Air Printing due to clog or Jam

Description of the problem: The material stops being extruded during the print due to a clogged nozzle or a filament jam. The printer will continue it's program and "Air Print" the filament will have a groove worn into it at the point of contact with the geared extruder pulley.

Material: Any type of material.

Settings: Make sure that the extruder temperature corresponds to the one recommended for the material you are using.

Comments: You may find that use of low quality filaments is more susceptible to clogging due to foreign matter within the filament or through rigorous retractions and extractions your filament can get degraded by the gear teeth and will stop extruding. Use of filaments that R3DP has thoroughly tested is recommended.

CLOG:  Your Nozzle may clog due to foreign matter in the filament. This matter may be a particulate that if the temperature were high enough it can be forced out the tip. Follow steps below to recover a clogged Nozzle. A Clog will also occur at the start of a print if your "Nozzle Offset" is set too low causing dragging of the nozzle on the Build Plate.

JAM: A Jam is most likely to be caused by higher than Normal temperature in the "Cold Section" of the nozzle.  The cold section is the threaded portion of the Nozzle. Heatsink should always be cool to the touch during operation.See the Article: "Air Printing due to Dirty Cooling Fan"

A Jam may also be caused by a loose Heatsink. Confirm that the Heatsink is finger tight on the Nozzle.


To eliminate a filament jam:

  1. Open the filament drive door by squeezing the drive door toward the extruder and turn the drive door lock knob counterclockwise to get to the filament gear. Refer to the article "Loading filament into extruder" for a detailed description and photos.
  2. Remove the top filament portion (coming from the filament spool).
  3. Ensure your nozzle is heated to the extrusion temperature of your filament.
  4. Using tweezers from your tool kit, gently wiggle out the filament upwards and through the open filament drive door.
  5. Clean out the filament drive gear teeth with pressurized air or simply by blowing out the ground filament.

To recover a clogged nozzle:

Method 1:

  1. Open the filament access door
  2. Preheat the nozzle
  3. Increase the temperature in increments of 10 degrees while pushing on the filament to clear the jam. Do not exceed 260 for PLA

Method 2:

  1. Nozzle must be cool for a few hours
  2. Open the filament access door
  3. preheat the nozzle
  4. while the nozzle temperature is transitioning through around 120-150 give a sharp pull on the filament and you may find it pulls out the obstruction with the partially softened material.

Method 3:

  1. remove the nozzle by following the "Nozzle Replacement" Article.
  2. On a workbench install the nozzle in a metal fixture or vice
  3. using a torch or hot air gun
  4. heat the brass to burn out the material
  5. Try to push material through the nozzle while it is hot, ensure to push the material continuously so that it does not carbonize in the tip.

Note: Method 3 may destroy the nozzle and is a last resort.

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