Aerostruder not extruding filament when printing but will extrude on cura command

I have a mini 1. Bane of my existence until I realized too late for warranty (of course) that something was wrong with it and not me.
Upgraded to an aerostruder & wow my mini printed amazingly well.
I only used PLA and then we moved and put everything in storage.
I finally brought it out a couple of months ago and it still prints PLA great.
Switched to ABS. One print came out perfectly.
The next day it won’t extrude when printing. In Cura it will extrude properly when given the command to extrude. But not when printing. If you hold the filament you can feel it going up and down in place while printing but it never gets pulled through.

I am using cura 3.6.20 on a mac desktop
The ABS is older but has been stored in multiple bags with moisture absorbers and you don’t hear any popping from moisture as it extrudes.

What are my next steps?


Start at the basics.

Easy one first - you may have a bad thermistor reading, so the nozzle temp isn’t actually as hot as it should be. Rub some filament on the nozzle when it says it’s up to temperature and confirm that it melts easily. If not, replace the thermistor.

If the hot end is hot, and the filament is moving in the right direction, filament will come out if there is no clog.

If the gear is turning, and the filament stops moving (filament stripping), there’s something jamming the filament in the nozzle, heatbreak, or feed tube. Did you go back to PLA after ABS? Leftover ABS that doesn’t melt completely at PLA temperatures is probably the problem. Take the temp to ABS temp and push it out with PLA. Once purged, drop the temp back down. If you’re still running ABS at ABS temps, my guess would be that the filament broke off in the filament guide inside the extruder, above the melt zone, so the filament is deflecting to the side instead of pushing the jammed filament out.

If there is filament jammed in the filament guide inside, you can sometimes clear it by taking the temp up a bit higher (about 10-20c above normal temp for the filament), loosening the tension on the idler completely, and using a 1.5mm hex driver to try and push the jammed filament through to the nozzle.

Once done, try pushing filament through while it’s still hot manually with the idler still loose and held back. If you can push it through by hand easily, it’s not jammed, and you can tension it back up and give normal printing a try.

So if all this is good, and you’re still not getting filament when you print, it could be incompatible firmware with the slicer version. The firmware can do a retraction in addition to any retraction the slicer is doing, and if those retractions add up such that the filament is above the gears, there’s nothing to pull. They could also retract enough that the filament just isn’t reaching the nozzle when expected in the print, but eventually would have started if you had waited.

For the Mini 1, on a mac, you should be running Cura LE 3.6.37 (or 3.6.40 if you feel experimental) LulzBot | Cura-mac and firmware should be manually selected to use Marlin_Mini_SingleExtruderAeroV2_2.0.0.144_aded3b617.hex (if you don’t have and LCD) or Marlin_MiniLCD_SingleExtruderAeroV2_2.0.0.144_aded3b617.hex (if you do have an LCD) since it will probably try and default to a 1.1.9xxxx version of Marlin.

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Thank you Wrathernaut

The temp appears fine when I tell cura to extrude. It extrudes fine. It will not extrude when printing. When I start the printing process and the mini does it’s thing, some filament will leak out. I have gone back and forth between trying to print and extruding and each time I can extrude filament but it will not print.

I was using PLA the past few months with no issues, switched to ABS and got one successful print. I have not switched anything, it’s the same ABS. Literally overnight when I started a second print it stopped extruding.

I can update software. There was a point years ago where when I updated software things stopped working and I had to go back down to the previous version to get it up and running again.

I do not believe I have an aerostruder 2. The firmware you listed above - would that still work?

The software for the older aerostruder is in there also:

Marlin_Mini_Aerostruder_2.0.0.144_aded3b617.hex or Marlin_MiniLCD_Aerostruder_2.0.0.144_aded3b617.hex

One more thing - if the nozzle isn’t clean enough, and the bed leveling via the corners doesn’t get an accurate reading, the nozzle may be too close to the bed, causing a jam that way. If there is a visible gap, and nothing is coming out, it sounds like retractions stacking. If it’s extruding when you tell it to manually, it’s not jammed. If the gear is moving and filament is moving, it’ll come out.

Other things that could have been screwed up - could your flow have been reduced to nearly nothing?

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After the first reply I downloaded the newer mac cura and it is glitchy. Really really glitchy which is why I went back to the older version. But I kept at it and finally started a new print. This time it extruded while it printed YEAH! I made no changes to my set up. I stick with the presets for my material and don’t mess with flow rates or anything. Sadly the print came off the bed and I had to abort.

Yesterday I took a windows laptop and installed the windows cura. It’s not glitchy. I hooked it up this morning and it’s not extruding at all. Everything works properly and it goes through the printing motions but no extruding either on the extrude button or while printing. So I switched back to my mac and same thing, it’s not extruding either way.

So I guess next step is go through the motions of the head being clogged? I never changed the filament. The last thing I did was abort print when my print popped off the bed.

Besides the mounting, it’s just another Titan Aero, so there’s plenty of guides on disassembly for cleaning and such.

I do not think you have any reason to remove the nozzle from the heatblock, or the heatbreak either. Removing either of these from the heatblock can lead to a lot of problems with leaks and jamming. It’s likely that once you get the heatsink off the Aerostruder, you’ll see the jam and be able to pull it right out. Follow up with a cold pull after re-assembly, and you should be fine.