Filament Not Loading

If you are having trouble with loading filament in your hot end, try the following steps to troubleshoot. If you can confirm that the filament is feeding properly into the hot end but nothing is extruding, please check out our troubleshooting tips for "Clogged Nozzle" instead.

The filament has a very specific path way it needs to follow in order to pass thru the extruder and exit out of the nozzle of the hot end. The most common issue for not being able to load filament is usually a result of having a curved end of the filament you are feeding.

Ideal Preparation of Filament End

It is best practice to make sure the end of the filament you are feeding into the extruder meet the following criteria:

  • approximately 25mm of filament end have been bent straight
  • the end of the filament has been cut at an angle
  • it is a fresh length of filament with no deformations (possibly from the extruder gear or previously having been in the hot end)

Please ensure that the filament end you are feeding into the extruder meets the above criteria.

If the issue persists, we should look into the drive mechanisms of the extruder.

Inspect Extruder Drive Components

The extruder drive gear is attached to the extruder motor, this is the component that grips onto the filament (with pressure from the extruder idler) and drives it downwards thru the hot end. If it is not in optimal condition, extrusion or feeding of filament will not behave properly.

Some common issues that may occur with the extruder drive gear:

  • Loose pulley: ensure that the set screw of the extruder drive gear is secured against the flat of the extruder motor shaft
  • Gummed up teeth: the extruder gear has teeth on it which bite into the filament, ensure that the teeth are clean and clear of any plastic
  • Extruder gear misalignment: the filament has to travel in a very specific path, any sort of deviation will create friction and cause the extruder to either misdirect the filament or be unable to feed it properly. Visually check to see that the groove of the extruder gear passes directly inline with the top of the hot end PTFE tubing.

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