Extruder not feeding

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jeffeb3 3 days, 16 hours ago.

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    I’m tyring to follow the book Maintaining and Troubleshooting your 3d Printer. It was talking about calibrating the extruder and never mentioned the heat had to be turned on for the extruder to move. So now that is working. On to the next headache…

    I’ll start by saying I’m totally new to this and likely in over my head. I bought the Hictop 3d printer kit from Amazon. After much struggling with the cryptic installation “manual”, I’ve finally gotten it assembled.

    I can move the x, y, and z axis from the control panel, no problem. When I try to move the extruder, nothing. The first thing I did was checked the voltage for that motor. I got 0.84v DC for x, y, and extruder motors, z was 1.03v DC. So I at least know power is getting to the right place on the board.

    The next thing I did was unplugged x and extruder from the board and plugged the extruder in x. I then went through the menu and moved the x axis and the motor did move. So at least I know the cable and motor appear to be working properly.

    Now I’m a bit stuck. I don’t know if it is the board or the firmware causing the problem. I’m assuming i can use the multimeter on one or more of the pins of the motor to see if the board is sending current to it when I tell it to move, but that’s above my scope of understanding.

    The documentation didn’t include the brand of electronics or the version/type of firmware. I’ve attached a picture of the board if that helps.

    I’m dying to print something. It hasn’t helped that this arrived right after I had shoulder surgery, so I’m a bit loopy from the pain meds and one hand short.

    If someone can point me to a good resource for figuring this out, I’m happy to read and learn. I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now and have no idea what to even call things to search for answers. Thanks in advance!



    That printer looks close to the Anet A8. Without looking into too many details, maybe a reflash of the firmware would be a good idea. A8’s are known for starting fires, but I don’t remember if that was due to hardware, software, or both.

    If you don’t want to try that, I don’t see what your problem is here because you say you figured out the hot end needs to be on for the extruder to work, and you verified that the extruder motor works by plugging it into the X port on the board.



    It hasn’t helped that this arrived right after I had shoulder surgery, so I’m a bit loopy from the pain meds and one hand short.

    Easily the best excuse I’ve seen. 🙂 . Don’t worry, these are really simple machines, with a lot of tuning between making a mess and making nice things. Since you’ve presumably got a lot of free time, now is a good time to learn a bunch.

    In case it’s not clear, the firmware usually will not run the extruder if the temperature measurement is lower than some threshold (like 160C). It’s cold extrusion prevention and it’s on to keep you from making a big mess of ground up filament inside your extruder. This is what Kenny was talking about, and it sounds like from your first sentence you already knew that.

    From what I know about the cheapo printers and firmware starting fires, it’s that the temperature safety features were turned off in Marlin on some of the printers (specifically the Creality ones, I thought). For now, just keep a close eye on it, and don’t leave it on when you’re not around. The thermal protection does things like turns off the heaters (and goes into an error state) if the temperature sensor falls out of the extruder or comes unplugged. Without that protection, if the sensor fails (and they are <1$ sensors) then the heater will just get as hot as it possibly can, which is too hot, and has a good chance of getting free from it’s mount, and then starting a fire on whatever it lands on.

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