Clean the feeders

The feeders forward filament to the print head. To make sure that exactly the right amount of material is extruded, it is important that the feeder gears can turn smoothly.  

After many hours of printing, or when material has been ground down, there is a chance that there are small filament particles in the feeders. In addition to blowing out the particles once a month, it is recommended to also clean the inside of the feeders after one year of printing. In order to do this, the feeders have to be removed from the printer.

Note: It is also recommended to replace the Bowden tubes after one year. While cleaning the feeders, follow the instructions to replace the Bowden tubes simultaneously.

The following steps need to be performed for both feeder 1 and feeder 2.

1. Remove the filament

  • On the Ultimaker 3, navigate to “Material/PrintCore > Material 1 > Unload”.
  • Repeat this step for Material 2.
  • Remove the filament and turn off the printer.

2. Remove the Bowden tube

  • Remove the clamp clip from the feeder-end of the Bowden tube.
  • Press down on the tube coupling collet and pull the Bowden tube upwards out of the feeder.

01_Unload-material
02_Remove-Bowden-tube-feeder

3. Loosen the feeder

  • First reduce the tension of the feeder by turning the bolt in the top of the feeder, until the indicator is at the the highest mark.
  • Use the hex screwdriver to loosen the two bolts that hold the feeder to the back panel.
  • Slide the feeder backward away from the printer.

03.1_Loosen-feeder-tension
03_Loosen-feeder

4. Open the feeder

  • Remove the four bolts that hold the housing parts together.
  • Place the two halves in front of you, making sure that all parts are in the back section of the feeder.

04.1_Open-feeder-housing
04.2_Two-feeder-halves

5. Clean the feeder

  • Use a clean cloth or a cotton swab to wipe all filament particles from the feeder parts.
  • Use a paintbrush or an old toothbrush to clean the knurled wheel.
  • Also clean the small gear attached to the feeder motor.

05.1_Clean-knurled-wheel
05.2_Clean-feeder-gear

6. Reassemble the feeder

  • Place the front section over the back section of the feeder, making sure that all parts are still in place.
  • Insert the four bolts and tighten them in a cross pattern, starting in the top-left corner.

7. Lubricate the gear

  • Apply a small amount of Magnalube to the gear attached to the feeder motor.
  • There is no need to spread this out; the feeder will do this automatically when it turns.

06_Tighten-bolts-feeder-housing
07_Lubricate-feeder-gear

8. Place the feeder back

  • Insert the two bolts into the feeder housing and align it with the holes in the back panel.
  • Tighten the bolts to make sure that the feeder is attached securely.

9. Insert Bowden tube

  • Press down on the tube coupling collet in the feeder.
  • Push the Bowden tube all the way in.
  • Secure the tube with the clamp clip.

08_Place-feeder-back
09_Insert-Bowden-tube-feeder

10. Reset feeder tension

  • Reset the tension of the feeder by turning the bolt in the top of the feeder housing, until the indicator is at the middle mark.

08_Set-feeder-tension
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