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filament Jam only on infilll?


Strange problem with filament jamming in the extruder motor.

First few layers go down great on 5th layer, the infill starts and that is where I get the filament jam in the extruder.  The failure always occurs on the first or second layer of the infill.

The printer keeps going but no filament is extruded.

The filament is jammed in the etxruder motor - it is mangled in there and flattened thus causing the jam.

The tension on the filament seems fine as it prints regular layers just fine - I also tried loosening and tightening. (inly small teeth marks on filament as it comes through).

I re-load filament and extrudes just fine - so hot end not clogged. Plus it starts all over just fine till the infill layers again.

Happens on several PLA types and temps.


Thank you.

Glad to hear you are working on a fix.

Looking forward to it.

I realize how complex this is and how everything has to be working just right.

Appreciate the help.

Dear KEN petschauer,

Please understand it is not only a cooling issue. You can cool the drive unit motors as much as you want if the pressure on the filament is not ok and the hot ends are partially clogged and filament is not getting through cooling the filament is pointless to cool the drive units.

And I have been printing on the HS printer without fans cooling the drive units and the printer finishes the 3D model without a issue. Our engineers have developed a cooling system which is now being tested and once it is confirmed that it is working properly it will be available for customers.

Well, since ONE post has finally made it through their screening process, I'll try another. I have a .STL file that you can print out that will fix this issue (in combination with a fan motor and adapter cable). Since every time I post this info it never shows in the thread I ask that you email me: INFO at epromdesign dot com.. I have to write it out this way because of the screening process.
I have made three follow-up posts to this thread (with attachments). NONE of them are making it to the thread. I'm getting extremely aggravated!
Hello again, I have been through this many times with colleagues of yours. Is us not a stepper tension problem. It was admitted to be a cooling issue that I am eagerly awaiting a fix for. Apparently your engineers are looking into a fan cooling solution. I hope it comes soon Thanks

Mircea.O, -- The advice I received from tech support was to "decrease" the amount of tension on the filament drive unit.  I've already done so a couple of times with the same result, but will try once more.  I think the stepper motor is getting hot enough to soften the filament should the filament remain idle for a period of time

This problem only occurs when doing a dual-extruder print with different materials.  I have PLA in the right extruder and HIPS in the left.  Only the right extruder is jamming up and it's doing so right after the HIPS has completed printing a support layer.  The PLA is just sitting there waiting for the HIPS to finish.  During this time, the PLA is melting/softening from the heat emitted from the stepper motor.  This results in a small, melted blob of PLA that is just large enough to not fit through the exit hole and thusly jamming up the gear.

Attached is a graphic that illustrates what I'm describing.

This does NOT occur during a single-extruder print as the filament is constantly being extruded and doesn't sit idle long enough to melt.

Could you have a look at the filament once it goes through the drive unit ? 

I am mostly interested on how the filament looks. Filament jamming in the drive unit can be due to inadequate pressure on the filament ( the pinch wheel is digging into the filament and eventually jamming the drive unit) or the hot ends clog up and the amount of filament which is extruded is not constant.

Do you happen to see any filament shavings in the drive unit mainly on the pinch wheel?

Ken, I have a potential solution for this problem, but my last support post was screened by Leapfrog and not permitted to show.  Maybe because I added a link, I don't know?  Please email me at and I will spec out the steps I am taking to fix this issue. 

not sure if that will work, i tried a fan but could not get it to blow directly on the stepper motor, which is where I believe the problem is.

ABS seems to not have quite the difficulty but it still does have the problem.

I do think that it build up over time - which makes sense, I guess.

keep us updated - curious to see if/when they will work on this known problem.

I've done some research on this issue (along with a support ticket).  I've created an illustration of what I'm encountering during a print build.  Here is a link to the image:

After examining the filament feeder gear I can see that it is perfectly lined up, so I know that's not the issue.  Here is what I have discovered.

(1)  It has nothing to do with the build plate temperature.  Bad diagnosis on my part.

(2)  It only happens during a dual-extruder print job where the primary feeder sits idle and waits for the other extruder to finish printing the supports.

(3)  It's not "friction" from the gear because it's not moving anywhere near fast enough to generate heat on the filament.

(4)  The resulting "melted blob" at the end of the indentation prevents the filament from exiting the filament feeder and causes the binding within the gear.

(5)  On a single-extruder print job, it continues printing without issue because the filament feeder gear doesn't sit idle long enough to melt the filament.

...My nest test is to rig up a fan for the stepper motor to see if I can cool it enough to stop the melting.

Hope this helps!


I will do that.  I'm wondering if it is heat somehow generated from the stepper motor or is it the heat rising from the build plate.  I did notice that this started happening once I raised the build plate temperature to the 60º mark.  The strange part is that this only affects the right stepper motor and filament feeder.  Left one feeds just fine...but then again, I'm shoving HIPS through the left filament feeder which has a higher melting temperature.

If it's just the surrounding heat affecting the jams, I wonder if fabricating some aluminum foil insulation as a temporary might help?

I have been discussing this with tech support for a while. The new firmware seems to help a bit but this still happens. It seems to be inconsistent. They have admitted that there is a heat problem and the engineers are working on a fix that may involve a cooling fans on the drive motors. I am waiting patiently. Perhaps you should ask them too and see the status. Thx

I am suffering the same situations.  I have a Creatr HS. The left stepper motor works just fine (HIPS) but recently the right stepper motor knots up my filament consistently after x amount of layers.  It has done it with MAXX PLA (black) and with Woodfill PLA.

