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Micro swiss upgrade gets clogged easily

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I have a serious issue with my recently installed Micro Swiss MK10 extruder upgrade (cooling block, guide and nozzle)

I managed to print 2 files. The next day I wanted to start a new print and no filament was being extruded. I couldn't even push the filament out manually, as if the extruder was still cold.

After cleaning the guide and nozzle, I was able to print again.

Today, I have the same issue. There's another clog and I am really becoming inpatient. I had nothing but issues from the start and I was hoping that the extruder upgrade would solve some of them.

Are there any tips that could solve this? I am not going to take apart everything after every cooldown to clean up the extruder...

I know it's a bit old post, but does anyone know how to change my starting point on my Ender 3? After I have switched to Micro Swiss and turn my print - the nozzle prints out of the bed. Thanks in advance for any help.

Hey guys. I installed my micro swiss hotend last weekend along with the machined lever and extruder plate. As soon as I installed it, I printed my usual stuff @ 200* with AIO and bamtack PLA. Everything printed fine along with a 14hr print I did that weekend. I started to mess with the Pause at height plug in (Cura). During Filament I noticed that It was hard to pull out the filament. So i would need to extrude at least 1mm then I can pull out the filament easily. I started to get things stuck on the 2nd print whenever I would switch to my second color. Thinking it was the hotend, I then proceeded to take things apart. I discovered nothing wrong in the nozzle or extruder. I then stopped using pause at height and just in certain a piece of G-code to switch colors. After that all is fine; This metal hotend seems to flow much better than stock. While nothing was wrong with my stock hotend, I decided to switch mine out mainly because I wanted a more permanent solution rather than a PTFE tube that I would need to replace once in awhile. All in all im happy with mine.

Oh BTW, is thermal paste really necessary during install since my printer is fine. I watch the nozzle temp and it fluctuates +/- 3* is this something I should worry about?

its probably a retraction setting for tool change. I know there is one in SD3 and it was set pretty high, but since I only have a single extruder, it didn't matter.

the thermal paste is there to give better heat transfer between the cooling block and the cold end of the nozzle. it doesn't affect the nozzle temp, just helps prevent heat creep.

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Just fitted my micro swiss hotend today on Duplicator Plus with default wanhao block.

Followed youtube video in previous posts and micros swiss instructions, my hot end came with paste. I put paste on cold block between fan also and on threads and no issues in my prints. Has improved print quality.

One issue I am having is if I set my high temp to 260 it seems to struggle to get to 260 and then resets to zero stopping the print. Temps less than 260 seem to work fine.

Havnt run an auto PID tune yet, maybe that will solve the issue?

Firmware settings might have max temp at 260 maybe?

OK thanks will check out how to mod the firmware.

Is there any easy way of doing this? What firmware does it use?

yes you can change/set firmware in repertier host

I'm new to this, can you please link the update to the firmware and repertier host? I'm also trying to find out if PID tuning is essential and how to do it.

https://www.repetier.com/

i never had to tune my PID, it works fine with out of the box, although im still using original cooling block.

I replaced my tip with that kit with the MakerSelect block and had no problem but I also just got my microswiss block today too just to keep it all in the family. I did the noob thing and ordered the kit tip for $40 instead of the whole kit for with block for $50. Although I wasn't having and issue I wanted to keep those parts all in the family and keep the spares for the clone I'm going to build. My goal is to slowly buy all the mods needed to help this printer and use all the old parts as my starter kit for printer 2.

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check your retraction settings and follow the installation instruction to the letter and it should work well.

What retraction setting do you use if you don't mind me asking?

I use retraction 0.8mm, Extra restart distance 0.1mm, retraction vertical lift 0.3mm, Retraction speed 20 mm/s. but most of these change based on the type of material I am using.

I'm having the same issue after doing this "upgrade" wish I had not done it.

Three possible problems that I know of and have dealt with.

EDIT: Holy god I didn't realize this does markdown.... Removed the accidental headers...

-- 1 Does your extruder motor get hot while you print? If so, your vrefs to your motor are probably off.

If this is the case, what is happening is that there is too much juice flowing to the motor which is causing the motor to overheat. Since the motor is touching the cooling block it is also heating the cooling block. The fan and heat sink are unable to cool it faster than it is heating up. This makes the filament that is in the cold end be warm enough that it starts to change state.

Then, if you do a retraction and it pulls the slightly melted filament out and then tries to feed it back in and it bunches up at the top of the cooling block and clogs. Fixing the vrefs on your mainboard will fix this problem. I'm in too much of a hurry to look for it, but there is a great youtube video that shows how to adjust them.

