Thursday, December 22, 2011

Clears clogs fast!

I had seven nozzle clogs on Sunday, giving up at midnight.  Monday after work I started printing again and all went well until Tuesday when I had another clog.
I’ve been getting worried that I’m tearing the hotend down so much that I might eventually tear the threads up too much.  Using the nut lock technique to turn the nozzle on particularly wrecks threads.  So this time I just put the nozzle on as tight as I could get it by hand – I figure by now the barrel and nozzle have a close working relationship anyway.
When my nozzle clogged again Wednesday evening, I just pulled the insulation and thermistor off and removed the nozzle.  Then I turned the heat back on and extruded about 100mm of filament through the barrel, hopefully clearing out any burned crud in there.  I shut the heat off, cut the plastic at the end of the nozzle, and finger tightened another nozzle on.
It worked fine.  It’s not particularly faster than tearing the hotend down since I’ve gotten so good at that, but it wears things out less and with a little practice (which I do not particularly want to get) I might get faster at this method.  I need to recompile the firmware to allow extrusion while cold, since the thermistor is just hanging there it thinks it’s cold.  I don’t necessarily recommend this unless you’ve got some crappy plastic that’s clogging on you too, but it’s working for me.  Not heating the barrel up red hot and not having to re-thread the barrel into the thermal barrier should make things last longer.

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