Air Printing or Partial extrusion due to Dirty Cooling Fan

Description: Air printing can occur for a variety of reasons, it manifests itself as the printer continue it's motion with no filament being extruded. When this occurs you may see a "Step" being worn into the filament as the drive gear continues to turn but the filament has stopped. In some cases your print may complete however quality will be severely affected by a low extrusion rate as the filament will extrude at a rate less than intended. 

Time required: 5-20 minutes

Maintenance period: Once per 6 months of printing or more often if in dusty environment


Most common cause is that the heatsink on the nozzle is not providing optimal cooling for the nozzle, if this occurs the filament will soften and become jammed in the nozzle.


This becomes even more critical when extruding with the softer nylons.

  1. A dirty fan results in low airflow over the heatsink in turn allowing the extruder tube that should be relatively cold, to warm over time causing the filament to bind within the tube. Avoid applying spray 3D Lac with bed installed as the fan will ingest the overspray and attract any particulates in the air.
  2. A loose or dirty heatsink will result in the same failure mode, confirm before a print that the heatsink is secure and tight.

Dirty Fan Cleaning:Use your included tweezers to remove dust build up. To reduce the amount of cleaning required, avoid applying/spraying bed adhesive 3DLAC while the Quick-change Build Platform is installed. In extreme cases remove the fan assembly entirely and wash with warm water using a toothbrush (or similar) to scrub each fan blade. Dry by blowing on the fan or use a hair dryer.

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