How to Clean a 3D Pen? 3 Easy Steps To Unclog It

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: February 18, 2021

Is your 3D printing pen giving you trouble? If you have a dirty or clogged 3D pen, cleaning it will ensure you get back to drawing in no time. For most people, 3D printer cleaning and 3D pen nozzle cleaning are complicated. To help you execute this task without damaging your 3D pen, use the information in this article.

3D Pen Cleaning

First, turn off the 3D pen and remove any remaining plastic filament. For this, you will need to long-press the power button for about two seconds. The filament will be pushed out through the pen’s back. Now brush the pen’s outer part, clear any jam with a pin. You can also use nylon filament. 

How Do You Clean a 3D Pen Nozzle?

One of the essential things to learn when you own a 3D pen is its nozzle cleaning techniques. Until you learn these tricks, you will most likely damage your 3D pen often. You’ll not love the experience of using it. 3D pen nozzle cleaning is similar to 3D printer nozzle cleaning. Here is how you go about it.

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The easiest way of nozzle cleaning is using a brush. Run the brush on the outer part of your 3D pen’s nozzle to remove any dirt. As you run the wire brush over the nozzles, residues that have been left in when drawing will come off.

Be warned, however, that using an extremely soft brush will not do the trick. On the other end, using a tough brush may damage your 3D pen or 3D printer nozzle if you are cleaning both. Another thing you need to note is that the damages on these parts void the warranty of your printer. It also reduces the life and service of your 3D pen.

When you print for long, some components may get burnt at the end to form plugs. A wire brush is effective since it can get rid of all kinds of plugs. The brush you pick also needs to have brass threads. This will help avoid uncalled for damages in 3D pen and 3D printer nozzle cleaning.

Desperate times call for other methods such as using a pin to clear the jam in your pen’s nozzle. A pin is effective in the process of removing tiny pieces of melted plastic filament through the extruder.

If you don’t have easy access to a pin, add small needles to your cart at a low price.  The price of buying the needle for maintenance is way less compared to shipping a new 3D pen when the old one gets damaged.

Heat your 3D pen’s nozzle making sure the temperature does not get to the filament’s melting point. It only needs to soften the material in your printer. Once the filament is soft enough, utilize the pin to push unwanted material out of the nozzle.

You have to insert the filament in the nozzle using your hands in the cold pull method. Here, you don’t have a choice but take apart the 3D pen tip.

Leave the 3D pen for about five minutes after you have heated it to 250 °C. You have the option of using either nylon or ABS to execute the cold pull methods.

Using your hands, push the filament into your 3D pen. It will melt since the temperature is high enough. The clogged materials flow through the extruder since it also melts together with the nylon filaments. Continuous extruding until there is no more clogged filament being extruded.

Give the 3D pen a few minutes to cool down before heating it again. This time around, let it go to around 130 °C to soften the filament. The next thing is pulling out any remaining unwanted piece of filament from the nozzle.

How Do You Unclog a 3D Pen in 3D Printing? (3 Easy Steps)

The processing of unclogging a 3D pen is simple with a few demands – first, power on the 3D printing pen. Something that users must do is ensure it is correctly connected to a power supply.

Second, be patient as the 3D pen gets to the appropriate temperature for melting any filaments you insert. The LED indicator on the pen’s sidebar will turn green when the temperature is right.

For the third step, at the back of your 3D printing pen, insert fresh filament. Now press and hold the extruder button. This command will push the new filament, pushing a greater measure of unwanted products and other things clogging the tips of your 3D pens.

Make sure you always use the same type of filament in your 3D pen. If you use ABS filament, do not insert PLA filament in a 3D pen or 3D printer nozzle.

Why Is My 3D Pen Not Working?

There are a few problems that would be making your 3D pen user experience challenging. One of these problems is the pen failing to power on.

The first response to this challenge should be double-checking the power adapter connection. If the power cable isn’t correctly connected, rectify that mistake.

Technology has resulted in 3D pens being different from 3D printers to make operating the pens easier. For instance, some 3D pens can be connected to a power source through a USB cable. If you have one like this, take advantage of this feature and connect the pen to a power bank or laptop.

You may also find that your 3D pen powers on comfortably but does not heat up. How then do you approach this situation?

It is as simple as pressing the feed button, which commands the pen to begin heating. You will be surprised by how many artists have forgotten to press this button only to discover it much later.

On the other hand, if the pen heats up but there is no temperature value change being displayed, you have to replace the nozzle. You can also choose to solder the sponsor’s wires if they are faulty.

How to Use 3D Printer Cleaning Filament (& What Not to Do)

Using printer cleaning filament is another equipment maintenance practice. If you use this 3D printer nozzle cleaning method, you don’t need other ingredients like acetone.

For this method to be effective, the filaments must be one that you can extrude.

More challenging clogs demand the other methods we have discussed in this article.

Remove the Bowden tube, then allow the 3D pen to heat up to the temperature you usually print at. Now put the cleaning filament into your 3D pen. You can also command your 3D printer to extrude automatically.

The unwanted filaments will be pushed out as the cleaning filament flows through the nozzle. Be sure to continue extruding till the nozzle is clean without extruding any other residues.

Conclusion

You have a few techniques to employ when cleaning a 3D pen nozzle. Use a wire brush to remove any clogs. If that trick does not work, get a pin or needle to remove small clogged filaments. The cleaning filament and pull method are also on the table.

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.