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Flash Forge Finder quits feeding filament during print

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While printing, my Flash Forge Finder quits feeding filament during the print.

I've tried several different test print .stl files. Some experience the same problem and then another time printing the same .stl it will print fine.

Troubleshooting so far:

Filament reel spins fine
Extruder does feed during loading and during start of print
I've changed print temperatures from lower to higher, does not change the the printer to stop feeding during the print
I've cleaned the PTFE tube and nozzle (.4mm nozzle)
I replaced the PTFE tube and nozzle with a new PTFE tube and new nozzle (.4mm nozzle)
I've checked the extruder gear and it looks clean. I've brushed it with a brass brush.
I've tried 3 different spools of PLA filament that 2 have worked previously. 1 spool was brand new out of the shrink wrap.

At first I was unloading then reloading filament and trying a test print.
Next I left the filament loaded. The only change was to leave the Flash Forge Finder where I stopped the print (sometimes 10% sometimes 23%, usually after 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hour). Removed the print bed. Cleaned the failed print off the bed. Replaced the bed. Started a new test print, and the Flash Forge Finder started printing again. Feeding filament even though it had just stopped feeding during the previous print.

After changing the nozzle and PTFE tube it still has the same problem.

I'm stumped. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Also, I followed this thread and it appeared to taper off without a solution also. Similar but different machine and different extrusion
https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/flashforge/forums/general/topic:18074

What I have had is a faulty batch of filament that I eventually threw out as the size was not consistent. I got a Vernier caliper out and measured the filament and it went down to 1.5mm where it should have been 1.75. The extruder was still turning but the filament was slipping as size was too small. I did the same as you did. New PTFE new print head. ensured the hot end was hot enough for the filament and even ensured there was not a draft blowing across the printer. (I now have sides I printed on my Finder to stop drafts etc which allows me to print filaments like ABS without a heated bed. PETG is easier to print than ABS as ABS has a tendency to warp and curl.)

Since you say that you are trying to print after the failure and it seems to print fine, have you checked to see how hot your extruder motor is? This would be when it stops, I don't have a finder so I am not sure how accessible it is. Are your cooling fans operating properly while printing?

An overheating extruder can cause stepping issues as temperature rises.

Another check is to use an all metal hotend like a micro swiss or similar.

The finder has a plastic shroud that goes over the top of the stepper motor and cooling fan. I could take it off and do a test print and measure the stepper motor temp with an IR thermometer. I'll give that a try and see what I find. I'll post an update tonight.

I just looked up the micro swiss hotend. They do make a version for the Flash Forge Finder. That might be the next step. Although who knows about shipping times right now. I would lean towards it being and extruder problem at this point. After replacing the nozzle and PTFE.

When it stops feeding, but while it's still running the print job is the extruder stepper still turning? Wondering if you have something like a broken wire that goes open circuit at times and not at others? Or could be some bad connection at a connector?

As far as I can tell, the extruder stepper is still running. When I come back in to check on a long print, I can hear and feel the stepper still stepping.

When i've had filament quit during a print it has always been a feeding issue. Usually it is the nozzle or teflon guide is blocked. a couple of times i've had to redo the level and z-axis calibration as it was too low for any filament to squeeze out.

Sadly I've checked that. I dropped the retraction from 1.3mm down to .5mm it did a test print ok but when I tried a real print it failed to keep extruding filament after about 18%. I woke up to it at 80% printing invisible PLA. ugh.

I thought that might have been a problem early on. But it starts the print fine from the print bed. It stops feeding filament after the print starts. Usually a solid base and some where in the 10% completed + range. No absolute on time or % of print. On multiple .stl files

Update I removed the extruder and took the tension arm off with the spring load. Wiped out the extruder gear and bearing guide with a brass brush. I printed out a spring spacer.
https://www.tinkercad.com/things/lDLyIDfgG2s-flashforge-finder-extruder-spring-spacer-v1-2-spares

I'm doing test prints now to see if this resolves the issue.

The spring spacer and cleaning the extruder gear and bearing guide did not resolve the issue either.