Filament stuck in printer, wont budge, wont remove

I switched filament today on my taz 6 and after I put it in and pushed it though to get rid of the other filament still inside, the filament became stuck inside even at the recommended polylite pla temperature at 230C. It would not budge and eventually snapped off when I tried pulling it out. When I tried extruding the part which moved the filament just grinded at the filament tube and it would not budge, cleaning the nozzle was no use. What happened and how do i fix it?

What type of extruder do you have?

Normal extruder that came with the taz 6 with the new hexagon hotend.

Looks like i wont get an answer any time soon…

Call or email LulzBot support. I had a similar problem with my TAZ 6 Dual Extruder V3 and they were very helpful with lots things to try.

Supporting Your LulzBot Products

Phone: +1-970-377-1111 Ext. 610 (actually, its press “2” for technical support)

Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Closed on most U.S. holidays.

I’m going to attempt to take off the extruders plate to get into the feed pipe and use a hair dryer to loosen then take out the. filement.

What support told me to try was stopping the cooling fan (the one in the middle) with my finger and then adding a piece of tape to keep it stalled. This allows the heat to “creep” into the cool end (wait about 10-20 minutes) and then you should be able to get things moving again.

Hahaha… 30min soak time on a public forum, ambitious expectations. :slight_smile: Try a 3D prinitng specific IRC channel would be a better bet for instantaneous anasers.

Try giving the idler screws a few turns to ensure enough clamping force is being applied to feed the filament through the extruder.

b-morgan’s input to induce heat creep is probably the best idea.

Removing the nozzle, heating up the block and pushing through the filament could work also if its just a blockage in the nozzle.

If removing the heat block, wrap the spanner or tool with tape to prevent a short with the autolevel conductor.

I have the same problem with my Mini. Filament started jamming about ⅔ through my gray and black PLA filaments. I thought maybe it was the cheap filament???

I have been able to free by running the temp up and working on it, then pushing new filament through the nozzle, which seems to have no problem flowing initially.

I have several questions.

  1. Why does jamming occur after 2 hrs of printing, or ½ hr.? Why not immediately on startup. What is it during the run time that makes it want to jam. Can cheap filament do that? This sounds like an operating condition that occurs after some period of run time. What could that be?

  2. One reply forum above seems to indicate excess cooling on the upper part of the hot end freezing the filament. Or is it insufficient cooling on the upper part? If the cooling is the problem, we could change the fan speed controls.

  3. Why does it start 2 years down the road? Worked fine for 2 years. (Just started a run for the 4th time. Working fine now. Will see how long it lasts.)

1.&2. Sounds like you have the dreaded “heat creep”. This occurs when the heat from the hot end “creeps” up through the heat break into the upper part (cool end). It is caused by insufficient cooling of the upper part. It can be lessened by lowering the temperature (of the hot end / nozzle) or adding additional cooling in the form of an external fan (desktop type).

When you first start a print, the upper part is cool enough that the filament passing through it says solid. As time goes on the “heat creep” causes the upper part to get hot enough that it starts to melt the filament, and some filaments expand as they start to melt which causes a jam (in the hot end, they completely melt).

  1. Make sure there’s no dust in the always-on fan that is cooling the upper part. Some compressed air might help here. Make sure that fan is spinning like it did when it was new, a 2 year old fan may not spin as fast as when it was new.

It could be the filament depending on the type, age, quality. If you are having jams with PLA, PLA loves cooling and you can almost never have too much. If you are having jams with ABS or some other “high temperature” filament, then cooling the upper part without effecting the print becomes trickier. If you are using old filament (i.e. how long since it was purchased), try some newer stuff and see if that helps.

OK, good points. Let me add some observations: (just had a part fail at 79%)

  1. Had a lot of problems with warpage on big parts, so I enclosed the unit with plastic with a trap door on the front for access. That obviously raised the temp inside.

  2. When I would pull out the offending filament, about 1.5 in would be a solid straight cylinder, indicating heating and expanding to fill the upper tube. Looks like enclosing and jamming are mutually exclusive op conditions.

  3. I lowered the hot end temp to 195 from 205 (PLA), but that didn’t seem to make any difference. That tells me the jamming threshold temp is pretty low - maybe just above the cleaning temp.

Will try cleaning fan, fins, etc, and setting fan control on 100%. May reduce enclosure to three sides or 3.5. Any suggestions on stopping warpage on an “open” frame?

I encountered the heat creep problem once on my mini – that was enough. I added the bigger heat-sink cooling fan, and never encountered that problem again. Highly recommended, and dirt-cheap compared to the pain and effort of unjamming a tool-head.

I found the bolt (singular…) that holds the extruder fan on can loosen and let the fan move away a little. Make sure its tight and pushed in close to the fins. I recently ran some CF-PC through one of mine with a nozzle temp of 280c with an insulated enclosure around the machine. Yes, I changed it to an A2 nozzle. Ive run hundreds of hours on 3 machines enclosed with abs parts in some cases over 1kg each, and the only time I saw a problem was an issue with that fan or the mounting bracket moving away.

This thread helped me sort out a stuck filament…

Taping the heatsink fan to stop it spinning, heating the hot end to 220 and letting it sit for 10 minutes did the trick.

I’ve had my Lulzbot Mini 2 for 5 days and have already experienced many of the joys of 3d printers:

bed adhesion failure 4 hours into a print, resulting in a softball sized mess of angel hair pasta: Regular sanding with 2000 grit every 3-4 prints seems to be helping.

potential USB issue, 2 hours into a print it just stopped printing…no errors. Only printing from SD Card now.

If you are printing to PEI then you would want to make sure the PEI is clean before starting the next print. I used to wipe mine frequently with Isopropyl (which seems to be a precious resource with current pandemic).

These days I print on the all-glass side of the bed instead of the PEI side and my new favorite product is “MagiGoo”. It helps the filament adhere but is only “about the same” as using PVA glue-stick. MagiGoo is more of a release agent in that, once you allow the bed to cool-down, parts are easily removed (they practically break free on their own… but only on a cool bed.)

As for the USB reliability… I haven’t run into a USB issue with my printers. I used to print from my mac via USB. These days the printer is in a different room. I use a Raspberry Pi (a small single-board computer roughly the side of a deck of playing cards) as a print server running OctoPrint (the OS image is called OctoPi and the service is runs is called OctoPrint). There is an OctoPrint plug-in already integrated into Cura LulzBot Edition … so it’s really easy to set this up.

I am printing on the PEI side and sanding has been important to make it work. I may try switching to the glass side if I have adhesion problems in the future.

Thanks for the MagiGoo tip. I’ll check it out.

I have several Raspberry Pis. I’ll check out OctoPrint too.

My printer lives in my office with me since we’re newlyweds :slight_smile: It will move to the garage as I start printing filaments with VOCs.