With the May 30, 2019 software update, Markforged is making a change to the way plastic material unloads from all Markforged composite printers.
This change will improve the usability of every composite printer. It will also keep maintenance procedures consistent across our whole line of composite printers, regardless of hardware differences.
The updated Unload Plastic utility prompts users to cut the filament entering the plastic extruder and remove the Bowden tube from the extruder's outlet. The extruder then pushes material forward to clear it from the plastic extruder. The Support Article below includes step-by-step directions, and a video of the new unloading routine in action.
The updated Unload Plastic utility will help reduce tangles in the drybox caused by driving material back through the plastic feed tube. Tangled filament can get caught while printing and cause underextrusion or paused prints; by spooling the plastic material back into the drybox manually, the user can ensure that the spool is neat and tangle free.
The new utility will also prevent material jams from occurring when a spool runs out of filament. During manufacturing, the filament is held securely to the plastic spool while being wound; this can cause a small bend or hook to form at the very end of the filament. Most of the time, this hook is small enough that it will not cause an issue. However, on rare occasions a larger-than-normal hook could get caught in the plastic extruder during material unloading. The updated unload procedure expels material from the front (outlet) of the extruder rather than the back (inlet), ensuring that any bend or hook does not get jammed during the routine.