-- 2 When you are looking at the cold end going into the heating block, can you see the part where it gets narrow before it goes into the heat block or is the cylinder all the way in the heating block so that you can't see the part that gets skinnier.

You should be able to see the top part that gets skinny. If you can't, the top part is screwed too far. That skinny part is to separate the hot end of the extruder with the cold end. If the cold end is butting up against the heating block it is heating the cold end and will cause clogs similar to #1.

If this is the case, take it all apart and put it back together following their instructions. Nozzle first, back it out a quarter turn and then top part in. (I did mine the opposite order once which is how I know about this DERP)

-- 3 The top part of the microswiss and the nozzle aren't screwed together tight enough and some funky shiz is happening in the space between that is causing clogs.

Take it apart and put it back together as in #2.

-- Summary: That describes all of the ways in which I have F'd up and then resolved the issue. Mine is working super awesome now and has for a while. The #1 is probably the largest cause of failure on the Wanhao i3s as their control boards up until at least v2.1 were not dialed in to give the stepper motors the proper amount of juice. My motor was usually somewhere between magma and hell fire before I fixed it.

Hi guys I wanted to add my own experience with MicroSwiss. This has been the only upgrade I have done to my prinrter that I have regretted. The first one oozed filament all over and eventually broke off in the heater block. Totally ruined my block. After getting a replacement I followed the instructions to the letter , got 3 pretty solid prints before It started to ooze and clog. Here is how I fixed it.

First I took everything apart except the nozzle, the heating block, thermal tube and the cooling block. I I then removed the nozzle completely and attempted to clean. (didnt really work) I heated the whole thing up (minus the nozzle) and very carefully using channel locks and a wrench turned the COOLING BLOCK around which in turned caused my thermal tube to tighten about half a turn. I put NO kind of stress on either of them and was being SUPER careful to make sure I didnt force anything. I used the cooling block because I dont have a wrench that can get on that thermal tube. (I wonder if this is where peoples problems come from in some cases!)

Now that I KNEW my thermal tube was bottomed out, I let everything cool and took my time installing the nozzle again, used fingers to tighten all the way and then backed up 1/4 turn. Heat to 250 and then tighten again.

The only different here between the normal install is that I ACTUALLY got the thermal tube in , I am unconvinced that finger tightening it can get it far enough in.

Now all the oozing was done , but guess what? I'm still clogging up just like many others. I did all the troubleshooting I have seen others do , reassemble, make the thermal tube flush instead of sticking out 1.7 mm,carefully apply thermal paste to the tube, I had a brand new gar from uncle chucks (I bought two) so I replaced mine with a brand new one. I messed with my thermistor and heater core. In my case the clogs were happening about 14 minutes in, I would hear the extruder making a thunk type noise.

Here is the fix that worked for me:

I took an old Motherboard I had laying around and I ripped a heatsink off of it , I then zip tied that around my extruder moter and used thermal paste to connect the heatsink to the motor on the two main contact points on the side. My Heatsink extended pretty far down so I was able to get it to make contact with the cooling block too so I thermal pasted that to the heat sink as well.

I watched the extruder motor temps drop from around 130 - 140 C to 105 to 110 after doing this. Mine is working now but honestly my prints look kinda awful. I also turned the heat up to 220 during my troubleshooting. I am hoping that I can improve my prints through settings now that the clogging is under control.

I also have goine the MicroSwiss upgrade - a co-worker convinced me to since he's had great success with it.
Got 2-3 prints done - and then it clogged solid.
In my haste to try out this upgrade - I had forgotten to adjust the retraction :-(
Now - my question is - how do you unclog these things?
Heat it up to 250?
I took mine apart, and both the nozzle and the cooling tube are clogged with filament.

I had to make this fix. it's most likely unsafe but here goes.

1) I took off all the fans to have easy access with the removal of the tip.
2) preheat to 200 degrees, and with the heating block still bolted on, i removed the hot end.
3) I cut the filament at the top of the extruder, I press the extruder release and push lightly to see if the filament would come out the hot end (without the hot end). I would push until about 3 cm is remaining at the top of the extruder
4) pull the filament out the top of the extruder with a needle nose plier.
5) ---- important - turn off the printer and let it cool.
6) once everything is cool, I unscrew the block connecting to the extruder, but keeping the metal tube connected to the heating block, and flip it upside down, the cables might be tight but I managed to install it upside down and have it rest on the metal.
7) turn on the printer and preheat back to 200.
8) slowly unscrew the metal tube from the heating block - you may need to have a wrench hold the heating block in place.
9) at this stage, there might be some plastic in between the grooves of the metal tube, if so, screw it half a turn in the heating block, wait for it to heat up, take it out, and with a needle nose plier or tweezer, pull the plastic out as it cools, it should come off easily and together.
10) to clean up the inside of the heating block, I used pliers and just pull the plastic out slowly, it should come out easily since it is still liquidy.

