Regularly running a Quality Check on your Filament Maker, using 3devo's standard PLA pellets, is excellent practice, to ensure your extruder still performs up to standards.
Regular Quality Checks are part of our Maintenance Guide, so please make sure you check this full procedure first.
Whether you have just performed a high level purge after an extrusion incident, or you have been experimenting for a month without any major issues, it is recommend to check the performance of the Filament Maker regularly.
1- PLA QC procedure
Assuming the Filament Maker is initially full of Devoclean MidTemp EZ
- Start a datalog
- Set 200°C, 10RPM
- Protect the sensor with a piece of cardboard
- Start extrusion
- Empty the hopper completely
- Feed 1kg of PLA (standard pellets from 3devo)
- Wait 20min (the transition should be complete --> the flow should be smooth, pure PLA. If not, wait longer)
- Load PLA presets (1.75mm or 2.85mm - as you wish) from Main menu / Material presets
- You may need to adjust the fancooling, depending on your room temperature (starting with 50%)
- Wait 30min (all parameters should now be stable)
- Remove the piece of cardboard
- Place the filament in the puller
- Wait until the pulling process stabilizes (5min should be more than enough)
- Start spooling
- Let it spool for 30min
- Stop the process
- Note: in order to work with other materials again next time, you can transition to Devoclean MidTemp EZ at 200°C, and have access to the 200-300°C range from there
During the entire run, and in the complete datalog, look out for unusual signs.
2- Analyzing the datalog
There are 3 easy indicators to look at in the datalog that you have just recorded.
2.1- Filament thickness
Assuming the filament thickness is set on 1.75mm, and there are no pulling issues, you should achieve a +/- 50 microns tolerance with the default PLA and PLA presets.
2.2- Screw speed (RPM)
Setting a screw speed on 3.5RPM, a fluctuation of +/- 0.1RPM is acceptable.
2.3- Motor current
This value is a bit more dependent on the way PLA flows, which is affected by how much moisture it contains.
A motor current without any big spikes, around 2000mA, indicates that the motor is functioning normally.