PLA won't extrude

Hey everyone,

I’ve been printing for a few years now with my Taz 5. I know, I’m still using the old model, but it’s done everything I need it to do and more and I haven’t yet felt the need to upgrade.

However, I’ve encountered a new issue with my PLA prints. I was printing off a helmet for my nephew from a 1kg spool of transparent PLA. The helmet came out great, but when I began to print a second, the filament stopped extruding. I have about a third left of the 1kg PLA on my spool which is more than enough to cover the print, but the darn thing won’t extrude.

I also had difficulty removing the PLA from the extruder. It didn’t come out as easily as it did before, but I had to put a little effort into it. I checked the tool head for clogs or jams and it was clear. I cut off a fresh end and was able to get it to extrude for only two layers before it stopped again. I increased the temperature by 5 degrees from 205 to 210 just to see if that would help the flow, but the same issues occurred.

The PLA spool is only four days out of the vacuum sealed package at the time writing this post.

I thought at first that my tool head has gone, but it still works like new when I print with ABS.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to why I’m having this issue? Any help would be appreciated.

Is your hot end cooling fan active and running when at temp? Try blowing it out gently with some canned/compressed air. Move next to the filament, if you have digital calipers, measure the filament diameter. It should read under 3.0 ideally, no more than 3.1 mm for that hot end. One thing to note, some materials have a bit of memory when coiled, and as they unwind closer to the core of the reel, they want to hold that tightly-coiled shape. Try feeding the filament straight down using a filament top mount like this:

Feel free to reach out to the support team for detailed help:

Great suggestions and I really appreciate the top down feed modification link. I have two full spools left that are behaving the same as the partial spools so I’m going to give that a try this evening. Cross fingers.

With my remaining spools, I suspected it may be a memory issue and unspooled the filament and looped it into straight lines between my work shop and living room. It looks like several laundry lines at the moment, but a test the morning on one of them appears to have relaxed a great deal.

Thanks Orias for the help.