How To Clean 3D Printer Nozzle: Quick And Easy
It's a common struggle with 3D printers that nozzle gets jammed or clogged. Each 3D printer is different for sure different manufacturer has their recommendations on how to clean 3D printer nozzle. It all depends on you which method you will follow or what would work best for you.
Unclog The Nozzle
Some indicators that the nozzle is blocked are when the filament is not extruding evenly, it may extrude very thin filament, or completely nothing comes out of the nozzle. Here are some of the methods on how to clean a 3D printer nozzle.
1. Brush the nozzle from the outside - This is considered the easiest solution to a jammed nozzle. All you need is a brush to use to clean the nozzle from the outside. Although this will only clear the tip of the nozzle and may not solve severe clogging scenarios, it's an easy way that you can do when you perform your 3D printer maintenance.
It is highly recommended to use a wire brush to eliminate the burnt material that may have gathered in the nozzle. Use a brush with brass thread to prevent damage from your nozzle.
2. Push the jam out with a pin - If a minimal amount of melted filament clogs your nozzle, you can push it out with a small pin or needle. They said acupuncture needles are perfect for this method. To remove the clog using this method, you will need to heat the nozzle to soften the material, but make sure not to melt it. This can be done by using a hot air gun. Remove the jam by pushing it out using a needle.
3. Cold pull with nylon filament - If your nozzle is clogged with a significant amount of melted filament, try to do a "cold pull" with another filament. A nylon filament would be the best option because of its high melting temperature.
To perform the cold pull method, you need to dismantle the extruder set up to manually push a filament through the nozzle. To start, heat the nozzle to 250 °C and leave it at this temperature for about 5 minutes. Gently but firmly, push the nylon filament through the nozzle. With the nozzle's temperature, the previous filament that caused the clog should have completely melted and extruded along with the nylon. Keep doing this until you can no longer see any old filament coming out with the nylon.
Let your nozzle cool down to room temperature, making sure that the nylon filament can re-solidify. Next, heat the nozzle up to 120 to 130 °C. This will just be hot enough to soften the filament so you can pull it out. Give the filament a strong pull of the nozzle to leave an impression that resembles your nozzle's shape at the end of your filament. The cold pull should push out the dirt or loose materials that were not removed in the first part of this process.
You can perform this process several times until you remove all the leftover materials. If pulling out the filament is too hard on your first try, try a higher temperature setting for the cold pull method.
4. Remove and soak the nozzle in acetone - In this method, you will need acetone, torch and a very thin wire. Simply soak the nozzle into the acetone for fifteen minutes to remove the outside dirt. Place the nozzle on a stone, burn it using your torch for one minute. You will then see slight changes in the color. With the use of the thin wire, clear the nozzle hole. In case the wire can't go through, do not force it through the hole. You don't want to scratch or damage the internal wall of the nozzle. Instead, repeat the burning process with the torch.
How to clean a 3D printer nozzle may be a piece of work. Try to do regular maintenance on your 3D printer and always check the nozzles. Do not wait for it to be severely blocked before you do something.