3D Printing Solution for Clogged Filament Sensors

Cleaning and Maintaining Proper Operation of Filament Sensors

When printing on a large format 3D printer you want the process to be time effective and run smoothly. If your filament sensor is clogged that can really create a problem for you. We sat down with one of our engineers to find out what you can do to fix this issue as well as proper sensor maintenance solutions. To read more detailed instructions on this process, Click Here Sarah interviews one of our 3DP technicians, Adnan, regarding the common problem of clogged filament sensors. He explains the potentials causes of blockage, as well as in-house solutions to remedy. Why do filament sensors become clogged? A major roadblock to an efficient filament feed is when the filament excretes some kind of a drag or friction on the feed during operation. With the multitude of various manufacturers of filament comes the possibility of inconsistencies in filament diameter. This can impede the filament from moving freely, leading to blockage. One other cause of clogged sensor can be a dirty shop area that allows dust and debris into the filament sensor. When this happens either the nozzle gets jammed or a part winds up incomplete, with all the rough surfaces on top of it. How do we solve it? We have three methods of solving the problem:
  1. Canned air duster technique: Take the filament sensor off the mounting bracket. Find the filament entrance and exit, then use the canned air duster to blow air through the inlet using moderate pressure.
  2. Cleaning brushes: For the next one you use the brushes that come with the machine. Start with the smallest brush first and insert it from the entries of the filament sensor, making sure it goes in and comes out the other way. Then you just turn it in your hand to make sure it cleans it up, and then take it back out. This should remove any kind of dirt from the formal sensor.
  3. Guide chip: Take a look at the guide chip that is inside the fluid sensor. Start by unscrewing the mounts that are at the end of the sensor. Once the guide tube comes out of it, visually inspect it to make sure that there are no visible kinks or bends, and make sure that it is looks a whole complete circle to you. If it is bent, just use your hand and straighten it out. That you should be rid any problems that the feed has, and depending on the work environment or filament abrasion, you may want to consider performing this task as a maintenance routine.

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