Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

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Gwhite
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

Post by Gwhite » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:20 pm

I live in New England, and we are in the midst of a Nor'easter, which is dumping lots of heavy sticky wet snow on everything. We had another similar one just over a week ago that took down tons of trees, power poles & lines. There are some people who are still without power from the last storm. We've been spared (so far), although the UPS my computer is on has kicked in & out a few times for a fraction of a second. Those don't appear long enough to affect my M2E printer.

I've read that there can be serious problems if you just shut off the power in mid-print, because the filament-drive fan shuts off while the extruder is still hot. The heat from the extruder works its way up into the drive, and can melt the filament enough to fuse it to the ABS drive assembly. It sounds like that could be a real pain to fix, and could possibly require replacing the drive assembly.

I have a small battery powered fan parked next to the printer, and a headlamp ready to grab to run down into the basement if the power kicks out.

Does anyone know how quickly I need to dash down & cool off the drive? Also, if I'm unsuccessful, how big of a chore is it to fix the drive? The good news is that I'm running PLA at 195C, so the extruder isn't nearly as hot as it might be if I was running PETG or ABS.

Thanks!

thunderbt3
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:36 pm

Re: Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

Post by thunderbt3 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:34 pm

Maybe play it safe and hold off printing until the storm blows over?

Gwhite
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Re: Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

Post by Gwhite » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:38 pm

That would be too easy... I've got four 6 hour prints I need to have ready for a trip, and I'll be packing up on Thursday. I don't view it as super likely that we will get hit, but I want to be prepared. They trimmed a lot of trees back in the neighborhood last summer, and the really weak stuff got taken out in the first storm.

We shall see...

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ednisley
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Re: Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

Post by ednisley » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:42 pm

Gwhite wrote:The heat from the extruder works its way up into the drive
If you have a V4 extruder, then it's a non-issue: there's no direct heat path from the hot end to the plastic filament drive:
http://softsolder.com/2016/02/02/filament-drive-jam/

Image

That shows the filament just above the top of the V4 entrance after I realigned the drive. Normally, you'd see the filament extending from the drive into the V4, with a nice air gap between the two.

It's different with the V3a/b hot ends, but (IIRC) that's not what comes on an M3E.

I run the printer + laptop from a UPS to prevent small dropouts from causing big problems, but there's no UPS big enough to survive a blizzard.

When the power dropped last week, I wandered around the house shutting down all the PCs and turning off all the beeping UPS boxes. Later in the day, I fired up the generator and saved the food.

jferguson
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:26 pm

Re: Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

Post by jferguson » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:42 pm

I use an UPS. I named it in an earlier attempt at a post on this thread but maybe system didn't like the brand. both the Octopi and the M2 are on it and it has saved a lot of prints which might otherwise have been lost due to the local utilities drop-outs usually at 4:30am they typically lasst only a few seconds.

Gwhite
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Re: Emergency Procedures For Power Outage?

Post by Gwhite » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:08 pm

I do have a V4 hot end, so that makes me feel a lot better about a crash.

I suspect I will investigate a UPS for the printer at some point, but our power has been pretty reliable the last several years. We used to get regular events that lasted just long enough to reset the clocks & crash anything with a computer in it. Apparently the circuit breakers on the power lines are designed to hold off tripping for a second or two if a branch just brushes the lines. The breaker in our neighborhood was misadjusted/defective. After months of complaining, they fixed that & the power has been quite solid since then.

I've been watching the storm out my window, but the wind is slowly coating the screen with snow, and my view of the world is getting dimmer by the minute...

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