All this took me about an hour or so to do, and I managed to clean all the plastic off of the grooves and crevice of the hot end and the metal tube. I also managed to clean the heat block pretty well in the grooves where you scew in the hot end and the metal tube.

Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. I personally love mine. the first on I had problems with because I didn't tighten it up after heating, that was my fault. Since I followed the instructions to the letter, mine has worked flawlessly. I have at least a couple of hundred hours of prints on it. I did have some clogging happen at the start, once I lowered my retraction settings to about 1 mm as the recommendations or 1 - 2 mm, I have never had a clog. I have found that once set up correctly it gives me a lot better prints as well.

mine has been at .5 since the broken nozzle. The main reason I posted was because I wanted to share the details for others who are having issues. I also should mention I live in AZ so heat may be disproportionate here.

Thanks for this Topic - I just installed my Micro-Swiss All Metal Hot End last night and thought that I had just thrown away $50 because I was getting the exact same issue as I was with the stock hot end; sputtering, clogging, jamming. I was ticked until I Googled the issue and found this thread. I followed the recommendations for the retraction and edited the GCode. I also applied the thermal paste to the nozzle threads (light amount), the heat chamber threads (light amount), and to the "cool end" that is in the cooling block as well as the side of the cooling block that touches the heat sink. WOW! What a difference after that. The filament flowed easily as I had expected from the reviews about the Micro-Swiss product. Definitely use some thermal paste on the portion of the hot end that is in the cooling block at a minimum.

Thanks to all on this thread for the great information. I'm a happy 3D printer owner again.

I'm glad you were able to solve your issue :).

i hope more people will find their way to this topic as I am sure more makers are experiencing this issue.

I will write to Micro-Swiss and gave them the link to this thread. Perhaps they could comment on the issue and maybe even rethink putting thermal paste into the Wanhao i3 upgrade kit. They might also want to link to this thread for the additional GCode and settings tips.

I've ordered 2 of the Micro-Swiss hotends now and both of them came with thermal paste,

But did you order with the cooling block?

I bought the cooling blocks, but they were a separate order. the thermal paste came with the hotends. Each hotend was purchased on a different date. thought I screwed up the threads on the first one, so I reordered another, they were about 2 months apart from each other.

To everyone who is having the same issues, I received feedback from MicroSwiss.

Cura implements too much retraction in the end Gcode, which causes the heated filament to clogg the nozzle.

This code has to be changed:

G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed}

If the segment E-5 is removed, there will be no extra retraction and so the nozzle should not get clogged.

I am going to test this on my next print and see if this is indeed the solution

How much retraction sped would you suggest? I'm printing at 60 retraction speed and 0.5mm retraction at the moment and I still have stringing.

The next thing I'm going to try is lower the temperature a bit. I notice the printer goes up to 245° easily instead of a steady 230-235.

I recently updated to the Micro Swiss MK10 as well, and I had a few jams to start. I discovered I had been running the temperature far too high. (240+ C) I had done this with the stock hot end because the extruder was having trouble pushing the filament through, and this seemed to be the general suggestion. However, I pushed it too far and clogged my original hot end. When I first replaced it with the Micro Swiss, I was getting similar clogs. I ended up dialing the temperature back down to 210C for most prints. I'm running Hatchbox filament through this at 0.15mm layer height and am now getting some of the best prints I have ever generated from my printer. So I can suggest two things to check - print temperature and filament selection. Good luck and hope you can get your system running smoothly again.

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I have the same problems with the Micro Swiss Mk10 - I have switched back to the PTFE tube, can't see the benefit of the expensive All Metal Mk10, sorry Micro Swiss.

Firstly, reduce your retraction to 2 mm at max (for me 1 mm and 1.5 mm worked best with the Micro Swiss).

Secondly, and more importantly, be sure that you have a good thermal connection between the aluminium tube and the cold end block. And the same counts for the cooling fins and the cold end block. Use thermal paste (they should have included that in your package) to ensure a good thermal conduction from the aluminium tube to the cold end block and the cooling fins. If you have a bad thermal connection, there will be a larger volume, in which your filament will be "gummy" - which increases the risk of blockages.

(Fun fact: I had the described issue(s) before changing to Micro Swiss and never had any issue afterwards)

I did not receive thermal paste with my package. It was also not mentioned on the package list.

0.5mm retraction has been mentioned as well. Does this depend on the type of filament and the temperature?

