Basics- What is grinding and why is it happening?
Grinding is caused when the filament is immobile and the drive gear continues to spin, grinding away with its sharp teeth. Leaving your filament strip jagged and unusable. If grinding occurs, your project will potentially come out lopsided, disfigured, or totally unusable as a piece towards a larger project. The telltale sign that grinding is happening during your project is the abundance of plastic shavings in and around your printer. An additional indicator would be the extruder motor spinning, but no filament being fed into the main portion of the machine. The issue of grinding can be frustrating, and can hinder the projects you have planned, or ruin them utterly. That’s where we can help, below is a small list of the source issues that are typical culprits associated with grinding.
Solutions - 3D printer grinding
Settings for Retractor
The retractor is a common culprit for grinding, especially if the settings are at high speeds. This would mean the extruder is not able to keep up with the project and would be unable perform its functions properly, leaving your project with massive problems. To find out if this is actually the problem, simply reduce your retractor speed up to 50%. This can be done by going to “Settings->Process Settings-> Retractor Speed.” If your filament comes out cleaner but still jagged and flakey- you will want to investigate your settings further. If the filament comes out clean and there are no longer jagged portions, congratulations- you have fixed the source of your problem.
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If the retractor speed doesn’t affect your filament, we suggest slowing the overall printer speed down significantly. This reduces the motors rotations per minute, therefore reducing the likelihood of grinding. Simply enter “Settings->Process Settings->Printing Speed” and reduce that speed to half. If there is a continuation of flakes and shavings, reset the speed to its previous number and continue to the next solution. If the next step yields better looking filament, we recommend revisiting this step for a full solution.
A simple fix- plastic flows much easier at a higher temperature, raising the temperature anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees may improve the flow and fix your problem. Simple and close to the same process as prior steps “Settings->Process Settings->Temperature.” If the filament flows well and doesn’t look like a chewed dog toy, revisit other steps to ensure that you have totally fixed the problem.
A classic and simple fix! Clean your equipment! This is a far more common problem than most individuals realize and it is a beneficial habit to clean and maintain your 3D printer long term.
Hopefully these four solutions fix your problem! There are a myriad of solutions, and a large deal of combinations to resolve said issue. By walking through each step to ensure you have completely ruled it out as the source of your issue will save you time and money in the long run. Whether these solutions do work, or if you have better solutions that we haven’t covered, let us know!!