I fixed my clogged nozzle!


#1

So, I was having a LOT of trouble extruding. Lots of clicking and clunking from the feeder and missing or really horrible layers. I noticed the filament that was extruding was thin and curling at the nozzle. I was supicious of a clog, but decided to swap filaments just in case. New filament, same problem.
Turns out, my nozzle was clogged up pretty bad. I disassembled the printhead by taking the bottom cover off using a 5/64" allen wrench, removing the nozzle with a 5/16" socket and heating the nozzle up with a tiny blowtorch while gently holding it in a pair of pliers.
A tiny bit of smoke and some gunky melted plastic dripped out. I still couldn’t see all the way through the nozzle, so I took a piece of 26 AWG kanthal wire that I use for my electronic cigarette coils and poked it through the hole from the top. It popped right through (it’s pretty much an exact fit) and that was that. I put it all back together and now it’s printing and feeding perfectly again.
I realize I should have taken pictures, but it’s pretty straightforward. Just thought I’d share in case anyone else feels like they have a clogged nozzle that’s causing problems. Trust me, I checked everything else I could think of first. You perform this at your own risk.

Also, I can’t confirm this, but the nozzle looked nearly identical to these: http://www.amazon.com/Printer-0-4mm-Extruder-Nozzle-1-75mm/dp/B00L4UXQ42/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1459394484&sr=8-2&keywords=printer+nozzle
I’m thinking about picking some up just in case (and to see if they are compatible).


Replacement nozzles? Printing with abrasive filament
#2

I would certainly like to know if that is a compatible nozzle. Please keep us informed.

Once the FLUX Store opens and possible to buy replacement/spare extruders, I would like to replace the nozzle with some stainless steel ones.


#3

that would be interesting to know. Would be nice if we are able to change nozzles. if the nozzle you see is identical then maybe these ( http://www.amazon.com/Signswise-Variety-Printer-Extruder-Makerbot/dp/B00SWQHZRK/ref=lp_9556785011_1_1?srs=9556785011&ie=UTF8&qid=1459397251&sr=8-1 ) would be extremely useful to buy. A quick configuration of the FLUX to work with the different nozzle types (i believe i saw that you are able to tell it the nozzle type used .4mm).

LET US KNOW.


#4

Ok,

This post has me slightly worried about sourcing tools for this machine.

I assumed the sizes would be metric…

5/16ths??? etc

I have been told by US companies not to try to use the metric sizes for fear of stripping screw heads…


#5

Thanks! I saw those once before, but didn’t see them with my quick search for the first post. I’ve gone ahead and ordered the “variety pack” you linked. I saw that setting for nozzle size in the software as well. Hopefully it will work out.
Also, I posted elsewhere about wanting some more “metal lubricant” as I’m running low on the included pot.
I ordered this since it has good reviews, sounds similar, and contains PTFE: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0081JE0OO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?encoding=UTF8&colid=1QDP462V7SS28&coliid=I1KDEA5I4JTZ19
Oh, and I added this breakaway magnetic micro-usb cable to hopefully keep my micro-usb port from falling into the machine as has been plaguing so many users:http://www.amazon.com/HKW-Magnetic-MicroUSB-Charging-Cable/dp/B01AW3XF6U?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref
=od_aui_detailpages00

They should all arrive Firday! I will post the results sometime this weekend. Thanks for the encouragement guys! FOR SCIENCE!!!


#6

5/16" is what I had on hand and it fit the nozzle exactly. I dunno?! I expected metric as well.


#7

If the extrusion is thin and curling, just poke the nozzle with a 26 AWG wire while heating. No disassembly needed actually.


#8

That certainly would have helped, but I didn’t actually think to use the wire until I already had it apart. Good call though, I’ll certainly do this next time. Either way. it was refreshing to see some of the innards of the hotend. Everything looked to be put together very well. And it’s nice to know that the nozzle is potentially replaceable and cleanable going forward. I was honestly afraid of some physical object clogging the nozzle (like a metal flake or something), but I am reasonably sure it was just gummed up with burnt plastic. I’m proud to have it cleaned out and printing smooth as butter again.


#9

http://imgur.com/a/NadPy

Check out that gallery (without quotes). At the bottom are the “variety pack” of nozzles that you linked. That one is the 0.4mm and shows the similarity, but slight difference to the stock nozzle. I’m gonna give it a shot and see if it has any issues. Then I might try out the 0.2mm nozzle as well. It screws in fine, but sits a little proud, although it is seated well. I think it’ll be okay, but it might heat differently. Still, it would be nice to tell people there are parts available that work. No offense Flux team, but some of us really want backups sooner than later. I thought this may help all of us for the time being.


