I'm building my own 3D printer (custom design, made by me and cut using a water cutting machine) but I have always had problems with the hotend clogging.

I have had four hotends:

  • a J-Head;
  • a full metal;
  • a full metal made by me and;
  • my current hotend which is just a block of aluminium with a plaster cold-end 100% homemade with no precision at all.

Believe it or not, this hotend is the only one that has finished a whole print (about 40 minutes), all of the others, with or without fans, haven't managed to finish one!

Well... this hotend has a 1.5mm hole so I guess that that's why it can print.

The problem with all of the others was that the 1.75mm PLA that I'm using clogged the hotend after two minutes.

Now I would like to buy a new, more precise, hotend. I'm using a Bowden extruder, can you suggest a good hotend?

This is my printer:

Print1 Print2

  • $\begingroup$ Please consider reconstructing your question. At this point, it is unclear what direction to look in to answer your question. Perhaps provide clearer information on your machine design and/or what issues you're having with your current extruder? $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Mar 2 '16 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ OK, my question is: what do you think is a good extruder that does not clog and that is good to use with a Bowden 1.75mm setup? $\endgroup$ – Formenti Matteo Mar 2 '16 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ @FormentiMatteo, I agree with tmb0115 that your question is very diffuse at the moment. I would consider rewriting it to better build up what you are wondering about. Also, please try to ask the question in such a way that it isn't primarily opinions based since such questions tend to have a very short lived value, without any definite answer. $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Mar 3 '16 at 6:49
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    $\begingroup$ Have you considered that the problem isn't the extruder, but rather the filament you're putting through it? Is it kept clean + free of dust? Has it been exposed to air? If you know for sure that the filament is good, then yeah, look at your extruder. $\endgroup$ – Martin Carney Mar 3 '16 at 23:43
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    $\begingroup$ Please also be precise with the vocabulary, since hunting around what people might have meant is unnecessary work for everyone involved. In this particular case I guess by extruder you actually mean the hot-end itself, right? $\endgroup$ – kamuro Mar 7 '16 at 13:14

To make the suggestion of Martin Carney a real answer and shift things away from comments:

Yes, moisture and dust can be a problem. Find elaborations on the moisture here: Does filament have to be stored in an airtight environment.

Also, dust getting into the hot end won't make extrusion easier. (link with suitable information needed). There are filament cleaning 'devices' for print on thingiverse, have a look at things with the tag: filament cleaner.

There are some other things that are mostly discussed in relation to hot-end clogging, which are printing speed, retract setting and what I would call hot-end resistance. For all of those, read through this thread and refine your question according to what you tried and what the results were: Repeatedly Clogged Printrbot Simple Extruder.


To add to kamuro's answer, with respect to the dust aspect, the page Filament Not Extruding/ Clogged Hot-End makes a couple of relevent points:

  • Dust collector not applied around the filament: Filament attracts a lot of dust, which can potentially all come into the hot-end. In some dusty environments this could cause a clogged hot-end within a few hours.
  • Clog from the inside of the hot-end: It could be that a big dust particle is inside the hot-end tip blocking it from the inside. This can be solved by handdrilling the nozzle from the inside with a 2mm drill provided in our webshop.

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