Clog free nozzle is very essential for perfect 3D prints. It becomes very necessary to clean the nozzle from time to time because no one likes compromised prints. In this article, we will learn the ways for getting rid of the clogged nozzle and ways to clean the nozzle.
If we consider the construction of the nozzle, it generally features a thread to connect to the hot end. On the other end, there is a smaller hole from which the filament pushes through
How to figure out that the nozzle is clogged?
It is very easy to figure out a clogged nozzle. If one sees extruder mechanism struggling hard to print in such cases extruder material curls out while leaving the nozzle or extruded filament is thin from the usual outflow there might be chances of a nozzle blockage.
One can also judge a clogged nozzle from the print quality if you see print gaps in the layer or you see print material containing air it is highly likely that it is due to a clogged nozzle.
Ways to Clean the nozzle of a 3D printer
Using a wire
Before using a wire the nozzle is preheated so that the blockage inside the nozzle gets soft.
We pull the filament tube from the extruder and also manually pull any filament present over there. Now with the help of a thin wire or a long needle, we push it through the filament passage through the extruder till it finally comes out of the nozzle the wire is also twisted and turned so that any possible particle can easily break.
The goal is to break blockage and not push it out so that it comes out of the nozzle easily when someone pushes the filament This process is repeated a few times. The wire or the needle used in this process should be stiff so that it does not bend, long, and enough thin to enter the extruder nozzle hole easily and not break in between the process
This process is done with slippery and soft filament material like nylon, in this we heat the nozzle slightly above the working temperature of the filament. We push in filament, like nylon and keep on pushing it so that the struck material of the previous filament comes out clean. After this nozzle temperature is lowered and slightly cooled. Now the filament is pulled out manually some force is applied in this process. On the tip of the pulled-out nylon filament, you would see it contaminated by the previously used filament that contaminated position has to be cut and the nylon filament is inserted again. This process has to be done till your nylon filament comes out clean and the flow of filament becomes normal.
Ways to clean the nozzle outside the printer
The nozzle should be removed from the extruder safely. It is important the let the nozzle cool at the room temperature else it can lead to burns or do it with the help of tools.
The removed nozzle is heated with the help of a hot air gun, blow torch or soldering iron, remember not to overheat the nozzle especially the hardened nozzle as by overheating they can lose their hardened property. After that with the help of a needle nose plier or pucker the clogged filament is pulled out and the remaining blockage is removed by a thin wire or needle
Heat it with a hot air gun, blow torch, or soldering iron not to overheat the hardened nozzle as it will lose its hardened property.
Acetone or Ethyl acetate is the most common solvent used for this process. The removed nozzle is simply submerged inside the solvent and left for some time. After some time the clogged filament softens and dissolves easily.
Replace the nozzle
The nozzle comes with some printing hours and after the completion of that duration it wears out it must be replaced. Always use a good quality nozzle that is compatible with your printer. Prefer buying the original nozzle sold by the company.
If you are still not able to get rid of blockage It is advised to check the Teflon liner inside the hotend and check the extruder properly whether it is clogged or not.
Tips to avoid blockage
- Use good quality filament which is free from impurities.
- Keeping the 3D printer environment clean and dust-free dust particles can lead to blockage.
- Turn off the hotend when the printer is in the ideal state as it prevents the filament from collecting at the nozzle. and it decomposes and clogs it
Also read: Tips to improve 3d print quality