Sidewinder extruder not turning

My new printer was working great for the last week since I set it up, following the setup guides here on the site. Unfortunately today the extruder stopped moving filament. It just judders instead of turning and makes a clicking or grinding sound.

With the extruder heated I turned off the motors in the touch screen and I could manually turn the gear and filament would exit the nozzle.

I did disassemble the extruder to make sure nothing had gotten into the assembly or the gears. I found no damage to the gear teeth, and confirmed that the gear and stepper motor shaft turn in unison without any skips or grinding. I reassembled the system and noticed that the extruder gear does get a little more resistance once everything was bolted together, but still moves by hand okay.

Powered the printer back on and retested. Heated the nozzle and then tried to use the extrude function in the menu to test the motor without filament yet. It still just shudders but doesn't turn.

I made a short video clip of the behavior here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nRSTT_nFEI


I'm at a loss on what to try next. This is my first printer and it's brand new. Did the extruder stepper motor fail already?

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  • After some more investigation I found the fan was not longer turning on either. After pulling the ribbon cable I found three damaged pins near the top. I swapped the ribbon cable with the spare that came with the printer and everything started working again. So it seems like something happened to the cable with all the movement and it got out of alignment in the connector and damaged the cable connections. I'll try some prints with the new cable in place and see how it goes.

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    • Chris Oldenhouse Make sure you clean the PCB and check it for damaged pins as well. I've found that if the board is dirty or damaged then you will keep burning through cables until the board is replaced 

    • Bahij Nemeh thank you for getting back with me. 

      When I pulled the old cable there were three pins near the top that lifted and bent up with the cable. I suspect when the ribbon cable shifted causing the original problems that those pins ended up off the pads and dug into the ribbon cable itself, judging by the marks on the cable. 

      I used some small fine tools and carefully pushed the pins back into place in their slots of the connector housing before I installed the new cable. 

      It seems like they really should have used locking ribbon connectors on these boards. 

      From your experience then should we have the board replaced? Probably another spare ribbon cable too? 

      I'm in the process of printing a cable clamp strain relief for the carriage now to hopefully prevent this in the future. 

    • Chris Oldenhouse If your printer is critical then yes I would replace them, but if you don't mind having the printer down for a few days while replacements come in, then I would see how long your new setup lasts. The new boards we have in stock all now have locking connectors on the X-axis board,  but not on the Z or extruder boards. Im glad to see you are printing cable sprains. Those are a must 

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