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Removing filament from extruder manually

Last updated 2 years ago
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In case there is a clog in your hotend, the filament might grind against the Bondtech-gears and be damaged enough so it can't be unloaded. It might snap right above the PTFE-tube when you try to pull it out by hand. In this case, the filament will need to be removed manually.

Idler door open

Open the idler door by removing the spring-loaded tension-screw(s), on the left side of the extruder.

MK3S/MK3S+/MMU2S extruder (single idler screw)MK3 extruder (two idler screws)
 

MMU2S idler door

On the MMU2S, due to the "chimney" (IR-sensor-holder-mmu2s), you must remove the whole idler door by unscrewing the hinge- screw (red arrow) on the back. 
 

Where did it break?

Use Method 1Use Method 2

If the filament snapped right at the edge of the PTFE you should start with Method number 1, where you try to push the filament through the hotend. If there is 0.5-1cm sticking out of the filament, reaching the Bondtech filament-pulley starts with Method number 2, pulling it out with pliers.

Setup

  1. Go to the LCD Menu -> Settings -> Temperature -> Nozzle and set the temperature to 280º C. Wait for 3-5 minutes with the hotend at this temperature.
  2. In the LCD menu in Settings, select Disable steppers.
  3. Go to the  LCD Menu -> Settings -> F. Autoload, so Autoload will not interfere.
From now on the hotend will be hot! Avoid touching the lower part of the extruder (heaterblock + nozzle)!

Method 1: Pushing the filament through the hotend

Using another piece of filament, a thin (1-1,5 mm) Allen-wrench or same diameter wire, at least 4.5 cm long for the MK3(s) and 6 cm long for the MMU2s, you are often able to simply push it through.

 

  1. Feed in from the top of the extruder your tool of choice, down past the Bondtech-gear, and on top of the stuck filament.
If you are able to push the stuck filament down the PTFE-tube with an Allen-wrench, switch to using filament after about 1-2 cm. Some Allen-wrenches may only be long enough to get it started.
  1. In case the filament starts being extruded from the bottom, Keep pushing the filament to clear the nozzle and see the color change.

Method 2: Pull out filament with pliers

While hotend is heated to 280° C, firmly grab the filament with the needle-nose pliers that came with the printer. Slowly drag/feed the filament upwards, bit by bit, through the top of the extruder body, until it is completely removed from the PTFE-tube.

The filament can get stuck on geometry on the path up through where it is fed. It is also possible to pull it out of the idler door.

 

After removing the filament, do a Cold pull (MK3S/MK2.5S) to ensure you have fully cleared the clog.

Nope, it is still stuck

If none of these methods work, it means that the tip is not touching the part of the hotend that is heated and is stuck in the PTFE-tube. In this case, you must extract the PTFE-tube. Follow the guide linked below to resolve it.

You will probably need to heat the hotend to extract the PTFE-tube with the stuck filament.
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