Hello, I am fairly new to 3d Printing and I own an UP Mini. I have been printing mostly with hatchbox PLA (which cost me $30) I was running low so I bought a new spool of excelvan1 (I paid $16). Every print I have tried to run won’t finish because the excelvan filament won’t feed through completely. The extruder starts to try to pull on it, making a loud noise and the filament coming out gets smaller and smaller until the print fails and nothing comes out. Its not clogged though because I can extrude and withdraw the filament. I even put the small amount of matchbox filament I had left back in and it printed like normal.

Is the cheaper filament the problem or do i need to adjust heat?

Also I do not know how to change the temperature on the UP Mini, it only has preset temperatures for ABS and PLA.

Any help would be great.

Thanks, Hunter

How hot are you printing at?

How big are the parts you’re trying to make? If there are large parts is directly related to low temperature.

But if not, I wouldn’t dismiss that option either. Try to find the way to increase a little (5º C) the nozzle temperature and give us a feedback.

Also, once I bought an awful red PLA that behaved like that, a cheap one bought on eBay. Do you have more material to try the same gcode with another filament?

Cheer up!


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Try the following:

1) Make sure your filament diameter is what you have keyed in your slicing software. For instance, if you have keyed in 1.75mm on Cura, verify if your filament dia is actually 1.75mm. Some cheap quality filaments will be slightly thinner or thicker. In this case, you might have to adjust the actual diameter in your software.

2) Is the filament brittle? Try holding the filament with two hands with say 50-70mm distance between two fingers and try flexing the filament. If it is too brittle, the filament will snap immediately. A good filament should have a certain amount of flexibility to it.

3) Try this method. Lift your extruder to 50-60mm from bed, heat the hotend between 190-230 degrees increment by 5 to 10 degrees each time, and try extruding the filament. See which temperature best suits your filament type.


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A few questions to gain a bit more of an idea what is causing this.

What are the temp presets of each filament type for the UP Mini?

Upon the reel that you bought; Does it state the temperature needed?

Is the filament actually ABS or PLA? If it breaks easily when bent to and fro, it’s PLA

Try burning some with a lighter, does it smell bad and off putting, it’s ABS ?

The loud noise and filament getting smaller suggests to me that the hot-end temp is too low for the filament.

Could also be caused by heat creep up the nozzle, ensure that cooling fan attached to the hot end is running

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I agree with the partial clog. It happened to me also. The extruder was making clicking sounds every so often, and it got to a point when it refused to extrude anything in the middle of one of my prints (print failure!). The cause were debris on my spool, which I remedied by using a filament filter. I never had a problem ever since. Btw, I print at 200 degrees Celsius. :slight_smile:

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Sometimes cheaper filament will have varying size. The nominal size is 1.75mm or 3mm, but I’ve seen cheap filament with bulges up to twice the nominal size. Higher quality filament makers will run the filament through a QA process to avoid huge size problems. I don’t know for sure if that’s your problem, but that would be my guess from your description. If you have calipers (which I highly recommend), you can check the filament size. If the size varies, you could try cutting out the oversized part, but there’s always the chance you’ll run into another and fail a print later on. Good luck!

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With filament like anything else in life, you get what you pay for. I know it is nice to save some money, but cheaper costs usually mean less quality control. Try to plan out when you buy filament so you do not run out. Using this type of cheap filament will do your machine more harm and cost you so much more on maintenance and parts costs. The extruder is trying to pull a non uniform material through a precision cut hole in the nozzle. If you keep using the material that is non-uniform it will wear the hole out and the filament will start swinging side to side as it comes out the worn hole making bad prints and making you have to change the nozzle.

Put the cheap filament on your bookshelf and label it a learning experience. when ever possible DO NOT change the manufactures setting unless you have the owners manual and another person there to teach you how to do it. “Remember don’t fix it if it is not broken”.

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That clicking is the teeth on the drive wheel slipping on the sides of the filament. this is not good on the drive wheel and the material scraped off of the filament will settle down around the bottom of the wheel housing and can cause future problems. use a short burst of air ( from a Can) to clean the whole housing before proceeding with your print.

You said that you run at 200 C. Is this what the manufacture recommends? Each spool of filament as the recommended use specifications on the label. Running at a non recommended heat range can hurt you machine (wear out heaters, nozzles and feed tubes) this also will lead to bad or un-usable prints.

