Around about this time last year, I was making a start on upgrading my printer to use a five colour Diamond hot end, in preparation for the TCT show. The upgrade itself went fine but I had problems printing five coloured objects. Specifically, the scaled up version of Aria by Loubie that I’ve talked about before. I did manage to get one reasonably successful print but it took a few attempts and a fair amount of manual intervention.
One problem was filament binding in the area of the heat break which I eventually tracked down to heat creep and fixed it by redesigning the fan ducts and fitting a larger and more powerful fan. Another problem was with PLA hydrolysing when left at print temperature for an extended period of time. This was fixed by the simple expedient of using PETG instead but filament swelling inside the heat sink became a bit of an issue again, either due to the nature of PETG vs PLA or because of the higher temperatures needed. This isn’t a huge issue providing the extruder has enough grip to push it though. The third problem was with filament being ground away by having the same section retracted and un-retracted many hundreds of times. The “manual intervention” I mentioned early involved me backing off the extruder tension for those filaments that were not moving forward, then increasing it just before they came into play. More recently, I’ve now changed to Bondtech BMG extruders which performed much better than my original e3d Titans under those extreme conditions.
So I thought I had fixed all those issues by running various tests and experiments which I have detailed in this blog. But what I hadn’t done was to print another “Aria”, without any manual intervention, as final confirmation that everything. I have now rectified that as per this video.
It went very well indeed, considering the filament is over a year old and I’ve been a bit lax in keeping it dry – just a few fine hairs which a hot air gun soon fixed.