Horrible clog of the E3D. What went wrong? What can I do?

Discussion in 'E3D-v6 and Lite6' started by NikosK, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. NikosK

    NikosK Member

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    After finishing a 2 hour job without any issues I decided to print something small and loaded the file.
    both the hotend and the table reached the temp I needed and the print started. When I looked at the table I saw no fillament on the painters tape, but as I looked the hotend I saw it covered in pla. How this pla spill happened I don't know.

    i stopped printing and tried to disassemble the head with mixed results.
    In the pictures is the disassembled head. I can't remove the thermistor or the heating element because they are fused together.
    What can I do to clean this mess? If I use aceton will it destroy the thermistor or the element?
    WIN_20160327_17_44_14_Pro.jpg WIN_20160327_17_44_32_Pro.jpg WIN_20160327_17_45_24_Pro.jpg WIN_20160327_17_46_12_Pro.jpg WIN_20160327_17_46_23_Pro.jpg WIN_20160327_17_46_49_Pro.jpg
     
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  2. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    I ran into this once. Usually you get this kind of leakages when the nozzle is not fully tightened on the heat block. If I recall correctly, this step is done somewhere during commissioning. (Heat the block to 285°C and tighten the nozzle)

    As for the acetone; you can better heat the head to 200°C and wipe the block clean with a tissue.
     
  3. NikosK

    NikosK Member

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    thanks for the reply. I will try to heat the head to 200C. For how long? Is there any danger to burn anything on the head, except my fingers :) ?
     
  4. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    :) A minute or less is enough.
     
  5. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    The thermistor will keep it at the right temperature. You could probably clean most everything off at 180. Heat it up and brush off all the excess filament. Take it apart and follow the appropriate guide and assembly instructions .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr02pG58gaU
     
  6. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    I found that about 140c is a good temp for removing majority debris. It's enough to soften it, but not enough to turn it to liquid. You get big chunks off in one go. I'd then turn it up to 210 and remove the nozzle, and if possible the heatbreak. Judicious use of tools will keep your hands safe. While it's warm, see if you can also just loosen the grub screw on the PT100 thermistor and the screw(s) on the heat cartridge. Then let it all cool off. Once cool see what you can do to finish removing any all mess then re-assemble. Use the full e3d v6 assembly instructions and follow them to the letter, altering the process only slightly for the different PT100 thermistor. The final step to heat the block and give a final tighten removed my leak issues.
     
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  7. NikosK

    NikosK Member

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    thanks all for the replies.
    I managed to disassemby the head and clean most of the pla from the head. Also I managed to clean the thermistor without breaking it :)
    After that I put the head and heatbreak in aseton for a night to clean small patches of pla left.
    Today I tried to reassemble the head and this issue occured:
    I have a 0.4 nozzle which I had bought with the v6 kit originaly and used it. After a while I had that nozzle removed and a new 0.35 nozzle installed. While assembling the head I tried to use the old nozzle and I can screw it on the head only by using a wrench or else it stucks about after 1.5 turns. The new 0.35 head can be screwed by hand only so there is no issue with the head itselt. Using calipers i found a small diference in diameter between the two nozzles, which i don't know if it is responsible for this issue. I can' find any fault with the nozzle's thread.
    WIN_20160328_16_01_10_Pro.jpg WIN_20160328_16_02_03_Pro.jpg
    Also the cloged nozzle has some material inside even after the aseton bath, should I clean it or just mount the nozzle and heat it up?
     
  8. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

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    I don't think acetone is a suitable solvent for PLA. There is one, which I can't remember the name of, but it is pretty hazardous. I have always burnt the residue off as the brass nozzle can take it, then wire brush off the deposit but that is with my current kit, so the V6 may require different techniques.
     
  9. NikosK

    NikosK Member

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    The acetone does a good job but not perfect. There are polysterene solvents, like the ones used as glues in model making that completely disolve plastic, but they are toxic and I don't want to use them.
    Also i want to try an ultrasound bath in order to dislodge small particles of plastic. When i get my hands on one I will post the results
     
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  10. Kick2box

    Kick2box Well-Known Member

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    NaOH works fine, but you have to take care. It's producing some heat. Protect your eyes and use a metal box (no glass). 5 minutes will do.
    You find it as drain cleaner e.g.
     
  11. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    @Kick2box : DON'T use NaOH on aluminium ! Unless you want to dissolve your heater block ;)
     
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  12. Kick2box

    Kick2box Well-Known Member

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    Of course it's damaging aluminium, but the PLA will go very fast. Normally the main problem is the nozzle. There are no other relatively harmless solvents afaik, one of those is Tetrahydrofuran, which can give a pretty explosive mixture.
     
  13. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    Unless you buy the one that's butylated or work outside
     
  14. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

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    I have yet to experience removing a clogged mess from a hot end but what is wrong after using the heater via the front panel to melt most of the plastic off, in using a fine drill bit to clean the nozzle and a tap to clean out the plastic from the threaded hole? The threaded hole for the screw clamping the heater could be tapped out too. I'm sure E3D will give us the thread types used and the taps required would be a small outlay compared with a new extruder.

    Granted that this work would be easier off the printer ! A good reason to add connectors to all electrical connections so the whole assembly can be removed and changed more easily.
     
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  15. JesperJuul

    JesperJuul Well-Known Member

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    I use a cremebrulé tourch and a brassbrush when things get messy, its by far the easiest and fastest way to clean out. :D
     

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