How to Get Broken Filament Out of a 3D Printer

Coby McKinley Profile image

Written By:

Updated February 10, 2023
Our posts contain affiliate links. Sometimes, not always, we may make $$ when you make a purchase through these links. No Ads. Ever. Learn More
Difficulty Easy
Steps 4
Time Required 5 minutes
Things to Know

If you’ve invested in a top-end printer, you should understand how to remove stuck filament from a 3D printer. A broken piece of filament can completely disrupt the printing process, even on a premium 3D printer. The brittle filament can get stuck in the print head and extruder gear, but you can remove it with straightforward service instructions. So, keep reading to learn how to get the broken filament out of a 3D printer.


  • Using quality filament and keeping it in a safe environment is the best way to prevent filament clogs.
  • Preheat your 3D printer and use the extruder to push the filament back out of the filament feed.
  • If the filament is outside of the extruder feed, disassemble the Bowden tube and pull the filament from there.

How to Remove Stuck Filament from a 3D Printer Tube

Learning how to print with PLA and other types of filament can help you avoid 3D printing errors. Additionally, knowing how to keep 3D printer filament from tangling can prevent broke off filament from clogging your machine.

Insider Tip

Using fresh filament is the best prevention method to avoid a clogged print head or stuck filament pieces in the printer.

Whether you use a cheap or expensive filament, effective post-print processing can improve your 3D models. For example, you can supplement poor-quality filaments by learning how to paint 3D prints.

Also, for those wondering how long 3D printers last, you can extend the life of your hardware with proper maintenance and cleaning. For example, understanding how to lubricate a 3D printer is important for smooth operation over time. Additionally, some jobs require a bit more care and attention, like learning how to fix thermal runaway on a 3D printer.


Molten filament can cause serious damage to your skin, so always wear safety equipment during the printing process.

Method 1: Non-Stripped Stuck Filament

STEP 1 Preheat the 3D Printer

If your filament is still in the extruder feed, the removal process is relatively straightforward. Preheat the 3D printer to whichever temperature your filament requires.

STEP 2 Set the Active Filament Feed to Negative

Navigate to the extruder menu on your 3D printer, and set the filament path to negative. This should push the filament out of the entry point of the filament feed.

STEP 3 Pull the Filament Out

Using metal tweezers, pull the filament out of the feed. Slowly pull so you do not break the filament while trying to remove it.

Method 2: Stripped Filament

STEP 1 Preheat the 3D Printer

If the clog rests outside of the filament supply, the extruder cannot feed the stuck filament out of the entry point. Preheat your 3D printer, like in the previous steps.

STEP 2 Remove the Bowden Tube

Use a metal wrench to loosen the Bowden tube from the extruder. You should see filament extending between the extruder and the tube.

STAT: A 2019 Global EY study showed that 76% of the worldwide consumer packaged goods industry used 3D printing in their production lines. (source)

STEP 3 Loosen the Extruder Filament Pulley

Press on the extruder clamp to release the filament from the extruder. Now, you should see the filament extending from the Bowden tube.

STEP 4 Remove the Filament

Use tweezers or gloved hands to pull the filament from the Bowden tube. Be careful not to break the filament during the removal process.

Coby McKinley Profile image