[3D Printing] Dealing with a clogged hot end

in STEMGeekslast year

Been having some problems with my 3D printer not extruding properly and I originally thought it was printing PETG problems (it may still be, it's older filament and potentially wet).



If you look at the print above, you can see lines where the filament was pulled or not able to be extruded. Look at the 2nd image by the top of the window on the right.

This gradually got worse, and was more and more noticeable. I looked at a few things but couldn't find the problem so I tore down the hot end and removed filament pfte tube guide. The pfte bowden tube looked fine, nothing melted or warped.

This was taken with the hot end at printing temperatures. It is a little hard to see but the cavity is filled with unmelted filament, so I can't even push but bowden tube into the cold end side. I tried raising the temps and trying to push it with filament but it didn't budge.

I asked a friend for some advice and was told I could drill it out. Never doing this before, I was a bit concerned so I took it slow and was careful.

I got myself a small drill bit and drilled as close to the center as possible and worked out most of the material. Near the end I got a chunk that confirmed I got the clog.

You can see the rounded section which is the bottom of the cavity and the tip is what was in the nozzle. Seeing as this is the bottom path of the hot end, it lets me know I got pretty much everything in the hot end. At this point the nozzle still can have some material in it and I'm doing some test prints to see. Usually you can use a acupuncture needle to clear jams in the nozzle but I don't have one handy.


I do have a couple spare hot ends, each with a spare nozzle. So if I am still having problems I can replace the entire hot end. They are relatively cheap ($8-15) but I just replaced this one a week or so ago as the original leaked really bad.

This printer has been a challenge and it is all related to the hot end. I really want to either get a Prusa printer or upgrade this one to a similar setup as the Prusa. If I do go the upgrade route, there are a lot of upgrades I want to do to bring it close to the reliability and performance of the gold standard Prusa MK3S.

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How does the feed stepper motor sound, could be missing steps? Just my thoughts. could also be the filament,

I have been thinking of getting a 3D printer as more of a hobby thing, but just not sure yet if the expense would make it worth it. May see if the local university may allow me to play around if I volunteer my time to help with some of their IT students.

 last year 

3D Printing is cheaper you think, you can get a good 3D printer for $200-300.

Oh, wow. I guess I really need to look into it then. What about the materials, are they pretty cheap as well. I guess if I could make things that are useful to me and others it would pay for itself in no time at all.

 last year 

This is a great place to start. A roll of filament is ~$20 and will last quite a while but you will find yourself wanting more colors and materials.

Yes I can highly recommend the Ender 3 Pro.
I’ve upgraded mine with a SKR 1.3 mainboard, TMC2209 drivers and a Raspberry Pi 4 running Klipper and Octoprint for around $70 total.
Makes it much quieter, faster and more accurate.

 last year 

Looks like a hot mess! What a pain.

 last year (edited)

It is, but it is working now.

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Your post is very timely as I have also had a broken filament problem caused by a clogged hot end.
I also discovered that my extrusion settings were way off and leading to major under extrusion.
At least I could remove the clog by pushing through the Bowden tube.
Drilling it out is serious stuff.

Well done.

Are you using an Ender now?

 last year 

modified CR-10 but I really want a Prusa MK3S, I just don't want to give up the bed size and I hate ordering overseas and waiting a month.

Your work is very interesting! I noticed that you do 3D printing, that's something pretty cool you have a great tool!

I also do Robot, but not with 3D printers but with useful metal materials!

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Thanks for the work you do here! Greetings I am Mars!