... well only time will tell but I have now fixed all the teething problems on my "no compromise" extruder.
The first problem was it was leaking plastic. I simply tightened the thread about another quarter turn while hot. The problem started when I had to dismantle it to replace the first resistor that I damaged. When I put it back together I didn't get it tight enough as it is difficult to judge when full of plastic and hot. The seal relies on the fact that the relatively sharp edge of the stainless steel tube can bite into the softer aluminium. It seems to work when tightened enough.
The other problem was that the motor would skip steps in the middle of a build for no apparent reason. It seems the amount of force required to extrude varies wildly for which I have no explanation, but I did find some mechanical issues that were reducing the torque available.
I noticed the gear would always be in the same position when the motor skipped. I found that the grub screw was catching on the bearing housing. You would expect it just to grind the PLA away, but PLA is very hard, so it would take a very long time to do so. I increased the clearance around the wheel hub and also around the moving part of the ball bearings.
Another issue was that both the worm and the gear were slightly off centre on their shafts, so when the two high points coincided they would bind. The hole in the Meccano gear is slightly bigger than the 4mm shaft it is on, not sure why. The hole I drilled in the worm is 5mm but the MakerBot motors have imperial shafts about 4.75mm, so that was even more eccentric. Added to that was the fact that the motor bracket has a slight warp to it angling the shaft down a little. All these things conspired to make it stiff to turn once per revolution. I fixed it by tightening the bottom motor screw tight and slackening the top two a little. That was enough to reliably extrude PLA. Making the motor holes into slots would make things less critical.
Although the extruder was working reliably for PLA I wanted more torque in reserve, so I switched to a higher torque motor more suited to my driver chip. The Lin motor I was using was rated at 0.3Nm holding torque for 2.5A, but my controller can only manage about 1.5A without some better heatsinking. I switched to the Motion Control FL42STH47-1684A-01 which gives 0.43Nm at 1.7A. So at 1.5A I have gone from 0.18Nm to 0.4Nm, i.e. doubled the torque and also got the right shaft diameter to fit the hole I drilled in the worm.
The only downside is that it is bigger and heavier, not really an issue on HydraRaptor.
To give it a thorough test I printed off a couple of Mendel frame vertices.
These take about 2 hours each with 0.4mm filament, 25% fill, double outline at 16mm/s, infill at 32mm/s. Six are needed in total.
I still have to test it with HDPE and PCL., I know it works with ABS.