The print cartridge’s filament has either jammed or retracted within the plastic shell, preventing any prints. Downtime turns no profit, but tossing the jammed or defective cartridge is costly and wasteful. Learning how to fix a cube cartridge jam is the simplest and easiest choice.
The Good News
Fear not: Not only can you fix a cube cartridge jam or retracted filament, but you can salvage the material quickly and easily. You’re only a few paper clips and a flat-head away from printing out profit again! This article will show you how to fix a cube cartridge jam for both the CubePro and the CubeX.
Nearly every CubePro/CubeX user experienced this frustrating scenario: the filament has managed to snap or pull back into the cartridge, leaving you with an expensive paperweight. Luckily, there’s a solution that is cheap AND easy.
Although frustrating and costly, this unfortunate situation can be fixed with a few common tools in under 10 minutes. Let’s get to work:
- Small flat-head screwdriver (or similar)
- 10 Paper clips (or strips of a cut-up gift card)
- Eye Protection
Step 1: Remove the Sealing Labels
Cut or remove the two labels covering the cartridge’s seams. The screwdriver will work well here. Guide it along the edges and be careful! While the cartridge may not be made of glass, you don’t want to carelessly damage it and render it permanently useless.
Step 2: Unlock the Cartridge Tabs
Use the small screwdriver to push in each of the tabs that are found along the seam, inserting a paperclip (or alternative shim) as you go. This will help separate the two halves to the cartridge and prevent any re-locking. Make sure they’re stable in place; you don’t want to lose progress. Repeat until all required tabs are unlocked.
Step 3: Opening the Shell
Separate the two halves of the cartridge by pulling them apart gently, starting from the filament spout. It may take a bit of force, but the shell should separate without too much of a fight. Be careful, however; this may make the paper clips you’ve inserted pop out and go flying. Eye protection is strongly recommended and should be taken seriously, according to one of our engineers: “I’d like to point out that safety glasses are regrettably all-too-often ignored for simple tasks like this… until it’s too late!” At this point, you should be able to see the contained spool, as well as the remaining internal problem that may have caused the jam.
Note: Be careful of the small RFID chip near the filament spout (where you pull to start separation) – this chip is required for the printer to work with your cartridge for more than just security reasons:
“… in fact, the chip provides a communicable interface for the printer to use when accessing information about the current spool, like the amount of remaining filament or what kind of material it is.” – Evan Merrill
Do not lose or damage it. There’s also a silica packet within an insert pocket; be mindful of its location and position.
Step 4: Align to Fix a Cube Cartridge and Feed
Partially unspool the reel by pulling out several feet of filament before feeding it through the cartridge spout. Do this slowly, examining the filament as it’s pulled to make sure that the loose end hasn’t slipped underneath any of the loops on the spool. Correct the issue if it has and keep several feet of length for workability.
Step 5: Check and Reassemble
Double check that the silica packet and RFID chip (pictured & mentioned above) are in the slots designed to contain them.
Once complete, hold the filament down so that it rests between the three filament flow guides. Carefully place the top half back on and press the two halves together against a table. It may take a bit of wiggling to lock the assembly together correctly, but it should snap-lock into place when lined up. The filament must run through the three grooves throughout this process. Otherwise, a guide misalignment will occur and cause the filament significantly resist movement – including extrusion and feeding!
Step 6: Completion
Pull some filament out of the cartridge and make sure that it is moving as freely as before the issue occurred. The RFID chip must be seated correctly for the printer to use the cartridge. If both are fine, the cartridge is ready to be used again and you now know how to fix a cube cartridge jam! If not, it will need to be reopened to correct the problem.
You know how to fix a cube cartridge jam you can get back to printing profit! Despite the minor mishap, the CubePro / CubeX aren’t only affordable; they provide amazing performance in areas of speed, print quality, and surface finish. This is the end of today’s Miller Mastery article, so check back for more! Have any ideas or requests for what YOU’D like to see next? Let us know! From print hacks to material selection, we’ve got you covered.
Still have problems?
If you need some help, give us a call! We’re the pros that know all of the tips, tricks, ins, and outs of 3D. Miller 3D is the Leader of Additive Manufacturing, and we can get you squared away in no time!