My Extruder is Clicking. Is it Clogged?

Question: "Everything seemed good on the X, Y, and Z axis. I was having trouble extruding this time. It seems the E-motor is not turning. I hooked up another motor to it and when I send commands to it it seems to just click in the same spot. As if it moves one step forward and then back to where it was before.

I tried Cura and Repetier just to make sure it wasn't something in the .ini file.

Everything seems to be good this time around except I can't get filament to extrude."


PB Response: 

1. Unplug extruder motor from E MOT connector

2. Plug in another motor into E MOT

3. If problem persists please your board may need to be replaced

4. If problem goes away your motor may need to be replaced

5. See also:




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  • 1
    Bryant Bair

    I'm having this issue but it it stops if I lift the wire bundle up an inch or so and will start again as the wire bundle sags. Seems to be poor cable management.

  • 1
    Adam Tolley

    I have seen this problem happen with ninja flex on my printer, I assumed the motor needed more torque (current) but did not yet have a chance to test this.  

  • 1
    Jeff Brown

    I'm also trying to track down the source of this issue on my machine (Metal Plus, single extruder). Not the normal clogged clicking - the E-motor just wiggles back and forth on the same step position (even trying to freewheel it with no filament). Motor shaft turns OK by hand when power is released.
    I have a replacement motor on order to see if that's the issue.


  • 0
    Dave Handy

    Having the exact same problem. Sometimes it will extrude smoothly for a while, then it will start clicking again. I end up with mostly dotted lines even when printing 20 brim lines.

    I'll try reconnecting the cables as suggested. Kind of disappointing as I just got this metal plus delivered today; it printed the 3mm cube fine, then the clicking started!

  • 0

    Has anyone solved this issue?

    I just received a brand new Metal Plus that printed flawlessly for 5-6 hours and is now clicking?



    I've had a simple metal that has worked flawlessly for nearly two full years and just started clicking recently.  I ordered a replacement motor and it still seems to do this.

    I've tried reducing the spring tension on the extruder arm which helped a bit but has not 100% cured the issue.

    Here is what i was thinking:

    Q: Was there too much resistance in the extruder from heat being to low?
    A: Apparently not, i raised temp to 230 and problem still occurred.

    Q: Was the extruder clogged?
    A: Apparently not, i took it apart and it seemed fine. (never had a clog in two years and hundreds of hours printing)

    Q: Is the board finally going bad?
    A: Can't be sure, but it seems unlikely since the brand new metal plus is now doing the same think after only a few hours of printing

    Q: Is the board delivering a sufficient amount of amperage to the stepper motor?
    A: my experience with my CNC router leads me to believe that this could very well be the issue. (This clicking seems more frequent when the motors are hot. My guess is that the internal resistance in the stepper is probably rising and reducing the motors torque)



    If anyone has solved this issue please let me know asap! this is a real bummer.

    I shot a video of my original simple metal:

    I will be shooting a review of the Metal Plus as soon as I get this issue sorted out.



  • 0
    Dave Handy


    I ended up cycling the power on mine, and the issues I described were resolved completely and didn't resurface. I also think there might have been some ABS left in the extruder from test prints, so I pushed through some PLA to try to get that out of the system, but I'm not sure about that.

    Just in case it's relevant, I'm using a raspberry pi with octoprint as the host.

    Hope that helps!

  • 1
    PB Support Team

    A couple of suggestions on a "clicking" extruder in the video below.  The problem usually stems from one of two issues.

    • Wire fatigue in the extruder motor - solution is to replace the motor
    • Clogged hot end, likely in the nozzle - solution is to replace the nozzle/tip

    See video here:

    Hope that is helfpul :).

  • 0
    Hallgrímur Hafsteinsson

    I have a simple model thats only a few months old and it has just now started to show the jogging motion described in the video

    I cheked by switching the cables and the motor is shot. This is truly supposed to last longer than a few months right? Right?

    How do I go about getting a replacement motor for the faulty one you guys shipped with the kit?

