Clearing a Plastic Material Jam


  • Plastic Extruder appears to be jammed

Working with a Jammed Extruder

The first step is to determine whether the failure is in the plastic extruder or the nozzle.

Task: Complete the following steps to determine the source of the jam.

  1. Run the Load Plastic utility but do not follow the on-screen commands yet.
  2. Once the nozzle has reached temperature, unscrew the thumbscrew that is attached to the print head and plastic Bowden tube.
  3. Carefully remove the tube from the printhead. The tip of the plastic will be hot. Be sure to not let it contact your skin.
  4. Continue the Load Plastic routine.

Reason for Failure: Depending on the results of the steps above, the failure is likely caused by one of the two following reasons.

  • If plastic is able to be freely extruded from the end of the plastic Bowden tube, the jam is likely in your nozzle.
  • If the extruder motor skips or does not push plastic freely, the jam is likely in your extruder.

Solution: Replace the component or clear the jam.

  • If the jam is in your nozzle, replace the nozzle and reload materials.
  • If the jam is in your extruder, remove the inlet Bowden tube and then pull the plastic out of the extruder. If the the plastic is difficult to pull out, depressing the spring loaded assembly by pushing in on the aluminum piece on the bottom of the extruder may help.

When you are ready to print again, reassemble all components. You may need to clip the end of the plastic before re-inserting it into the print head.

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