Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Unclog hot end(extruder) on Your 3d printer with Little Disassembly

Image courtesy of Printrbottalk

 I have been fortunate to not have gotten any clogs in my extruder in the last four months, which is really awesome and means the filament over at matterhackers is really high quality, while also being cheap.  But, last week I got my first clog.  The first thing I did, was identify that it was indeed a clog, second I took the extruder assembly off of the Simple, then looked for a way to take it apart.  After struggling for about ten minutes, I looked upon the interwebs for help.  I still could not find a guide on how to take apart the extruder.  So, I unscrewed all the bolts and the nozzle, and dug inside with a paperclip.  I also tried pushing filament through the top and got nowhere.  Finally, I tried pushing filament into the bottom of the extruder.  It when through with little effort, and cleared out the extruder.  I then reassembled and everything worked well again  Upon assembling, I realized that I could have unclogged the extruder by simply taking off the nozzle and nothing else.  So, Here is my guide on how to fix a clogged extruder with minimal disassembly.

1.  Unscrew the nozzle from the hot end.
2.  Raise the Z axis to max height and heat the hot end to the maximum temperature that you are comfortable with.( For me using the Ubis hot end its about 250 Celsius)
3.  Wait for temperature to be reached.
4.  Remove the filament from the top of the extruder, and put into the bottom of the hot end.
5.  Apply pressure to the filament making it go slowly upwards into the cold end, this the trickiest part of the whole operation, if you go to fast the filament will be liquid coming out of the cold end, which results in a mess.  If you go to slowly the cold end will totally cool it making it extremely hard to get out.  So, just go fairly fast until you see the filament start coming out the of the cold end, then slow down.
6. Cut the filament from the botom of the hot-end and pull the remaining amount through the top of the cold end.
7. Screw the nozzle back on.
8. Manually check that the filament flows.
9. If it does, you are done, if it does not go back to step 1.

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