That is very weird. In this case, I would still use thermal paste, as it is described in this manual:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1210/0176/files/All_Metal_hotend_installation_6fcf1968-3128-48fc-8551-7ccf59673e19.pdf?1547197537189291045

Just use any plain thermal paste you got lying around on the interfaces between aluminium tube / cold end block and cold end block / cooling fins. Should help a lot.

When it comes to clogging, it's less a matter whether you use 0.5 mm or 1.5 mm retraction. Just don't use a retraction in the range of 3 mm and more. That will produce problems. The less retraction you can use without seeing strings / blobbing, the better (and faster).

That's interesting - I wonder why not. I found adding paste to the standard hot end solved my problem with the machine over-reading the nozzle temperature. You'd think it would be standard practice on all hot end installations....

I bought this kit without the cold end block: https://store.micro-swiss.com/collections/wanhao-i3/products/micro-swiss-mk10-all-metal-hotend-kit
(which is the same content as for the D4)

And there was thermal paste included. Seems they think it's not needed for the new cold end block - though this is clearly a stupid idea. Thermal paste will make things only better on the cold end side.

I think the kit with cooling block doesn't have paste because it's designed to fit with their tubing, so there should be no space left for paste.

I've also switched to the all metal, no clogs so far. Stringing at first.

Reducing the retraction is not optional, IMO - the manual should make this more clearly. Too much retraction will drag the semi-molten plastic into the cold end.
I've reduced retraction to 1, from 4mm .

Thanks! I will change the retraction settings and test it when everything is up and running

I actually have this exact same problem! I installed my Micro Swiss over last weekend, and was able to get one 20mm cube but it had to be a 20mm/s otherwise my extruder was skipping. As I tried to print faster, the Nozzle (.4mm) clogged really bad. I was printing ABS, and the clog was so bad I had to soak the nozzle in acetone to melt it all out (Took hours!). While that was happening I put on the stock Nozzle and it printed perfectly. Instead of printing at 260 to get the ABS to extrude on the MicroSwiss, I was printing at 230c. Once cleared, I re-installed the MicroSwiss, and again, 260c at 30mm/s speed was the fastest I could print and I had major issues with under extrusion. It clogged again, so I swapped back to the original nozzle and gave up.

I contacted MicroSwiss on Sunday and asked them if that was normal and to see if I did anything wrong. I got an e-mail back yesterday requesting pictures of the installation and the nozzle. I was not able to do that yesterday, but will take care of it today.

Can you keep me in the loop of the response?

Received a 2nd nozzle over the weekend and just got around to installing it last night. Without any other changes, I removed the default nozzle and installed the replacement nozzle. Printed perfect. No more skipping on the extruder motor. Looks like I just got a bad nozzle! I'm back up and printing PETG and everything is running smoothly.

If you're still having troubles, Contact them and have them send a new nozzle. Hopefully that will get you up and running as well!

I contacted them as you said. The solution they provided is:

Cura implements too much retraction in the end Gcode, which causes the heated filament to clogg the nozzle.

This code has to be changed:

G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed}

If the segment E-5 is removed, there will be no extra retraction and so the nozzle should not get clogged.

I am going to test this on my next print and see if this is indeed the solution

I installed the hot end again and I am printing a 3DBenchy.

But I hear the extruder pop, as if airt bubbels are escaping during extruding.

I also see it in the print. The printes lines are not nice and flat.

I already have 3 nozzles and the same happens with 2. So this must be something else...

Retraction is at 1mm, temp at 235° and bed at 60° (PLA)

The popping sounds like a different issue than the extruder. Are you sure the popping is coming from the extruder and not from the nozzle itself? It may be the Filament you're using that is of lesser quality?

It's indeed from the nozzle.

I've been using the same filament all along. Maybe a new setup can affect this, but not sure.

The popping seems to stop once it passes a certain layer.

Absolutely! If you don't hear from me, ask again to remind me and I will update you. They requested I send pictures of the Nozzle. I wasn't sure what angles they wanted, so I sent them the following pictures:
http://i.imgur.com/i553mJU.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/SwTzaFl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/XtumkOb.jpg

(Helps if I put the right links ;) )

I got this response back today:

"Looks like the hole is there but it is possible that it got clogged with something. I will ship you replacement nozzle today. I do apologize that you will have to wait again for the shipping time.
When new nozzle will arrive and when you will get a chance to install it, please let me know how it goes and if that will fix the problem."

I'm 100% impressed with their customer service so far. Their e-mails are very professional, kind, to the point and quick to respond. Just the way I like my support! Even if I can't get the nozzle to work, I would buy from them again. I just wish they had more awesome products.

faulty heater maybe?