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Contaminants are the biggest reason not to go with cheap PLA. What happens is that the PLA denatures in the nozzle over time, and then stops flowing. You’re able to retract it because it’s still plastic, but you should try crushing the tip with a pair of plyers–it’ll probably be brittle and crush almost to powder.

Higher temperatures will only make this problem worse. If you can get by with a lower temperature that may do it, but I wouldn’t be too optimistic.

I agree with a lot of the statements made here. Just adding my 2 cents on this would be that different manufactures use different types of PLA pellets during manufacturing and different types of dye which end up shifting their melting points around. I find that with Hatchbox most of their PLAs and pretty similar and I can use the same setting across bunch of different type and colors. Also even if a roll of filament shows up zip locked with desiccant in the bag with it, it might not be dry. I always throw my new filament into my desiccator for 24hrs prior to use and then store it in there as well. This also helps keep all your filament at the same moisture level which helps make selecting settings for printing easier and consistent across rolls. Remember that everyone’s temps will vary quite a bit because of thermistor error and moisture content. As other posters have said measuring the diameter of a roll is very important for dialing in a print, and even throughout a roll the diameter may change :frowning: Making sure the teeth on the gear of the extruder are clean might help if the extruder has been trying to push filament threw without moving it, it can build up filament “dust/grim/flakes” and lower its gripping ability. Based on the what you described I would recommend slow upping the temperature to aid in extruding and making sure the filament is dry. Good luck, hooray for troubleshooting!!!


Your description is the closet and I believe that is whats happening. When I pull the filament out it has a bunch of small grooves in it like the teeth were pulling it but it didn’t want to move. On the spool it says to print from 190-220, I believe when I print it is auto set on PLA to print at around 215. When I start a print on the bottom of the screen it says “nozzle heat: 98%” I don’t get an actual number. Do you know how to change temperature on UP software?

Thanks for your help!

Thanks for your help!

I measured the filament and it is 1.75 and it is also not brittle. So it must be a temperature problem. But why would my other PLA print fine at that heat? They are different colors but does that mean the heating point is slightly different?

Also I do not know how to change the temperature on the UP software. I appreciate your help!

The tocking noise that these extruder steppers make generally isn’t due to the teeth slipping on the filament, but rather the stepper itself missing steps. After a long time, the percussive impact caused by a stepper missing steps will grind down the filament.

I have just done a quick google about this using the following keywords
setting temperature on up 3d printer


Looks like you are going to need to hack this so you can adjust the temps; Maker Muse, a you tuber has done just that.

Check out his video here Hack your UP! 3D Printer and set it FREE - 2015 - YouTube

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clogs are causer by several factors. in my experiencie, pinting in south america(Chile), with expensive and dometimes very cheap filaments (there is not local supliers), and found :

-check the diamater with a good caliper (cheap digital are fine). use this value in the slicer. read around 1m and take the average.

when clog: check if the part of the filament have a protuberance near the hotend: your filament is getting soft in the tube, not in the hot end. that happens when the tube before the hotend is not cooled enough, or the refrigeration is insuficient(here, with 28º celcius i know that using my heated bed is imposible due the fans cant really cool enough nothing, just thermodinamics)

- make a maintenance of the extruder, clean the remains of plastic in the treaded wheel , when have debris of previous plastics, is more probable that cant extrude well and cant push enough the filament

- check the tension of your extruder. if is too lose , slips and when is too tight, can damage the filament and acumulate debris in the extruder.

- Use the right temperature. 200º is enough for most color PLA, i use 210 or 215, but i have an E3D v6 extruder, a beast for printing(highly recomended).

Good luck, and if dont work, just switch for a good high quality filament

Thanks! this is perfect

For now, without the fan shroud upgrade, this is the optimum temperature for printing in my i3 so far. I use locally manufactured filament, but I haven’t actually asked them about its optimum temperature. I had print quality issues with temperatures above 210’C, so I’m currently sticking with 200’C.

I always print at 193-195ºC for PLA in my Prusa i2, and overtemperature also could clogg you extruder, due a vacuum effect produced by the heat climbing through the filament and making it too viscous, does your extruder’s coldend get warm? I had a pair of cloggs due this issue and a fan on te peek thermal barrier made de deal.