Step-by-Step Solution to remove a broken filament from a tube?

One of the challenges a 3D printer owner faces but quite rarely is filament breaking inside the 3D printer, specifically within the PTFE tube. Since you’re reading this, I assume you’re dealing with this issue. Here are the reasons for breakage so that you can avoid this problem in the future, along with a detailed step-by-step guide to remove the broken filament from the 3D printer.

How to remove broken filament out of a 3d printer?

To remove the broken filament from your 3D printer, first, locate where it got stuck inside the PTFE tube or hotend’s heartbreak. Then, remove the remaining spool of filament. Unscrew the Pneumatic Coupler from the extruder. If there’s enough filament to grip with pliers, pull it out. Otherwise, unscrew the Pneumatic Coupler from the hotend and remove the filament.

Causes of Filament Breakage and Getting Stuck in 3D Printers

Once in a while, every 3D printer owner faces this issue, so you are not alone. Here are the main reasons why your filament breaks inside the PTFE tube or hotend and gets stuck.

Inconsistent Filament Diameter

If the filament has an inconsistent diameter, there’s a high chance it will definitely get stuck, as the PTFE tube’s inner diameter is 2mm and a filament’s diameter should be around 1.75mm (±0.05mm). 

If the filament is smaller than this diameter, it will cause under-extrusion, and if it’s larger than 2mm in diameter, the extruder will find it really hard to push which will lead to a filament getting stuck inside the PTFE tube. So, always make sure you purchase good-quality filament from a reputable manufacturer.

Moisture Absoption

Moisture is another main reason behind filament breakage, especially for filaments like PLA, ABS, and nylon. These filaments absorb moisture over time which makes them brittle and as a result, they become prone to breakage even with a little bend because filament loses flexibility due to moisture.

To save your filament from moisture, make sure you don’t leave it open especially if you live in  tropical countries. Instead, you can use an airtight container with desiccants inside as the airtight container stops the moisture from entering inside the container and the desiccants absorb any moisture inside the container which will keep your filament dry.

Improper Storage and Handling

Sometimes, improper storage and handling of filament create sharp bends and stress points on filamen. So, when the extruder applies pressure to push the filament into the PTFE tube and if there’s a sharp turn on the way then it will snap.

You can avoid this situation by storing your filament properly, protecting it from moisture. This will make sure filament doesn’t lose its flexibility and making sure to load the filament carefully is important as rushing in the feeding process often creates stress points whichleading to filament breakage.

How to Remove Stuck filament from 3D printer

Identify the Breakage Point

Identify the location of the filament break. If it’s near the edge of the PTFE tube, use Method 1. If it spreads about 0.5 to 1 cm, go for Method 2.

Method 1: Removing Filament Through Heat (For Edge of PTFE Tube)

  • First of all heat the nozzle to 200°C or heat it according to the melting temperature of the filament
  • Remove the Bowden tube from the from the hotend and extruder or if you find it hard like me then just unscrew the Pneumatic Coupler
  • Gently pull out the filament if there’s enough length to get a firm hold. If not then use a thin wire of 1.5 to 1.8mm diameter or another piece of filament to push the filament from the extruder toward the side of the hotend.

Method 2: Using Tweezers (For Spread Filament)

  • In this case it’s pretty easy, just heat the nozzle to 200°C heat it according to the melting temperature of the filament
  • Now use tweezers or pliers to hold the broken filament.
  • Slowly pull the filament out of the extruder until it’s completely removed from the PTFE tube.

Tip for the hard scenario

If the filament is stuck in the heartbreak then it will definitely be a headache. In this case you can use a vice grip and a drill bit of 1.5mm diameter. Use a vice to hold the drill bit then insert the drill bit into the heartbreak and gently push it towards the vice and as the drill bit goes inside the heartbreak, filament will come out.

Conclusion

if your 3D printer’s filament breaks, don’t worry! You can fix it. Just heat the nozzle and follow the above steps according to the situation and yes it will definitely gonna take some time to do it properly and that you can get your printer back on track. So, atlast i would say don’t get frustrated if it happens. 

FAQ

How do you get a broken filament out of a tube?

  • To get a broken filament out of a tube, heat the printer nozzle according to the material then gently pull the filament or use a thin tool like wire to remove filament stuck inside the PTFE tube.

How do you get a stuck filament out of a Hotend?

  • To remove stuck filament from a Hotend, just heat the nozzle according to the filament melting temperature then use tweezers or pliers to hold the filament, and pull it out slowly.

What happens if the filament breaks?

  • If the filament breaks, it will stop your printing process as now filament is stuck inside the PTFE tube and then you have to remove the stuck filament from your 3D printer to get back to normal.

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