Sometimes filament gets stuck past the extruder drive gear and can be very difficult to remove. This can happen for a variety of reasons:
- Drive gear chewed through filament and became detached
- Filament ran out while unattended
- Filament broke mid print
- Extruded the starter filament too far
To remove the filament, your extruder must be hot and the idler swing arm should be open to prevent damage to the drive gear.
If the filament hasn't gone far past the drive gear, this is the easiest method for extracting your filament. With the extruder hot and swing arm open, simply grab the end of the filament with a pair of tweezers and slowly pull the filament out.
If the tweezers method is giving you trouble, and you have a dental pick laying around, use the tip of the dental pick to snag the filament and slowly pull it out. A stiff needle or pin may work as well but the curved tip of a dental pick is generally easier to work with.
If you still cannot pull the filament out, cleanly cut the end of fresh filament and feed the filament through the extruder head. Try pushing top of the old piece down into the extruder with the new piece of filament. You may have to try a couple times to get this to work.
Long Skinny Metal Object:
We don't recommend using this method, as rubbing metal against your drive gear may damage some of the teeth and cause improper extrusion. As a last resort, you may use a long skinny metal object to push the filament down into the hotend. MAKE SURE THE IDLER WHEEL IS OPEN!