Clearing a Jammed Hot End in 5 Minutes

If your plastic curls as it extruders from the nozzle, you might have a jammed hot end. Here are two easy techniques to clear a jam.

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Guitar String Trick

What you’ll need:

  • A jammed extruder
  • high E guitar string

Step 1: Raise your extruder high enough that you can get both hands under it with room to work.

Step 2: Heat nozzle to your filament’s melting point, then retract and remove filament from hot end.

Step 3: Fish the guitar string up through the nozzle being careful not to burn your fingers.

Step 4: Cool nozzle to <160°C and tug guitar string up through the hot end. Globs of plastic should solidify around the string making them easy to pull out.

Step 5: Clip off the plastic that solidifies on the guitar string, and repeat as necessary. I sometimes use the entire length of string.

 

3mm Extruder Trick

What you’ll need:

  • A jammed extruder that uses 3mm filament
  • 1 meter of 1.75mm filament

Step 1: Heat your extruder, then retract and remove the 3mm filament.

Step 2: While extruder is still hot, insert 1.75mm filament. Use it like a plunger.

Step 3: Cool the extruder with 1.75mm still inside.

Step 4: When extruder cools past 160°C, pull out the 1.75mm filament. It should bring some of the clogged filament with it.

Step 5: Repeat as necessary.

 

Plugs of clogged plastic that were removed from a jammed hot end with 1.75mm filament.

Plugs of clogged plastic that were removed from a jammed hot end with 1.75mm filament.

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