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Thermal runaway print head #12204 (MINI)

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Last updated a year ago
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What happened?

The printer will display "Thermal runaway" for the print head if the printer drops the print head temperature by 6 ºC for a long period of time. This temperature drop would usually not be an issue, but if the heat is not recovered after 20 seconds the error will happen. In this case, the printer will stop the heating and display the message on the screen. The printer then waits for the user to inspect all parts and if needed fix the issue.

Error name: Thermal runaway print head

Error code: #12204 

How to fix it?

The error might indicate some issue with the wiring, either the heater or the thermistor cables are possibly damaged.

A visual inspection

Before breaking out the multimeter you should check the print head, where the thermistor (purple arrow) and heater (green arrow) reside, that no wires have broken off the sensor or heater themselves. While the printer is turned off, carefully try to move the wires by hand. If any of them have come detached your search is over and the part needs to be changed. It is not recommended to solder these wires, moreover, for the thermistor, it will change it's resistance and thus readings. Spare parts can be found in our e-shop, or you can contact Support for assistance.

Also, make sure everything is connected to the Buddy mainboard, inside its case. Loosen the one screw securing the cover (circled in the picture below), remove the top cable cover and flip it open to reveal the board. 

Check that all the connectors are secure in their sockets, according to the picture below. Focus on the thermistor and heater cables (blue arrows). Though unlikely, rough shipping or handling could have shaken the heater or thermistor cables loose.

Checking the resistance

The table below describes the correct resistance for each part, as well as what scale you should set your meter to. We have another more in-depth guide on Multimeter usage. All thermistors are rated to be 100 kΩ at 25 °C. To be realistic, with a varying temperature between 20 °C and 30 °C, you can expect a wider range of readings (~85-125 kΩ) than with the heater.

There can be micro-fractures in the cable, breaking the connections only at certain positions. Therefore, try to move the cable a bit while doing the measurement and see if the value changes drastically.
Part
Resistance
Multimeter scale

Thermistors (Bed and hotend)

[80 kΩ - 125 kΩ]

200 kΩ

Hotend heater

[12.3 Ω - 15.1 Ω]

200 Ω

The part should be cold (room temperature) and unplugged when measuring the resistance!

Where to measure

For every component, there are several options, our main focus will be on the connectors. The measurement appears on the multimeter LCD as soon as the measurement probes touch the component. To obtain the correct and relevant values, this is where you need to apply the probes:

  • Thermistors: metal inserts in plastic connectors

  • Heater cables: screws holding the cables in the connector

Parts replacement guide(s)

In case you find some parts are faulty, please order them using our e-shop, then follow the service guide(s):

How to replace a hotend thermistor (MINI/MINI+)

How to replace a hotend heater (MINI/MINI+)

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