Filament Stuck in Extruder? How to Unclog?

Even if you don’t realize it, your 3D printers take on the taxing role of melting hundreds of kilograms of plastic. And the only way for that filament plastic to come out is the extruder tiny cut-out!

So, it’s no wonder that your filament will get stuck in the extruder!

But you can easily solve the problem by cleaning the nozzle, cooling down the extruder, or reloading the filament. There are other ways to unjam your extruder by adjusting the filament tension or retraction settings. The main thing is to identify the root cause and start solving the issue from there.

If you are still not sure about how to deal with filament jamming issues, don’t worry too much. We have discussed every bit of detail that will help you to understand your extruder more!

Why is the Filament Getting Stuck in Extruder?

There can be numerous reasons starting from filament temperature mismatch, clogged nozzle, tension issues, and so on. However, every extruder has its unique structure so it’s hard to identify the exact reason without proper inspection.

The best thing to do is to look for irregularities like inconsistent flow of plastic, rough layers, or overheating. After you properly assess the symptoms, it’s easy to understand what’s causing it and how to fix it!

Why is the Filament Stuck in the Hot End?

The hot end is usually pretty hot (yes you can tell by the name). However, when the heat passing through the heat sink is too much, you will see some portion of your filament stuck protruding from the hot end.

Another reason for filament getting stuck in the hot end is simply the breakage of your filament. If your plastic filament gets broken in the middle of the printing, then it’s bound to get stuck in the hot end.

Filament Stuck
Source: re3d.zendesk.com

That’s why you should always check the temperature and overheating issues beforehand to make sure it does not happen.

Why is the Filament Stuck in the Feeder?

Similar to the hot end issue, the filament clog-up in your feeder is another common phenomenon. It is mostly caused by the wrong type of filament used or the small portions of the filaments getting stuck in the feeder.

Another common reason is improper tension. If the tension is too loose, the filament can slip against the gears, preventing proper feeding. So, it’s proper to test your filament, temperature, and tension beforehand to avoid such complications.

How to Fix a Jammed Extruder? With Different 3D Extruder Models!

First, let’s focus on the general troubleshooting guide, and then we will dive into model-specific solutions for filament jamming!

Step 1: Check Filament Temperature

Depending on your filament type, you should optimize the temperature. So, check whether you have the filament temperature set between 180 and 220 °C.

Step 2: Cooldown Your Extruder

Let your extruder take a breather and turn it off completely before going for your continued printing session.

Step 3: Inspect & Clean

You should always check for any kind of clogging on your hot end or nozzle. Because, those are easily jammed due to wear, tear, or debris.

Step 4: Adjust Filament Tension

It’s quite necessary for you to adjust the filament tension. Otherwise, you will see that the plastic is either too thin or thick on your 3D prints.

Step 5: Check Extruder Gears

Last but not least, inspect your extruder gear as it can also get damaged or jammed due to temperature. Often users fail to check that but it is equally as important as your nozzle and hot end.

Now, your extruder might not get solved by the above instructions in some cases. So, take a look at the brand-specific troubleshooting process to pinpoint the exact issue-

Troubleshooting Filament Stuck in Bambu Lab Extruders 

In both P1S and X1C models from Bambu Lab, users usually face some issues with the filament clog-up or jamming. Even when the hot end reaches 220C, the filament does not push out.

The same problem might remain even after cleaning up the nozzle and removing the filament debris.

In such cases, the problem lies within the gears. If the nozzle & hot end clean-up of filament does not work, then it is likely that the filament is stuck in the gears. 

So, what you need to do is to remove the extruder, and clean the gears completely. There are numerous videos like the one below that will help you-

After the clean-up, you should be able to continue your printing journey smoothly. However, it’s important to remember that regular changing of filament will cause such issues every now and then. 

Troubleshooting Filament Stuck in Creality Extruders 

While the Ender 3 and K1 are some of the most popular 3D printers out there, they are not free from problems. In these Creality prints, users face a different kind of problem. 

Even when they realize that the filament is stuck in the hot end they increase the temperature, and the needle stops after going a bit. 

If you think this is enough for you to lose the printer, don’t worry at all! 

All you need to do is heat up the hot end to the printing temperature (preferably a little higher) and then unscrew the nozzle. 

There you will find some solidified filament from earlier usage forming a plug in the gap inside the heat block. The same thing can also happen in the Bowden tube. Check for the residue and debris and push it out after removing the nozzle.

Let the extruder cool for a while and you should be able to use it flawlessly!

How to Prevent Your Extruder from Future Clogs?

Now that you know the ways to keep your extruder from clogging up, it’s important to be mindful of the future. What good would it do if you faced the same problem again after some time, right?

So, let’s check 3 easy ways to avoid such clogs in the future-

Regular Maintenance

Just like your 3D printer nozzle clean-up, your extruder also requires time-to-time maintenance. Otherwise, clogging is something you won’t be able to avoid at all. 

Another important thing you have to understand is that your printer is just an electrical tool that can easily get wear & tear. Depreciation is a truth for any device and unless you take care of your extruder well, it’s bound to face some critical issues.

That’s why it’s severely crucial for you to do proper maintenance of your 3D printer for continued usage. 

Use adequate lubrication, clear out the debris, and maintain proper temperature to get the best results!

High-Quality Filament

If you still don’t know the difference between PETG & ABS filament, you’re in deep trouble! Because unless you use the right filament with your extruder, then jamming or clogging is a very normal thing to happen!

Invest in high-quality filament that is recommended by industry experts or professionals. The reputable ones can ensure consistent diameter and reduced friction between the feeder and extruder.

Don’t just get the cheap or budget-friendly ones without proper research because they usually involve some impurities. That will definitely have an adverse effect on your printing sessions.

Filament Storage

Most filaments are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb moisture from the air. So, when they absorb the moisture from the air, they become brittle and without proper lubrication, they will get clogged.

So, what can you do? Well, you can easily avoid the degradation of your filament by storing it in a cool and dry place. You can go an extra mile and store it in airtight containers with desiccant packets which will reduce the air moisture significantly!

Be extra careful when you use nylon and nylon-based filaments as they draw moisture like monsters!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to Solve Filament Stuck in Extruder Prusa Mini Issue?

If you see your filament is stuck inside your Prusa Mini printer, then you have to loosen up the idler screw. After that, you have to clear out the extruder debris with your hand and do the same for inside the Bowden tube.

How Do You Remove a Stuck Blob of Extruded Filament?

If you can’t get the filament out from your extruder by hand, then you have to use a heat gun. First, heat up the plastic. Do it very slowly and carefully as you don’t want to melt the surroundings of your hot end. Clean the blob carefully in small sessions.

How Do You Dissolve PLA in a Nozzle?

The best way to dissolve PLA in a nozzle is to use a solvent that can remove the residue. You need to soak the PLA in the solvent for a while and carefully clear out the residues once it softens.

Conclusion

Don’t you find solving your filament stuck in extruder issue quite easy now? We are pretty sure you will remember to regularly check and maintain your extruder from now on.

Otherwise, you will be one to suffer the most in the long run. So, try to be more careful and print all the things you want happily!

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