In my previous post, I promised to give the Frankinstrument my full attention, but I needed something to do do while the glue was drying and sort of got carried away.
Every spin is a win.
I've got your number.
My brother and I have been working on an open source boardgame so that anybody with a 3d printer could spit one out and play. I had hoped to get a full set of pieces printed up so that I could send them to him for his birthday, but disaster struck. Mr. Squiggles’ extruder began failing mid-print. First, I cleaned the drive gear, and that didn’t work. So I decided that the hot end was clogged up and set to taking it apart.
There are at least 3 ways to solve any problem, the right way, the wrong way, and my way. Typically, there is some overlap between the last two options. This time, the overlap approached 100 percent. The first thing i did wrong was ignoring my instinct to put anti-seize on the nozzle when I installed it. The second mistake I made was assuming that the brass nozzle would be stronger than the plastic, which had invaded the threads.
It turns out that you should heat up your hot end before taking it apart. I never found anything which explicitly states that, so I will consider this a public service announcement.
You should heat up your hot end before taking it apart.
I probably should have gotten the hint when I broke out the vice grips and started cranking, but I guess I was in the zone or something. I gave it couple of heave-ho’s, and the nozzle twisted off, leaving the threaded portion firmly lodged in the thermal core.
After cursing my own name and insulting my intelligence for several minutes, I inspected the hot end. It was definitely clogged, so hopefully that’s my problem. Otherwise, I guess I’ll have to get a new stepper for my extruder. Thankfully, the MK7 nozzle is a relatively cheap part, when it’s in stock, which apparently, is never. I’m proud to say that I resisted the urge to turn this repair into a full on dealywhopper, even though I think I came up with a way to build a new hot end. Instead, I bought a MK8 nozzle. Hopefully, it is compatible with my extruder. We will find out soon.
In any case, I noticed that quite a bit of plastic had pushed its way through the threads of the thermal core. The way this part is designed, there is a gap between the nozzle and the barrel which provides a place for pressure to build and push molten plastic up through the threads. I think a better setup would have the nozzle attached directly to the barrel. When I reinstall the nozzle, I’m either going to put a little anti-seize on it, or possibly some teflon sealing tape. I’ll mull it over while the part is in the mail.
In the meantime, I will have little excuse for not working on Frankinstrument, which now has mounting brackets and a full set of braces. My new genius plan for that block seems to have worked well, hopefully as well as my first genius plan, which I forgot.
Hey! Shut down that bracket!
I'm sorry. These are not covered by your dental plan.
Work continues, and distractions self-destruct, next time on Dealywhoppers.