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PLA stuck in extruder barrel

Posted by Danmst3k 
PLA stuck in extruder barrel
September 15, 2015 03:55PM
On my Prusa i3 2020 I there's PLA fillament stuck in the barrel that goes to the hotend. My print quality went downhill so I tried running the nozzel at a higher temp and I think that's what caused the PLA to melt in the barrel. Turns out my nozzel was partly clogged. Any thoughts on how to remove the PLA without messing up the PTFE tube inside? I whatched some tuts on youtube but they didn't deal with the same issue I'm having. I removed the barrel so I could figure out where the problem was. One idea I had was to wave it over a gas stove in my kitchen to slightly melt the PLA and then try to force it out but I'm worried that will melt the PTFE.

Thanks in advance,
Re: PLA stuck in extruder barrel
September 15, 2015 05:09PM
If the barrel is metal you can do that, and if the ptfe tube melts, I'd just replace it. It's not expensive.

PLA is difficult to drill but it will get soft easily at lower temperatures. You could also use boiling water to soften the PLA, the ptfe will survive 100 degrees. While it's not melting it may get soft enough to get it out using a thin wooden stake or something that doesn't damage the barrel.

If PLA gets too hot it will turn into unmeltable solid piece, you'll need to burn in out. That will be more difficult than making it soft enough to coax it out.
Re: PLA stuck in extruder barrel
September 15, 2015 06:02PM
Have you tried unscrewing the heater block and heat break from the barrel? This should get the plastic at either end to loosen.

Master Tinkerer
Re: PLA stuck in extruder barrel
September 16, 2015 01:30PM
Thanks guys. I was actually able to just pull the ptfe tube right out of the barrel without too much trouble and then I was able to pull out the clogged PLA from the ptfe tube.
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