About 6 hours into a 8 1/2 hour job, I finally took notice that my job was still a few layers above the raft. Even though the head was moving, no filament was being extruded. I am not sure of the order of events, but the filament was jammed. Did the hot end cool too much to melt the filament? Did the filament actually jam entering the heater? After a quick disassembly, I found a distorted filament (partially ground away) in the extruder drive housing. After I reheated and cleared the tip, I extracted the remaining chuck of filament (very difficult as I could neither pull or push it with a hot tip). I then fed new filament into the extruder and attempted to drive it into the heater. Oh no, there was no filament movement (funny but after detecting the failure, I attempted to drive the extruder and thought that I had heard it driving???). Moving the extruder motor into place on another driver it seemed to work. I am now into a full disassembly to see if I can repair this unit. Only time will tell. I am also thinking about the possibility of buying a new printer to take the place as primary while I refurbish the existing one as a backup (or secondary) printer.
I am leading heavily into getting a new printer. But now I face a dilemma, what kind of printer do I get? I have not been looking around to see what else might be available and I still am a relative newbie to the world of 3D printers as this was my first printer, so I find myself not too well equipped to pick a replacement. Any suggestions as to designs, models or vendors would be a great help. What features should I be considering at this point (auto leveling, upgraded hot ends, etc.)?
Thanks in advance,