Clean the Ultimaker 2+ feeder and replace the Bowden tube

Clean the feeder

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

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

Note: It is also recommended to replace the Bowden tube after one year. While cleaning the feeder, follow the instructions for replacing the Bowden tube simultaneously.

Detailed instructions for cleaning the inside of the feeder can be found here.

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Replace the Bowden tube

The Bowden tube guides filament from the feeder to the print head.

Forwarding improperly cut or ground down filament through the Bowden tube could scratch or damage the inside of the tube. If this happens, the filament can no longer be forwarded to the print head smoothly. This can lead to under-extrusion or other print quality issues.

Also, after removing the Bowden tube multiple times, for example for cleaning the tube or nozzle, the section which is gripped by the tube coupling collet can wear out. If this happens, the tube coupling collet will not have a firm hold on the Bowden tube, which will allow the Bowden tube to move during a print, which can negatively impact print quality.

Before completely replacing the Bowden tube, it can help to cut a small section of approximately 2-3 mm from the end of the Bowden tube. This allows the tube coupling collet to grip an undamaged part of the tube in order to keep it in place.

Note: This only works for the print head side of the Bowden tube; make sure it is a straight cut. Avoid cutting the Bowden tube more than once: a shorter length increases the stress on the tube and may impact print quality.

If the Bowden tube is permanently damaged, it will need to be replaced. The steps here describe how to correctly replace the Bowden tube.

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