Taz 5 grinding filament down

So I’ve had the Taz 5 for a few months, and it’s been printing fantastically, but this past month It has just refused to extrude, I’ve remade the idler part and put the bearing back in, it moves just fine but when filament is run in, decides it can’t do anything but let the teeth grind it into nothingness.

With a convention coming up I really need to get this to stop and get back on track.

I’ve been using 3.00/2.85mm esun pla+ filament with a .35 nozzle to great effect until the extruder suddenly decided to shit all over my life.

I’ve not seen anything in the other 'threads that has helped me as of yet. Don’t know if it’s a hardware or software issue at this point

Sounds like you jammed the nozzle. heat it up to about 250, and try to force it through by hand.

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See I cleared the nozzle repeatedly, and it runs fine, but after 14-15 minutes into prints, it just stops pushing filament.

Make sure the heatsink fan is working.

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both fans are working, it’s not a fan issue, it’s something that just makes the printer stop pushing filament out, it works fine, than 14-15 minutes in, it quits, just pretending to work as it moves around in the air.

Does your extruder have the little radial fan on the front of it. If so it probably is starting to fail. Carefully feel the Aluminum mount just above the fan and see if it is warm/hot if so your fan is failing.

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Going to try it tonight and find out, the micro blower(what they call the tiny fan) does work, but I don’t know enough beyond that.

Those small radial fans are bad news. They start to fail but look like they are running well. They barely move enough air when working properly to keep the heat creep at bay. So, when they get a little sticky and slow down, heat creep jams happen.

There are adapters on Thingiverse to replace that fan with a 40 x 40. You just have to get a 5 volt version or power the a 12 volt fan from a wall wart.

There is a very good chance that is the problem.

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Having the same issue here with my taz pro… can’t extrude on head one just keep grinding so after it heats, the printer shuts down and restart… what kind of error do you get on gcode?

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It will spin, just fine, the issue is it just barely supplied the CFM
air needed. If it slows down due to deposits or dust in/on the rotors
blades(reduced volume = reduced CFM) or bearing surfaces(slower spin =
reduced CFM) then it no longer cools enough. Then the cold end builds up
heat and your filament will start to expand with the increased heat in
the feed barrel and make the hob bolt eat into the filament surface and
degrade performance.

That is one of the reasons they quit using that fan and went with a new
design with a 40 MM fan for the next printer. A known issue they must
not talk about much. You must have had one of the better ones that it
lasted this long.


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You say the filament just starts grinding. I’ve had perfectly good filament do this … if the part is requiring excessive retractions. Does this happen regardless of what kind of part you try to print? E.g. if you try to print one of the LulzBot calibration parts… or maybe a calibration cube part, etc… does it still happen?

If this is caused by excessive retractions then Cura has two settings that are meant to keep it from grinding on the same bit of filament.

In the Cura profile, the “Materials” section (only visible if you use “Custom” settings instead of “Recommended” settings) you will see a few settings to tweak retractions … such as retraction distance (on a direct drive printer that value is usually pretty low… between 1 & 2mm (e.g. 1.5). I also notice several profiles default the max retraction count to 99 and I usually dial this back to something closer to 10 (if a printer grinds back & forth on the same millimeter of filament 99 times it is GOING to grind a groove into the size of that filament).

If you hover over the max retraction settings, it will tell you it applies to the number of retractions that occurs with the “Minimum Extrusion Distance Window”. So for the profile I happen to have loaded right now, that “window” size is set to 2mm and I dialed the max retractions to 10. This means that it is only allowed to retract a maximum of 10 times along that same 2mm length of filament… any additional retractions will be ignored. But once it clears beyond that 2mm section, it can start retracting again.

Otherwise if it happens regardless of what you are printing … then I might even start to wonder if the filament is ok and try testing a different filament to see if it still happens.


@nopick it lookes like it’s running well, I am able to touch the heatsink and not feel and warmth there, you may be right but it looks like it’s working atm.

@kmanley57 I am gearing to getting new fans, or just a better tool head depending on my tax returns.

@TheVirtualTim I thought it was the retractions at first as a print I was doing was retracting ridiculously hard and fast to make supports…but it fails even without retractions, I’ve been using the Esun brand for months without any serious issue until now. all the other brands i’ve gotten have gotten end up being too brittle.

I will take your cura settings to heart though, changing that right now as it was at 90.

Have you tried a different filament, or even different color of filament?
I’ve been printing a specific model with nGen (Black) for a few months now. It comes out perfect every time very reliably. It has a lot of retractions. Decided to try white. No go. Grinds within the first few layers. Same model, same settings (from gCode), same filament brand/material. The only differentiating variable was the color of the filament. I’ve tried another reel with a recent manufacture date (within 4 monts) and had the same issue. Tried printing it in blue, worked fine. I guess not all pigments are equal.

@PdxSteve I’ve heard this before. At first it never occurred to me that “color” alone would make a difference, but I’ve heard this a few times now. Colored filament is basically made from the PLA pellets combined with color additives and melted to make filament. Certainly the additives could have something to do with it.

But what is interesting… is in the past handful of times that someone has mentioned that a different “color” has an impact… it’s always “white” that is the problem. What is it about “white” filaments?

I usually use black or silver grey, since I end up painting my props different colors, so it’s not a color issue in the filament.

If you’re sure the heatsink fan is working, and this isn’t a case of the common heat creep issue that affects PLA, here are some other ideas:

Check the gears for any cracks which could be causing the filament to slip. Its common for the small herringbone part to crack causing the nema motor to slip

Make sure the hobbed bolt is clean of any stripped filament.

Check that the path from extruder to hotend is inline. The hobbed bolt can put teeth marks in filament which can catch on the transition from extruder to hotend if misaligned.

Try a little cooking oil on the filament to lubricate the path to the heater block. If you’ve had a clog and the extruder has continued to print for an extended period, the PLA can carbonize. Leaving deposits which can increase friction through the hotend.

Hope something helps…

Another thing to look at is the tightness on the thumb screws that are used to pinch the filament to the feed wheel. I had mine too tight on my taz 6 and it was pressing it to the wheel with enough force that each move would take a little plastic off and after a few retractions in close proximity it would make a divot in the plastic making it jam.

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