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material broke while unloading


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Posted · material broke while unloading

I'm a teacher and a noob at printing. 

Our school's Ultimaker3 has been sitting idle for awhile now.  I started a print and noticed no material was coming out. I followed the instructions to clean the heads and tried again, but still not working.  I tried unloading the material and it appears the material broke at the feeder and is now stuck inside the tube.




Is there a way I can remove it?

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    Posted · material broke while unloading

    Many brands of PLA get brittle after 12 to 30 hours of being straightened.  So the PLA on the spool should be fine but the rest of it should be thrown away.  New PLA takes much longer than 30 hours to get brittle but even PLA that arrived today might have sat in a warehouse for a year.


    Anyway to answer your question, you can remove the bowden tube at either or both ends.  I think in this case it's easiest to remove the bowden on the print head.


    Push the print head to one of the 2 front corners of the machine (just good practice because sometimes you are pushing things very hard and don't want to bend the rods going through the head but in this case you don't need to push/pull hard).


    Then remove the little white clip - shaped like a horse shoe.  Don't lose it.  Then push down on that white ring (called a "collet") and simultaneously pull up on the bowden.  Usually I can do it with just my fingers but you might want to use needle nose pliers to push down on the collet.


    When you are done just slide the bowden back in (no need to push up or down on the collet) and then reinsert the horseshoe clip.


    You might have to remove both ends.  Don't forget which end goes to the feeder as that end has been modified to be cone shaped so the filament finds it's way into the bowden tube.  Mark the feeder end with some painters tape or a sharpie.

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    Posted · material broke while unloading

    To make @gr5's response a little bit more visual we also have a guide that describes the same steps with photo's here. The only thing I might add to these steps is to heat up your print core. The tip of the filament might be stuck in the nozzle/print core, and by heating it up it would get soft again and you could more easily pull the filament out of the print core. 

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