Also, I just found through trial and error that my nozzle wasn't getting anywhere as near as hot as the thermistor was reading (see my post under "cooler housing touches buildplate front corner bolts") so I reinstalled it with thermal paste and that seems to have solved the issue - bad thermal conduction between the heater block and the hot end. You may want to try something similiar.

Everyone is mentioning thermal paste, but that was not part of my kit...

I ordered the full metal upgrade and the thermal paste was not even included on the list of contents.

What thermal paste should be used in that case?

Because the Micro Swiss hot end is all metal, it requires a higher temperature to allow the heat to travel all the way to the junction between the hotend and the coolend. its usually about an extra 10C. the thermal paste is very important, as well as the adjustment in the aluminum block. if that is not right then the cool end can either be too hot, or it can rob heat from the hot end. both of these can cause clogs. so be pretty precise with the height adjustment in the aluminum block. Also the retraction being less than 2 mm makes a big difference as well as more than tat can cause the hot filament to retract into the cool end and causing a clog.

I had all these same problems until I really took the time to make sure I followed the instructions very carefully.

Did you use the thermal paste, which Micro Swiss delivered with the hot end? I am asking, because I was to afraid to put (unknown) thermal paste onto the hot part of the hot end. I was afraid of fumes or similar, which may occur when heating thermal paste to 260°C or more. Any issues (or ... fumes) with that? What was you max temp?

See my reply in the other post and those from others here - seems that the Micro Swiss one should come with its own paste.

The new ones don't. From my understanding, the newest products shipped out "shouldn't" require thermal past so it is not sent with the kit. Can't remember where I read that, and couldn't find the source. I came across that information when I was searching for answers to the same question Martini (Original Poster) asked.

Well, in my book, "shouldn't" = can't hurt and may even help

Check your retraction settings, they may be too high. I haven't had a clog since I lowered my retraction distance from 4.5 to 0.5mm.

What on earth does "too much retraction" mean? You should be able to retract at the end as much as you want, and all that should happen is that the filament unloads. How on earth could an extruder clog when you unload filament?

when you print, the filament melts and deforms the tip into a small blob. If you pull the filament out while it is hot, it will conform to the inside of the cold end and slide through easily. As it cools, the filament distorts a bit and will jam if its in the cold zone causing a clog. this is why you must heat up the filament and extract a small amount before changing the filament.

Taken from: http://wiki.e3d-online.com/wiki/E3D-v6_Troubleshooting#Nozzle_Blockages

"Retractions of 5mm or more are troublesome as they pull hot filament up into the cold areas of the hotend where they can freeze, adhere and jam."

As always, your mileage may vary.

Got it - so the problem is in retracting a little and staying there so the filament cools inside the hot end, vs. unloading completely.

Bought a pair of Micro-Swiss hot ends, and they're FANTASTIC. I'm getting the best prints ever from my FlashForge, using a wide range of materials (Nylon, ABS, PLA). Even (kinda) NinjaFlex, though that's tricky.

hey Laird, a little off topic, but can you share your settings for printing nylon. I'm trying to start printing a few things with nylon and get a nice first layer, and then the rest of the layers ate like cotton balls.

Thanks. I was still using the default retraction setting.

What material are you printing, and what are your temperature settings?

Are you sure your extruder temp is accurate? It sounds like the thermistor isn't reading correctly; this could be a sign of it being damaged, being positioned poorly inside the heater block, or a wiring issue. It can be replaced, but you have to know exactly what kind and value to get.

I'm printing PLA and have used several temperatures. I made the mistake of dialing it down at first, but that caused underextrusion. I read that I need to dial it up by 5-15°.

I just replaced the thermal sensor in the mounting block, so that should be good. Do I have to apply thermal paste inside the mounting point for the sensor?

Probably don't need thermal paste there. But, if you replaced the thermistor with one that has even slightly different specs, your temp reading could be wrong, meaning your hot end is hotter or colder than you think it is.

It's highly unlikely that the thermistor is faulty - they are very simple devices. More likely is what I experienced with the standard hot end which is that the thermistor is reading the temp of the heater block whereas the temp of the actual nozzle is lower due to poor thermal conductivity between the block and the hot end. Thermal paste on the nozzle thread fixed that issue for me.

I ordered an original spare part, so it should be the same. Although you never really know

Is there anyway to up the temp over 260 without damaging anything? I was wanting to try out polycarbonate and some of the nylons that take higher temp

Yes, if you have the all-metal hotend, but it requires firmware alteration! I've been meaning to do this but haven't had the chance yet.