Well,… no!

1100 hours UTC: Preparing for the big moment

After printing a Printruder II extruder block (slightly modified, for better maintainability of the pinch wheel), I still needed a way to mount the Printruder II on the Mendel X carriage.
So, here’s the simple 2 parted solution:

Theoretically, this holders should also work with a standard MakerBot Extruder MK3/4 (I didn’t try!). Probably you’d need to exchange the retainer washer to a slim-line retainer bar as described in my yesterday’s post.

I published the design for the holders on Thingiverse.com (thing 3151).

After successfully mounting the Printruder on the Mendel, I feeded some PLA into it and…

1230 hours UTC: Houston, we have an extrusion

Looking good, so far.

To test things out, I loaded the original whistle_v2.gcode into Replicator G and hit “print”:

Well, that looked really promising.

The scrapped blue tape in the front came from some unexpected movements during my first try to print something. I use MakerBot firmware and ReplicatorG to drive my Mendel (unfortunately, I’m still not able to run the RepRap host software on my Mac and, as already mentioned yesterday, I also have trouble to get my stepper motor extruder working), and I forgot to adjust the machines.xml and to add custom settings for the Mendel. Thus the Z axis didn’t work as expected first.

This was the first time, my Mendel actually printed something! Great joy!

It turned out, that the stepper motor controllers needed some adjustment (too low current for the motors, the y stage lost some steps).

So I aborted this first print to adjust the potentiometers properly.

After finishing the adjustments, I started another print, but…

1530 hours UTC: Houston, we have a problem!

The extruder got stuck. Again…

I tried different extruder temperatures, removed the filament, fed it, removed it again…

Nothing really helped. There was some oozing, but no extrusion.

Finally, I tried to push out the remaining PLA with some white ABS. Not sure if this was a good idea, but after a few tries, the ABS seemed to have reached the nozzle. Although I got a little bit of ABS extrusion, the nozzle seemed still somehow jammed.

Long story short, here’s the final result after another 15 minutes:

Well, that looks like a jammed extruder :)

And indeed, here’s the lower end of the mess:

That retainer bar isn’t supposed to hang there in this strange angle!

Have a closer look:

The leaking ABS plastic is definitely not supposed to be there!

2200 hours UTC: Looking for a friendly bar in the neighborhood

Well, I’ll try to disassemble the whole mess and to find out what happened to the PTFE tubing…  Tomorrow (at the earliest).


  1. Hi! I am looking around your fantastic blog posts these days and giving me a motivation to make my own build!! By the way, I have a question about your printing from makerbot. Are using Pleasant3D to print your creations? I am thinking to use Mac to print with my makerbot. Because I was watching your video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSZ7bTJrHSg and I’m hoping I can print like this :)

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