Filament stuck; oozing out slowly

We just assembled our TAZ 5 yesterday and went through all the calibration/test print stuff, and our octopus was printing nicely. When it was almost complete, however, the extruder head was still moving, but no filament (ABS) was being extruded. I stopped the print and found that the filament was stuck and that the steel/aluminum gear that feeds the filament to the extruder head was grinding the filament (looks like it has a bite taken out of it) instead of feeding it.

I have tried to the remove the filament but it is stuck fast. I have tried removing it while extruding and reversing, but to no avail. The extruder head still slowly oozes filament out when it is heated up (240deg), however, so I am not sure how to unclog/see what is causing the stuck filament.

Any help would be greatly appreciated in this discouraging time!

You’ll need to remove the filament to get past that notch created by the hobbed gear. Heat the hotend to 240, then open the idler completely and pull the filament out… the notched area on the filament is probably weak so be gentle when pulling. If it breaks, get a pair of forceps or something better than the tweezers to grip the leftover filament.

Check the spool and make sure the filament comes off fairly easily. I’ve had spools where filaments “stick” together or bind. Lesson learned, I unroll a bit before each print or after I remove the last print… Its a bit tricky with a brand new spool since there’s a tendency for the filament to come out of the spool and wrap around the holder.