    This printer is quite vital to my work so I would appreciate a quick response.


  • 0
    PB Support Team

    @Hallgrimur, sorry to hear of the trouble.  I have created a ticket for you, using your post.

    Generally, extruder motor wire lasts longer than a few months on the Simple.  We certainly see greater longevity in our assembled models.  However, if the wiring was zip tied too tightly, it can create excessive stress on the cable - resulting in premature fatigue.  

    Our support team will help you find a way to get up and running asap!


    Dave -pb

  • 0

    My machine's clicking issues were completely obliterated after upgrading the Ubis 13 & standard extruder -- to the Ubis 13s & Gear Head extruder! The added investment = relief in my case -- no more slipping or sludgy filament to click, slip and gum up the works. Thanks a bunch for making these upgrades available Brook... out of all my 3D printers, my Printrbot is now by far the most consistent, deadly accurate and most importantly -- favored of all my machines!

  • 0

    I have had an similar issue already and I have only printed about 3 of the 3mm squares in PLA.  After printing them flawlessly (minus some setup and experimentation) I setup a design of a roughly 7'x4"x 1/4" thick plate more or less to print. I printed using Stellar Labs 1.75 ABS filament.  After the print started it ran the base and moved into the actual design and printed the first layer.  There was a little contracting and separation but nothing I didn't expect with my first larger print after reading around and researching.  There was a considerable amount of shavings coming from the extruder gear area that I had to keeping picking out and or blowing away leading me to believe it was scraping on something as it going through the gear or somethingBut after about 1/3rd of the way through the second layer the filament stopped feeding.  No clicking no noises I just happened to glance over from my email and see it wasn't laying any filament anymore.  I stopped the print and inspected and found the filament had a worn spot where the drive gear had been spinning and wasn't pushing the filament anymore.  I cut that off reinserted it and tried using the Cura software to extrude by using the 1 & 10mm extrude buttons on the print window.  each time it would extrude a bit but then click click click.  I noticed a lot of fine shaved filament in the drive gear and tried to clean that out also.  This was a ready assembled unit so I was told it had been calibrated already but I tried changing the tension screw on the gear assembly.  This resulted in a worse condition so I removed some tension and hand fed some filament into the hot end to make sure it wasn't clogged.  It flowed fine by hand.  I set up another 3mm square print and it printed almost to the final top layer then began to spit out less and less filament until it quit all together.

    Needless to say I'm a bit frustrated at the fact that its a brand new printer and is acting up already.  Any input would be appreciated.  If this double gear drive (Ubis 13s & Gear Head extruder) would fix this problem I would entertain the idea to make the printer more reliable.   I'm a newby at this 3D printing but I'm pretty "techy" and mechanically inclined.   And I don't think this should be required on a brand new factory setup printer but????  If there is something not setup correctly I'm sure with the right guidance and or info I can fix it.   Thanks, Jerry

    Edited by JayHawk
  • 0
    Dave - PB Support Team

    Hi Jerry, if your printer is new, it is unlikely that it is suffering from wire fatigue.  Temperature can be the cause for clicking/extrusion problems as well.  I saw that you mentioned that you are printing ABS and that you are relatively new to 3D printing.  If the temp is too low, the filament will not extrude properly and ABS typically calls for a printing temp of ~235C.  

    I don't have any experience w Stellar Labs 1.75 ABS.  It may very well be great material, but it is still worth measuring the diameter to see if that is causing problems.  See a guide on measuring filament diameter here.

    For more on settings, see configuration files and instructions on loading them here.

    Another common cause of extruder clogs is improper calibration.  If the Z offset is set too close to the bed, this will jam up your hot end.  You may want to try backing the M212 off ~0.2-0.4mm.  More on that here.

  • 0

    I am having this exact issue.  I tried swapping the Z and E motor.  When I then ran the Z command the extruder motor worked fine, however when running the extruder the Z motor then started to experience this same clicking.  What should I do?

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