3D printers are streamlined technologies that make prototyping easier. It assures flexibility while designing a model in the 3D printers. Therefore, they are known worldwide for rapid prototyping.
The overall mechanism of a 3D printer is easy-peasy; hot filament gets melted and extruded through the nozzle on the print bed.
But there are times when the filaments fail to extrude and get stuck on the nozzle, ultimately making the printing difficult and tiring. If you are familiar with 3D printers, you know how annoying it gets when the filament sticks to the nozzle and does not come off easily.
To ease your trouble, I will uncover some effective ways to get rid of the nozzle’s stubborn filament residues. Besides, you will also see some major causes of filament sticking to the nozzle, so you can be careful beforehand.
Causes of Filament Stick to the Hotend
No matter how good your 3D printer is, it can stick to any surface and get stuck there until cleaned when the filament is hot. Here are some root causes why the 3D printer filament sticks to the nozzle;
Bad adhesion of the print bed
Only when the print bed is properly cleaned, you can maintain the bed’s adhesive. If there are residues on the print bed, such as oils, dust the filament might not stick to the print bed, and you would end up with bad print quality. Plus, the nozzle will be covered in filament if it’s not cleaned in the previous use.
Your fingerprints can be a cause for bad adhesion as well. Thus, I recommend using gloves before placing the glass bed in the printer.
More distance between the nozzle and the print bed
This is the most common problem that causes the filament to get stuck to the nozzle. The print bed should be 80% of the nozzle diameter; otherwise, you would have to drag the nozzle around the print bed if the nozzle is too small. Thus, the nozzle must be the perfect size to fully extrude the filament.
On top of that, if the distance between the nozzle and the print bed is far, it will cool down instantly and not stick to the print bed.
Type of filament
If the filament you are using is not high quality or does not get melted properly, it would not come out of the nozzle easily and stay there, blocking the nozzle. Thus, the adhesion highly depends on the type of filament you are using, along with the print bed texture and surface.
Ways to Prevent the filament from sticking to the nozzle
The filament sticking to the nozzle or the bed is very annoying, especially in the first few weeks of printing with the new filament. If your first project fails, there’s nothing to worry about as I got you covered. You can use all the feasible and effective methods to remove filament that keeps sticking to the nozzle.
Clean the print bed
The reason for filament sticking could be the adhesion of the print bed. If your print bed is made of glass, you must keep it clean before every use; avoid leaving fingerprints on the bed as it may affect the adhesion of the filament.
There are some great printers in the market, such as Creality Ender 3 V2 which has a feed-in feature that will avoid any blocking of the nozzle and have a continuous filament flow throughout the process.
But, not everybody can afford such high-end printers, so it’s best recommended to use a cheap printer but remember to keep the bed clean whatsoever. To clean, you can use soap, water, and a soft cloth to wipe out all the particles from the bed. Let it try completely, and only then use it.
If the filament is not adaptable to high temperatures, the melting will not be even. In the end, you will see some dense and some thin strands that will be very difficult to extrude. Hence, do a little market research and pick the filament that works in high temperatures, or you can try adjusting the heat setting of the 3D printer by increasing the temperature by 5 degrees each time.
This method is effective only if the filament is sticking initially during the first few layers, so don’t try to apply too much heat at once; just observe the first few layers and, if needed, only then increase the temperature.
Adjust nozzle height
If the distance between the nozzle and the print bed is more, the pressure will be extremely low, making the extrusion difficult. In such cases, what happens is the filament starts curling around the nozzle instead of falling on the print bed.
This is another major cause of filament sticking that you want to avoid. So, try adjusting the nozzle height to optimum until there is a very little gap between the print bed and the nozzle.
Make the printer bed hot
This method helps if you use an extremely hard filament, which cannot be melted easily. Well, if it’s a PLA filament, then there’s nothing to worry about. But if you are using some hard filament, make sure to set the printing bed temperatures high so when the filament falls on the bed, there will be proper adhesion and reduce the risk of sticking filament to the nozzle or bed for that matter.
Clean the nozzle
If the nozzle is preoccupied with the previous residue, it will disrupt the entire flow of the process. Thus, cleaning the nozzle after every 2 uses is crucial. There are two ways by which you can clean the nozzle;
- Use a thin steel brush to break or unblock the residues stuck inside the nozzle.
- Use a cold pull method where you need a nylon filament to insert in the nozzle. Set it to its melting temperature, this will melt the filament, and all the residues will stick to the nylon, and you can pull the pieces of debris easily.
3D printing problems are part of the first few projects, but that does not mean the problems cannot be tackled. Filament sticking to the nozzle is the biggest problem that can be avoided by applying a few effective cleaning methods, some of which are mentioned in this article. Hopefully, it was insightful. Thanks for scrolling through!