The filament is curly where the gear makes contact with the filament.  I have removed the stepper motor and examined it ...but can't find anything wrong  Not sure I know what to look for anyway.

Very frustrating..

Hmm.. that does sound like an odd issue. What software are you using and what values do you have set for the infill settings?

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User Manual

Quick Start Guide

Installation clips
The following 3 clips will guide you through the installation process of your CreatrXL. By following these, you will be printing within 30 minutes. First start with unpacking the printer. Clickhere to see how you correctly pick up the printer

Part 1 of 3: Unpacking your CreatrXL

In this clip, you will be guided through the unpacking of a brand new CreatrXL. The unboxing along with the location of tie wraps which need to be removed are shown, as well as the process of a connecting the cables to the printer and computer.

Part 2 of 3: Software and configuration

In this clip, we will show you how to install the required software. The first step is to download and install the Arduino software to make it possible for your computer to connect with the printer. The next step is to download and install the Repetier Host Leapfrog software or that controlls your 3D printer. We have tried to make this as simple as possible and also provided direct downloading links per operating system.

If you are using the new Simplify 3D software you can follow all the steps except for the Repetier-Host Leapfrog installation and using explanation. Simply download the software via the purchase link and before first use a pop-up will appear showing you the Simplify 3D Quick start guide. You can also download the Quick start guide or access it from the software via help –> Quick start guide. The quick start guide will briefly explain the functions of the software so that you can start your first print.

Please select you operating system and follow the descriptions in the movie.

Operating systemWindows

The first step is to download and install the Arduino software to make it possible for your computer to connect with the printer. The next step is to download and install the newest version of the Repetier Host Leapfrog software as shown in the clip. This software allows you to convert your 3D software file [STL for example] to a printable file [G-Code] and allows you to control your printer. The Repetier Host Leapfrog software contains standard CreatrXL Print Profiles. Just select the extruder, the filament material as well as the color and Repetier will automatically select the ideal print temperature providing you the best print quality possible. There is also a Leapfrog support button implemented in the software. A Mac version will be available soon.

If you have followed the installation procedure, but you can’t control your Leapfrog CreatrXL and the “6 commands waiting” message in Repetier-Host Leapfrog won’t disappear, you have to install the 2.8.28 drivers. Please see Solution can’t connect 6 commands waiting in Repetier-Host Leapfrog how to do so.

For a more thorough description of Slic3s settings please check this guide!

Windows 8
To install the Arduino drivers on a computer with Windows 8 follow these steps after downloading the Arduino software.

- Save unsaved work and write the instructions down
[your computer will reboot into startup options screen]
- Press the Windows Key and the ‘R’ key simultaneously
- Copy the command inside the brackets
–>[ shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00 ] – Select ‘Troubleshoot’
- Select ‘Advanced options’
- Select ‘Startup Settings’
- Select ‘Disable Driver Signature Enforcement’
- Install driver as usual via device manager


In this clip, we will explain you how you can generate a STL file using Sketchup. We show you what to download and how to export your design in STL.

Part 3 of 3: Making your first print!

In this final clip, the process of creating your first print will be explained. This starts with removing the callibration print that is already on the print bed. How to insert the filament and operate the Repetier Host Leapfrog software is also shown, which should culminate in your first 3D Print on the CreatrXL!

Google sketchupHow to export STL files from Sketchup

The first step is to download and install the Arduino software to make it possible for your computer to connect with the printer. You will then need to in stall this driver for OSX to recognize the hardware.

The next step is to download the Repetier software as shown in the clip. This software allows you to convert your 3D software file [STL for example] to a printable file [G-Code] and allows you to control your printer. We have developed standard print profiles for the CreatrXL. Please follow the instructions below to install the print profiles for Mac [not yet included in the video]:

- Download This file
- Go to your Home Folder on Mac and select “Go to Folder” from the Go Menu en type “Library/Application Support/Slic3r/” - Unzip the file you just downloaded and dump the contents in the Slic3r folder, it will replace your existing settings. If you want to keep your current settings as well, take the contents from each folder and put this in the same folder in the Home/Libaray/App../Slic3r folder.

Download instructions by Deepak Dinesh Mehta For a more thorough description of Slic3s settings please check this guide!

Troubleshooting Trees

Filament Guide

  • Extrude at ~ 225o C.
  • Requires heated bed.
  • Works reasonably well without cooling.
  • Adheres best to polyimide tape.
  • Filament tolerances are usually tighter.
  • Prone to cracking, delamination, and wraping.
  • More flexible.
  • Can be bonded using adhesives or solvents(Acetone or MEK).
  • Fumes are unpleasent in enclosed areas.
  • Oil Based.
  • Extrude at ~ 180-225o C.
  • Benefits from heated bed.
  • Benefits greatly from cooling while printing.
  • Adheres well to a variety of surfaces.
  • Finer feature detail possible on a well calibrated machine.
  • Prone to curling of corners and overhangs.
  • More brittle.
  • Can be bonded using adhesives.
  • More pleasant smell when extruded.
  • Plant Based.

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Please request a firmware download via the Ticket System

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