PLA is too stiff to extrude at the end of finishing a role

Anyone else run into the issue when you get close to finishing a role of PLA and you may have one or two prints left in it and when you handle the filament the 3mm is so curled and stiff it practically snaps apart while trying to load it? Once I do manage to load it I then notice it is so stiff and curled the extruder has issues pushing it out and just ends up grinding on the filament?

On my TAZ 6 I have tried cleaning the extruder and changing the tension on the filament with no luck. I just assume at this point since it has now happened to three different roles from three different manufacturers that I just have crazy humility and it is effecting my filament. Has anyone else seen this and if so what did you do to fix it?

I hate tossing filament if I can avoid it and I have no room to keep a big plastic tub that is air tight to store my filament. I was thinking I could bake it once it gets stiff but wanted to know first if anyone else had any ideas.

Yeah I have that problem with cheap filament which I use as I do very large prints. I have read that cheaper filaments wind the roll while the filament is still hot which makes that few meters like a slinky! I generally just take it off the spool when it gets that short.

BTW I gave up on the feed tube long ago and use an over head spool holder.

Now breaking problems (especially this time of year) are generally related to the cold! I bought my Taz6 in late summer and had it in the garage for awhile but when it started getting cold out (and in my garage) I noticed that even a 10 change in temp really effected how brittle the filament is. So then I moved the printer to spare bedroom. I have not had any breaking problems in the heated house.

With all of that said, sometimes I just give up on the last couple of meters on a roll. That does hurt my inner skinflint but on a cheap roll we are talking pennies.

I never have the problem with good filament in a heated house.


I had the same problem. I first thought it was the filament, NOT. I found that the filament would break inside the feed tube in multiple places after leaving the printer overnite (taz5) and finally concluded it was the cold temps (winter in cool 62o room on Cape Cod). It would also break during printing as I neared the end of the spool. I installed an overhead spool holder and a ~25 watt incandescent flood light a few inches from the spool, aimed at the filament as it comes off the spool. This relaxed the filament. Never another break.



I use this one.

Thanks for all the advice! I do currently keep my printer in the house but in a closet that does get a little cool so I will definitely conciser the genius idea of using the 25 watt flood light that FCOWELL suggested. Also nopick thanks for pointing me to a working top load mount for filament as I have considered a few times to move over to that instead of using the tube.

I was able to fix the issue I had with that role at least and it ended up being two separate issues. One was the brittle PLA which I fixed by trying the baking method and baking it for 185 for 2.5 hours and I agree with robajohn that it’s not worth the effort but it was the only filament I had in that color and I had a request for that color and didn’t want to buy a new roll at that moment. But after I baked it worked like a charm and was more playable.

Second issue I had was a clog and that is not something I have really ran into yet so the warning signs of it slightly extruding but not quite was masked by the brittle PLA so I just assumed it was just that. I did some nozzle digging and cold pulling and got it cleaned out and running great again, printing the last bit of that filament.

The one big thing I have learned though is I do need to store my filament better and am moving them to a air tight plastic container with desiccant.

Cheap and easy! Throw in some desicant and ht it with the mini-vac!

robajohn how many standard sized rolls are you able to keep in one bag? I was looking at this as an option but didn’t know how many bags I would need or how well they worked.

I got the package with two bags about the size of a sports jacket for $7. I already had a open plastic tub that was at one time the drawer from el-cheapo Wal-Mart three drawer set. ( uh oh! I think my inner redneck is shining through!)

So anyway I have had like 6 rolls in there at once with LOTS of room left over. The tub fills up long before the bag.

I put the rolls and desiccant in the bag, then I put the bag in the tub (mainly for shaping). I also keep the little tool that zips the bags shut and the extension hose for the Dyson mini in the tub as well so everything in on place. The tub stays on the shelf under the printer.

I tell you the vacuum power is crazy! When you vacuum out the bag that turns, say 6 rolls, into a single unit! You don’t need the tub anymore! I will get some pics tonight when I get home.

Man robajohn wish I had waited on getting the tub now and tried out the bags, didn’t realize they were that large. I wanted to go cheap but not have to mess around looking for filament so I wanted something clear and air tight that I could get into quickly.

After seeing I could have spent $6 bucks instead of $26 on an airtight bin I am starting to kick myself (haha). I am lazy and like the idea of just being able to pull it out of a bin and avoid having to reseal but my storage options open up with the bags and if I take your tip and store all the vacuum stuff with it things get a lot easier. (need track down a pondering emoji and put it here)

I look forward to seeing what it looks like and I appreciate you taking the time to share some tips on this issue.

The wal-mart bags. I am sure they have even better ones out here but it was just an experiment so I grabbed the first ones I saw…

So the bag is open but in the tub so I get stuff in and out…

Funny, I asked the wife to vaccuum the bag so I could film it but I ended up doing both anyway! LOL

Note at the end how the separate rolls becomes one unit bonded with with vaccum! :slight_smile: