This should serve as a lesson to all. When you remove your hotend etc. for cleaning or maintenance, remember to tighten all the screws, and maybe remember to actually put them all back in.
A week or so ago I started a print of a character from worms in white PLA. Nothing unusual. Sliced in Ideamaker which I’ve been playing with for a while now but other than that a pretty standard print.
I record everything that goes on with my printer, to either monitor from another room or to troubleshoot after the fact. About an hour and a half in I fired up the screen. Oh shit. This is what I saw.
Somehow the hotend had come loose, in the process of dropping down it was constantly being caught on the print (that was holding well due to the Filaprint). Unfortunately as it rocked backwards and forwards the heated end was catching on 2 of three cooling fans, snapping one in half and mangling the other. They were printed in PETG but that wont take a hotend hard against it.
These things happened although I did wonder how the screw holding the hotend had become loose. I took it all apart and noticed that I didn’t need to untighten the side grub screw. Wait, what side grub screw. I have no idea how or when but at some point I’d removed it and packed it away, leaving only a single screw to hold it all in place.
I had a little pity party, talking to my good friend George of Emvio Engineering and he actually had very kindly recently gifted my some of his excellent Techna PETG in Clockwork Orange, knowing I’m an absolute orange fanatic. This PETG looked great as unlike most PETG is fully opaque in just 2-3 walls and has a real nice dutch orange colour to it.
Also luckily, PETG doesn’t need much cooling, meaning I could actually fix the printer in its current state.
A few hours of printing and I was back, I even found a new updated side fan that fit in the space where the second hotend was and actually cools the primary heat sink as well as providing part cooling.
Whats also cool is that doing a bit of release lead me to learn that hot end socks made of silicone were actually now officially available.
So here is the new cooling setup, better than ever. Not only is it all now in a nice hue of orange (Prusa doesn’t own orange you know) but also with some sweet enhancements. The last few prints have been swell, the parts are holding up and hopefully the hotend wont fail again now it has all of its fixings in place doh!
Check you hotend security people.
The only permanent lesson is a little ding I put in my Filaprint, which kills me as this stuff is 150 GBP a sheet and I’d managed for over a year to keep it pristine. I guess I may now look for some standard Tuffnol / Garolite and see if it really is the same stuff (for 1/10th of the price).
All parts printed were from thingiverse, just search Raise3D. If you like this filament you could buy it here and also help support a small business selling great products: https://emvioeng.com/shop/filaments/techna-pet-g-1-75mm-filament-750g/