Nozzle Clog -- Help!

So, I’ve had my mini for a little over a year now, and it has been a constant source of joy in our household. A couple weeks ago, though, the nozzle clogged up in the middle of a print, and I am out of ideas on how to fix it.

I read the official page about unclogging hot ends, but it seems to assume that I can get filament down into the melted part and use that to pull some out. So far, I haven’t been able to. It broke off flush with the top when the nozzle clogged and while I’ve been able to get some of the filament out between tweezers and a drill, I can’t get the filament down low enough to where it would merge with what’s melted.

I tried melting the filament on the side of the hot end and sticking it down the hole, hoping it would grab onto something – no dice. It gets stuck, but not well enough to pull anything up.

I tried sticking a safety pin up the nozzle, both hot and cold. It can’t get very far, and doesn’t seem to let anything through.

I’d cheerfully clean out the nozzle with a screwdriver or something if I could get it off, but the instructions for getting it off and back on are a little intimidating, and I’m sure it’s even worse if the thing is full of hot plastic.

I thought – well – I’ll just replace the whole tool head. Those instructions don’t look too bad . . . and it turns out the store’s out of the one I would need!

I’m not sure how it got stuck. I’ve only ever used filament from the Lulzbot store with this – occasionally HIPS, occasionally PLA. I had just finished a print with some blue PLA and switched over to the red HIPS. It got about an hour into the print before clogging up. For a while, I could get to extrude the tiniest little pig tails by pushing really, really hard on the top. Now I can’t get it to do even that anymore.

Does anyone have any last ditch methods for unclogging a nozzle? I really miss my printer. :frowning:

We decided to take the tool head apart to get better access to the nozzle to remove the plastic. That worked pretty well, but we broke a fragile wire in the process and the whole thing is beyond our ability to repair now. Ah well.

Well the other way to clear a clog would be to soak the nozzle in a solvent which can dissolve the filament.
ABS - Acetone
HIPS - Limonene

Try 30-32AWG solid wire is .25 and .20mm, should be able to get into the nozzle opening completely… nichrome or magnet wire is usually my best bet to finding a solid wire in this small a gauge. A safety pin is probably the next best thing, but could enlarge the nozzle.

The small wire which was broken is probably the thermister… you can buy spares from

Hope that helps.

If you haven’t already looked, I-T-Works ( may have spare new or refurbished tool heads. I bought one for the school where I’m helping out. They carbonized some PLA in the hot end on one of their first prints. A couple of the 5 & 6 grade kids did the tool head replacement following the instructions on the Lulzbot web site with just minimal oversight from me.

We do also have a few spare parts for the tool head we keep around just in case. I figured having the whole spare head on hand wouldn’t hurt to maximize their up-time (of course, as soon as I bought it, we’ve had no more troubles).

Also bead wire works, or at least it does for me.

On the nose! It’s like you’ve done this before. Thank you so much for the link – I hadn’t realized there was somewhere else I could go for spare parts, and was really, really missing my printer.

Email Jamie at He runs the place. If there’s a part you need or can’t identify, he’s always been extremely helpful finding it!

Up and running again. Thanks so much!