way of doing a multi hour print.


There’s also a Pause Print function on the control panel but you’ll have to keep the printer on, which is OK. Mine sometimes doesn’t get turned off for months.

I’m not 100% sure the Resume Print function is reliable. For one thing, when you turn the power off, it turns the power off to the stepper motors which then become free to move. This is particularly problematic for the Z-Axis on some printers. The Z-Axis can slowly drop under it’s own weight.

I’m just a bit confused what you mean by pulling filament off the spool every so often. Is the filament getting tangled in the spool and you have to manually free it?
Are you worried about running out of filament?

I mean I have to manually unspool it because it doesn’t unspool easily. Like, the gear that pulls the filament in isn’t strong enough to pull it off the roll.

Thanks! (Also you are really a helpful person in this forum and I hope you get recognition for that)

1 Like

There is an adjustment screw on the extruder that allows you to increase/decrease the pressure it puts on the filament. The extruder motor has a metal gear-like thing on the end that bites a little bit into the filament to pull it off the spool and feed it into the printer. If you’re having to help it feed the filament then one of two things is wrong:

Either the gear-like piece is worn smooth such that it no longer grips or the adjustment screw needs to be turned to increase the pressure it applies.

1 Like

Just building on what @LEGOManiac said.

It sounds like you have an extrusion issue to me, I would check the tension of the extruder arm and the health of the extruder gear first.

I think that it might be better to chase down and solve this problem rather than babysitting the printer and having to pause your prints.

I leave my printers basically unattended for most of their prints and I often print larger 12+ hour parts, you shouldn’t have to manually feed the filament!

Have you ever calibrated or checked your extruder esteps?
Are prints coming out okay, any noticable defects of under-extrusion?

It shouldn’t be smooth, I just installed a new fully metal extruder part. Where is the adjustment screw?

@TurkeyOnRye I have never calibrated my extruder steps before, I do notice places of under extrusion. How do I calibrate my e-steps? (Ender 3V2)?

Just a picture with the tension adjustment screw circled.

Easy way to check the Esteps is to measure out and mark 100mm of filament right before it enters the extruder, then when everything is at temp, go to the move axis option in the menu, select extruder and move it to +100mm. Then check if exactly 100mm of filament was actually consumed or if it needs adjustment.

I’ve only got a v1 so my menu looks a bit different, but this video runs through the steps well on a v2:

If your tension seems good and your ESteps check out (the 100mm was extruded dead on) and the printer still has the issue then I would start looking for a clog somewhere in the hotend.

Hmm, the screw is in as tight as she goes, and my e-steps were 10mm off on the first go (going to run a second test to be sure).

I’ve never had to adjust my extruder screw, but by looking at it, I’m 99% sure that the tighter the screw, the looser the grip. If it’s “as tight as she goes”, that would be your problem.

I spent 5 weeks solving an extruder stopping part way through. The tension is easy to test. With the printer off pull the filament you should feel the stepper well stepping. If it feels like there is little resistance turn the knob that would unscrew normally this moves a nut toward the end of the bolt increasing the compression on the spring.

It will leave dents on the filament but not deform it.

Do you have a filament sensor? Does the filament run smoothly through it? This can also cause a feed issue. Is the sensor in line so the filament runs in and out in a straight line and does not make a hard corner? Also can cause issue.

Is the stepper on the extruder crazy hot during use? It will turn off if it over heats.

Is the filament path into the hot end free of obstruction? My sidewinder has a plastic guide with ptfe tube in it that was too short and not straight.

I actually had all of these at once. And a interment board connection loose so it dropped all power every once in a while.

It could be a number of things not just tension at the extruder. The sidewinder will print fine at the loosest and hardest settings. It slips on occasion on the loosest under extruding and tears the filament at the hardest leaving little filament bits behind.

My number one would be the filament sensor if there is on. You could just bypass it and see if that helps.

When I pull the filament out of the printer, there’s definitely tension and there are dents in my filament. I don’t have a sensor.

There is a bit of a sharp corner from where my filament is housed to the printer (sits in a dry box directly behind my printer, trying to figure out a better arrangement)

Just for your info, in order for a stepper motor to turn off if overheating, there would have to be some sort of temperature probe (with associated cable) on it. These printers don’t have that, so you can cook the stepper motors to your heart’s content.

What does have a temperature sensor and does shut down to protect itself is the stepper motor driver on the controller board. That’s the part that’s over heating.

1 Like

The stepper hit by my measurement 137ºC it was way too hot to touch and melted the plastic surrounding it and liquified the filament at the extruder gears. It might be the board that over heated but It was a train wreck of a mess. I replaced the whole extruder and stepper and so far so good.

OP make certain the filament runs smoothly and nothing is obstructing it, The tension seems fine so if it continues you might need to look elsewhere. I am going to suggest you remove the filament from the dry box and hang it where the manufacturer intended it. See if that helps. My unfortunate experiences taught me that the filament will jam easily and manually unrolling it will help. It sounds very familiar to your experience you describe.