Aerostruder chewing up PLA... Anyone else?

Have questions? Want advice?
1013
Posts: 339
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 9:56 am

Re: Aerostruder chewing up PLA... Anyone else?

Post by 1013 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:08 pm

one thing to do is adjust the tension after 10 to 20 layers have printed.

it seems that heat creeps up the filament some during the print and softens it where the tensioner is pushing, so the tension setting you set when the filament was cold may not be enough when it warms up.

Ideally the spring is supposed to handle this variation in hardness as the filament warms up, but I think the spring rate is too high on these things, and there is not much room in there for a different spring.

DCWGeoff
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Aerostruder chewing up PLA... Anyone else?

Post by DCWGeoff » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:54 pm

We've been having this problem on our TAZ6 with the Aerostruder upgrade. One particular spool of filament in our supply regularly exhibits this phenomenon: SHAXON 3mm PLA (yellow), purchased from Fry's. Other PLAs we have from Polymaker and Verbatim work great. The SHAXON spool in question used to work reliably on the old V2 Hexagon print head, but I'm thinking it may have been a more forgiving setup.

After running out of ideas, I finally took the digital calipers to the filament itself. Its diameter gradually varies from 2.97 to 3.06 about every 20-30 cm. Our other filaments are right around the 2.85 size.

Searching about for a spec on minimum a maximum filament diameter for the Aero, I came across an old Wiki article on E3D's site, stating a number of interesting things:
In general the E3D-v6 hotend is highly tolerant of most printing conditions and is designed to accept the vast majority of filaments on the market. There are however some things to be aware of:

Filament must be within acceptable diameter tolerance. For 1.75mm this means 1.70mm - 1.80mm and for 3.00mm/2.85mm the filament must be between 2.80mm and 3.05mm

Excessively long retractions will cause issues by dragging soft filament into cold areas. E3D-v6 hotends need less retraction than most hotends. For direct extrusion systems you should use anywhere from 0.5mm-1.0mm, for bowden systems you might want to go up to 2mm. Retraction beyond 2mm is likely to cause issues.

The heatsink must be cooled! Heated chambers, fan ducts that restrict flow, and not having the fan running at 100% at all times are common causes of issues. The heatsink should be cool to the touch at all times. If your heatsink is warm to the touch then you have a cooling issue that must be addressed.
It looks like the latest grind-out happened at a section where the filament measured 3.06... hmm!

Retraction is Cura LE default (1mm).

The heatsink is warm to the touch, but then again it is 35C in the shop where the printer is. Almost seems like the Aero head needs a bigger fan, or better yet, liquid cooling (which I understand E3D is developing already).

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