Friday, 12 August 2016

CTC Replicator 1 (Dual) Clone Extruder Clicking

My CTC Replicator 1 Clone (dual extruder) which I had for a good while and had done some really nice prints , then eventually I couldn't print anything. It would feed filament in a stop start fashion usually ending in a big bundle of filament. The symptom was the right extruder stepper drive just clicked when trying to drive filament though the hot end. I dismantled the 0.4mm nozzle and heat tube and found no blockages. I then set the extruder in motion heated but without the nozzle and it was still clicking while driving. It just seemed that the stepper motor didn't have enough torque to drive the filament. I looked around the interweb and there were mentions of digipots for controlling the drive current. So I connected my laptop via USB to my 3D printer and fired up the Makerbot Desktop software and  looked at the digipot settings under Devices -> Device Settings , the setting for digipot A was 118 so I increased this to 122 ,  the maximum is 127. While I was there I changed the setting for channel B to 122 as well just in case its stepper drive had the same problem. I tried driving the filament again but nothing changed click , click , clicking Hmmm! I then pressed the reset button and this time when I drove the filament stepper there was no clicking ,  result! It appears that any changes made to the Device settings are only read in on boot so even if you change something the old value is still used until you press the system reset button whereby the settings are read in from the eeprom.
WARNING! modifications to your machine may damage it or cause a FIRE! you have been warned. Be CAREFUL with Hot things like your printer!

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