In the 3D printing journey, everyone must have faced this problem of Filament Breaking in the Extruder while printing. This issue is very frustrating as it interrupts the printing process while in the middle. So, it’s essential to know the information about how to stop or prevent the filament from breaking in extruders. Read on to know different ways to prevent this problem.
In order to stop filament breakage while printing, it’s important to identify the root cause. Once the root cause is identified, then fixing can be easy.
3D printing is frustrating when it prolongs for a longer duration than expected, that too when filament breakage occurs and a lot of filament is left on the spool. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this situation by identifying and fixing the causes. We’ll go through those solutions in this post.
Why Does Filament Gets Snapped in the Extruder?
The Filament breakage issue can happen on most 3D printers like Ender 3, ANYCUBIC, Artillery, Anycubic, Prusa, or any other 3D printers you are using.
The reason for filament snap could be many and it’s not always the problem with your 3D printer. Below are some of the reasons why filament snaps in your extruder:
- Bad Storage of the filament
- Filament absorbing moisture
- Filament Spool is spinning too much
- Hot Enclosure
- PTFE tube & coupler flow is abnormal
1. Bad Storage of the filament
When the filament is not stored correctly, it can cause filament breakage in the middle of printing. This is because its quality gets lowered when exposed to the environment.
If the filament is exposed to humidity it absorbs moisture and also dust when placed in a dirty place. These things will get oxidized when heated up due to oxygen and causes further deterioration of the filament. Putting the filament in the sunlight could also spoil the filament quality.
All of the above are the reasons why you should store the filament correctly when they are not being used.
One of the solutions is to store the filaments in an airtight storage container surrounded by desiccant packs to protect the filament’s quality and life.
Amazon has a good product the IRIS Weathertight Storage Box which suits best for filament storage.
It has a lot of space to hold more filament without allowing any air to reach the filament. The opener has a rubber seal that blocks the air and dust completely.
This box is available in multiple sizes where the biggest size of 62 Quart can hold up to 12 filament spools. There are also smaller sizes that can hold fewer spools.
To add more effectiveness to your storage, you can buy desiccant packs (rechargeable) to block the moisture. This can be more appropriate if you are storing for a longer duration.
Wisedry [ 5 LBS ] Silica Gel Beads is an excellent desiccant that comes with 10 drawstring bags. The beads of this desiccant change their color from orange to dark green when their moisture absorption capacity is reached. Upon color change, simply dry them using an oven and reuse them.
2. Filament Moisture Absorption
The filament moisture absorption is a part of the filament storage, however, it deserves a section as this can majorly influence the filament breaking. Usually, the filaments are hygroscopic which indicates their tendency to absorb moisture from the surrounding environment.
Some of the materials that are prone to absorbing moisture are below:
The solutions to stop moisture absorption are below:
- Dry your filament using a filament dryer / Oven / Food grade dehydrator for 2 to 3 hours
- Print while the filament is in the dryer
- Use airtight storage boxes with desiccant packs as discussed above
3. Filament Spool Spinning Too Much & Bending of The Filament
When the extruder pulls the filament, it creates pressure on the filament spool causing it to spin too much. The spinning is more when there is less filament and the spool gets lighter.
When there is too much spin, it can make the filament bend and break in the middle of the printing. This is more likely to happen when the filament has moisture which reduces the flexibility and makes it more prone to breakage.
The solution to this is below.
The solution to this is to reduce the bending angle of the filament by placing the filament at a good place while feeding to the extruder.
As a solution, download the Filament Guide from Thingiverse. This can decrease the filament angle and prevents filament breakage.
4. Too Much Heat Inside Enclosure & Extruder
This problem happens when using the 3D printer enclosure as it keeps the internal environment very hot. Too much heat will sometimes make the filament softer before it reaches extruder gripping gears, pressure, and gets broken.
The solution to this problem is to open any one side of the enclosure to lower the internal printing temperature. Although this is not recommended, you can try this as a last solution if any other remedies doesn’t work for you.
5. Coupler & PTFE Tube Not Functioning Well
Ideally, the PTFE tube and coupler are meant to work together allowing the softer filament movement. If this is not the case, then there will be unnecessary pushing pressure at the back point of the filament. This pressure may snap or break the filament.
This breakage is more likely to occur with an enclosure as it keeps the internal environment hot and makes the filament soft.
Replace the factory parts with high-quality Coupler and PTFE tube-like SIQUK 4 Pieces Teflon PTFE Tube & 8 Pneumatic Fittings from Amazon.
It is extremely heat resistant upto 260 DegC due to its premium PTFE material. The M6 and M10 fitting have high durability.
This PTFE and Coupler combination is known for allowing softer filament movements than other ones.
Ensure the right fitting of PTFE tube and coupler for proper function.
I am Bheema Shankar. I have worked on SLS, CJP, DLP, SLA and FDM technologies at Think3D. Currently working as Process and application engineer at VEER-O-METALS PRIVATE LIMITED. I am always fascinated by the process of creating things layer by layer. This fascination led me to pursue a career in 3D printing technology. I am passionate about how 3D works and enjoy exploring new ways to improve the 3D printing process.