Cleaning nozzles with torch

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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:09 am

Cleaning nozzles with torch

Post by curtandres » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:23 am

I have tried cleaning my M2 nozzles using a torch (propane torch) before with very limited success. Usually the residue in the nozzle just sits there and melts and makes a mess. I thought I'd give it another try today on a clogged nozzle I had...same poor results. I then had a thought. With a propane torch most of the oxygen is used up by the time the flame reaches the nozzle you are heating. Basically you are submerging the nozzle in a very hot, but oxygen deficient environment. This doesn't allow the junk to burn out very well. So I grabbed my oxy acetylene torch and turned it to a low flame, then added as much oxygen as I could while still keeping a good flame (oxidizing flame). I used a pliers to hold the nozzle just in the edge of the flame and the junk and old plastic vigorously burned up with all the extra oxygen present. Within seconds, all the junk was gone. It worked very well. Keep the nozzle you are cleaning just in the far tip of the flame if you are using oxy acetylene and watch the temp (color). It will heat up very quickly, I don't let it get past a very dull red color (actually I did on one nozzle but it started to melt, lesson learned). I think oxy propane would work just as well, the key is being able to add a bunch of extra oxygen.

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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:36 pm

Re: Cleaning nozzles with torch

Post by airscapes » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:17 am

The use of a slightly oxidized flame and also WAY hotter flame is a great idea, unfortunately not everyone has an Oxy/Acetylene torch (I do though :D )
Now you have the tip clean, buy some eSun cleaning filament and use that between filament types and as a maintenance process if you always use PLA which seem to be more prone to causing issues.. I have not Clogged or had any flow issues with an nozzle .25 .35 or .5 and go from PLA to PET to Nylon to ABS and back to PLA with no issues.. I run about 8 inches of cleaning filament slowly with a couple of 30 second stops near the end to let the cleaning filament mix with any thing stuck to the sides.. Then flush with about 20" of then new filament. Seems like a pain but it realy works well and I always have my next model loaded and the print be preheating while I am doing the cleaning.. The click print when done and away it goes, no lines no waiting!

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