March 10, 2016
I finally started printing again since I got my new filament gear from craftunique. I have been having a problem with the prints just not being great, specially on the first layer. So I leveled the bed again, using a filler gauge now to make sure that's consistent. I bought a cheap set just for that since the card stock tends to disintegrate over time. Unfortunately no matter how many times I did that and got the extruder working fine, there would be spots where the clicking would start. I thought it was the bed, but then I decided to stare at the tip while the first layer was printing and sure enough I noticed in some areas the tip would lightly move up, then down during the print. In my case getting way to close to the bed causing the clicking of the extruder. I have worked on getting that extruder back up so I know it's working correctly. I also tried several gears and none have worked with this printer. So the gear on this printer is just weird in the sense that I have yet to find a replacement that will work correctly.
I decided to take the printer apart and take the top left and right guides out to check them for straightness. I heard of this problem before, but just didn't give it much thought until now after I noticed this with my Craftbot. Sure enough, both guides are slightly bent. I don't know if it came that way or not, but I took a few pictures and here are a few notes on this. Obviously this is very important to making good prints. You can add this to the troubleshooting section of any printer with smaller diameter guides.
In conclusion, this seems to be a problem with other printers too. I think the way to fix this is getting some better shafts or making the printers with larger diameter shafts. I noticed other printers had sliders that sat on a ledge of a printer side which now makes sense why they made them that way. This would increase the weight a bit, but at least you won't have this bent/sagging problem. I've only had my printer for exactly a year so this is no fun finding out.