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Under extrusion caused by worn extruder gear

Extruder_Gear under_extrusion

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Hi guys,

Since the start of this year I started printing with nylon and carbon fiber reinforced nylon because of its strength. I have read everywhere that if you print with abrasive filament, you must use a stainless steel or hardened nozzle. However, I could not find a lot about the extruder gear which is, in my case, made out of brass and it wore out quite fast. This caused some serious under extrusion, hence a failed print.

Is this common knowledge? It makes sense that this gear wears out faster with abrasive materials, but because I did not read much about this problem, I overlooked it. I solved this issue by using a steel extruder gear.

Anyway, I have added a post with some pictures on my site if you want to read more about this and hopefully this can be of any help to someone. The link to this short article is: https://properprinting.pro/worn-out-extruder-gear/

Please let me know if you have run into the same problem and if you managed to solve it with maybe a different or better solution than mine so we can learn from each other :)

It is common knowledge; professional extruders often offer upgraded hobs for this very purpose. Take the E3D Titan extruder as an example; this comes with an optional hardened steel extruder for harder filaments (https://e3d-online.com/hardened-steel-titan-hobbed-gear). An absolute necessity if printing with hardened filament. I must admit that it is less publicised an issue than nozzle wear!

Thanks for your reply and the information. "I must admit that it is less publicised an issue than nozzle wear!" My point exactly. That's why I started this topic because I can imagine that there are more people wanting to experiment with abrasive filaments and will focus mostly on the nozzle. A worn out extruder gear is, in my opinion, a bigger issue than the nozzle because of the costs and time it involves to replace it.

Should add that the hardened steel option is opposed to a plain steel hob, the E3D titan does not offer a brass hob option. :)

This was one of the first things we changed on our printer.
I used some parts from here...

Amazon has stainless gears. I have used them.

It's pretty much common knowledge, but who am I to say this when you just had a failed print because you didn't know?
The fact is that every part that comes in touch with your filament will wear faster if the filament is abrasive. Mostly, when people want to print with this kind of filaments, they choose a Bondtech with gears on both sides of the filament (dual drive gears) and a hardened nozzle, like stainless steel, or even better, a ruby nozzle. Also for some kinds of filament you would prefer to change your PTFE tube, but that's mainly done for flexible filaments, not for abrasive types.

Thanks for your comment. I haven't heard of Bondtech before but this is definitely something I would check out. Thanks for this suggestion. Since I have found out that my gear was worn it totally made sense that it did, no surprise. What surprised me is that I have read so little about this issue while there is tons of information about the nozzles. That is why I brought it up and it payed off with your suggestion :)

I don't print such material, but thanks for the pictures. The extruder gear looks really bad. But its logic that that happen over time. Brass is very soft material. So if u need a proper nozzle to print these filament, you need also a stronger gear. Always the weakest point in the system fails xD
I don't think that this is a common problem. Most people print with PLA, PETG, ABS, ASA and other non-abrasive filament.

Thanks for taking the time of reading the article and replying. Indeed most people print with the materials you describe. However, I have read that glow in the dark filament, because of the strontium particles is abrasive too. Just like metal filled filaments and I can imagine that these are not so uncommon. My case is probably a bit extreme but I see a lot of information about hardened and stainless steel nozzles. It looks to me that this gear is probably overlooked which in my case resulted in a failed print (fortunately a small one).