#10

Well, filament loading and calibration went off without a hitch. I’m printing the hollow 20mm test cube right now. So far, I almost think it works better then the stock nozzle. Either way, this nozzle seems to work just fine. It’s holding temp as usual, printing nice clean lines, if I didn’t know it was a different nozzle, I wouldn’t be able to tell. I’ll try out the 0.2 later, after a few more test prints with this 0.4. As always, I’ll keep y’all posted. Cheers!


#11

More updates: I started a 13.5 hour print last night before I went to bed. Still using the new 0.4 nozzle. Woke up to the print still going and looking wonderful. The first layers had some issues, wrinkling and such, but it was nice and smooth by the third solid layer. I don’t attribute this to the nozzle, just a wonky setting or slight miscalibration. The print was still going when I left for work, but I’ll let you know how it turns out when I get home. One corner had lifted just a tiny bit, but it’s awfully difficult to avoid when the bottom of the model is a large flat surface nearly as wide as the build area.

If anyone’s curious, this is the model: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1329742


#12

Are you using Flux Studio or another 3rd party software?

Just for clarification, you changed the nozzle head and put a .04mm (the same as the one it came with), and its working fine?

I would really love to see the options, such as .2mm nozzle…resolution on that would be sick…


#13

I’ve only used Flux Studio to print so far. I mean, I’ve used Meshmixer and Netfabb to alter or correct models, but only Flux Studio for slicing and printing. I want to try Simplify3D, but haven’t got around to it yet.

To clarify, YES, I simply replaced the stock 0.4mm nozzle with the 0.4mm nozzle from the pack you linked to above. You can see the differences in the pictures I posted, but they screw into the heater fine and the 0.4mm nozzle is working great so far.

Once I finish the model I am currently working on, I will attempt to use the 0.2mm nozzle via only changing the nozzle diameter setting in Flux Studio and report back. It likely won’t be until tomorrow though.


#14

Nate, thank you for doing all those experiments and updating us… just curious, why are you testing the same size nozzles? quality issue? or just as a backup :).

Thanks.


#15

@shaali, I suspected that the best place to start testing was to only change the actual nozzle and nothing else, hence, the same nozzle opening size. The pack that I ordered contains 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5mm nozzles, so it seemed logical to change only one parameter at a time. I’m trying to be somewhat scientific in my approach in case something goes wrong. That way, it would be easier to identify the exact problem. As I reported, so far, the new nozzles seem to work okay. I was a little nervous that the new nozzle didn’t sit flush, nor was it the same diameter as the stock one. I hoped there would not be any feed issues or problems heating the nozzle. No problems so far. Next test will be to change the nozzle opening size and repeat the same procedure with the 20mm hollow calibration cube I used to test the new 0.4 nozzle. That should give me something relatively concrete to compare the two and see what’s different. The only thing I intend to change in the Flux software is the setting for nozzle size and then see how it goes. I did think it would be nice to have a backup, and also helpful to anyone else in case they manage to damage their own nozzles. Perhaps my experiments will give others confidence that there are standard parts available if needed (at least until the Flux store gets up and running fully). Hope that helps explain my reasoning!

tldr: I dunno :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#16

Thank you :slightly_smiling. In the same line of testing, I purchased two heads. I have ordered few nozzels and will be testing them.

Thank you for creating interest and method :slightly_smiling:

Sha.


#17

Just for knowing, do you have to heat up the nozzle to change it? Or can you just unscrew it, as soon as you unloaded the filament?


#18

I didn’t heat up the nozzle first. I used Flux Studio’s “unload filament” command as usual, then waited for it to cool down a bit. Then took the bottom cover off and used a socket wrench to remove the nozzle. Pretty simple.


#19

UPDATE!!!

The 0.2mm nozzle loaded filament just fine. It turns out there are SEVERAL places in the expert settings that need to be changed from 0.4 to 0.2, but I got them all. Also, apparently the first layer height cannot be larger than the nozzle diameter, lol! I changed it to 0.2 and then it sliced my hollow calibration cube just fine. The first few layers have gone down perfect. I’m printing at 0.1 layer height, so the cube should take about an hour. I’ll update again when it’s finished, but I’d say it’s good to go. The bridges on the top of the cube will be interesting though. Still, I’d call this experiment a success!! I can confirm that the 0.4mm AND the 0.2mm nozzles work just fine if the proper settings are correct.


#20

Did you buy the ones that I posted or different ones?

Would love to buy them but gotta make sure i’m buying the right ones…