Plastic stuck in the 3D pen: how to remove it, clean the nozzle and prevent the situation from repeating?

The industry of creative tools has opened a new direction – volume drawing with melted polymer. Pencils and felt-tip pens were joined by 3D pens, compact devices that expand the scope of the hobby for both children and adults. Now it is possible to draw not only on the plane, but also upwards.

3D-pen: design, principle of work, description of three popular models

The device for creating three-dimensional objects from plastic outwardly and really looks like an ordinary pen. Instead of ink, it is “filled” with plastic – filament – and it also draws. The design of the 3D pen is ingeniously simple:

  • A polymer wire is drawn through gears, which a miniature motor turns;
  • In the extruder, which reaches a temperature of 190-230 °C, the plastic softens and comes out through a nozzle in a thin thread;
  • the control board controls the heating of the nozzle and the speed of drawing the filament;
  • To adjust the speed and temperature buttons on the body of the device are used;
  • OLED display shows the information you need.

Connecting layer after layer of softened plastic thread, you get a variety of shapes: from flat pictures, created on the basis of children’s coloring books, to openwork designs – fantastic plants and animals, household sundries and abstract objects. The infinite color palette of filaments opens up a wide range of possibilities for creativity.

It’s interesting! Even luminous wire is available. Luminescent paint is added to the composition of the polymer, and the handicrafts begin to emit a gentle light in the dark.

Funtastique ONE: 3D pen with OLED display

Funtastique’s first-generation 3D pen is designed for adults and elementary school-aged children. PLA, ABS and other plastics are suitable for drawing, the melting point of which is in the range allowed for the 3D-pen, and the diameter of the rod is 1.75 mm.


  • The body made of heat-resistant material does not heat up;
  • Soft-touch coating prevents slipping in the hand;
  • Informative OLED-screen shows operating modes.


  • High speed at insufficient temperature quickly leads to clogging of the nozzle with plastic.
  • Funtastique NEO: the thinnest and lightest 3D pen
  • With the prefix NEO, which means “new”, the 3D pen of the already known for the previous model manufacturer

Funtastique has acquired a new stylish design and ultra-light body. For work are suitable plastics with a melting point of 135-225 ° C, a diameter of 1.75 mm: PLA, ABS, SBS, Nylon, Prototyper and others.


  • Fast heating and automatic switch to standby mode when not in use;
  • super slim aluminum housing;
  • weighs only 45g
  • Works from USB-port of the PC;
  • OLED screen.


  • Not very convenient to adjust the speed of the plastic feed;
  • Low power of the thread feed motor.
  • Low temperature XYZ da Vinci 3D Pen

The da Vinci 3D Pen Cool 3D drawing device is positioned by the manufacturer as a safe device for children. This is due to the low-temperature printing mode (70-80 °C) using non-toxic PCL plastic.


  • Suitable for children (age 6+);
  • connects via micro-USB cable to the adapter, power bank or PC socket;
  • there are two modes of extrusion – manual and automatic (for drawing large objects).


  • Users haven’t noticed any drawbacks.

Reasons why the 3D Pen is not picking up the plastic

The first thing to look for if the filament isn’t coming in is the extruder spout. The hole in it is so thin that crumbs of cooled plastic block it completely. Other common causes are:

  • motor not working – faulty or no power supply;
  • the wire is too thick – the gears in the reducer can’t pull it through;
  • Plastic stuck in the guide tube or in the extruder;
  • The board is broken – the control signal does not work.

The board or motor is repaired in a service shop, the other causes can be easily solved by your own efforts: check the connection to the mains, take the filament of appropriate thickness, clean the nozzle, remove the plastic stuck in the tube.

Not loading plastic through the reducer: step by step instructions on how to fix the problem

To restore the functionality of the 3D drawing pen, you need to free it from the cooled filament. Cleaning the nozzle hole does not require disassembly of the device. If the wire “escaped” inside, you will have to open the case and remove the parts.

Tools for cleaning
To clean the nozzle, the set of 3D pens sometimes includes a stack needle: plastic or metal. A steel string can be used instead.

Caution: Do not use a sewing needle – the ceramic spout can burst under stress.

Disassembling and cleaning the handle

To remove the filament from the guide tube, you will need to disassemble the 3D pen.

Remove the cover by gently loosening its fasteners or unscrewing the screws (depends on the model).

The photo shows the tail of the wire.

Remove the tube from the hole in the socket.

Now you can take the filament by hand to take it out of the extruder.

Plug in the power to warm up the extruder.
Pull out the softened plastic filament.
Reassemble the device in the reverse order, having previously unplugged it.
Caution: The temperature of the ceramic parts is ~200 °C. Be sure to wait for them to cool, so as not to burn yourself.

You can see on the display that the extruder is starting to heat up – the temperature has already reached 109 °C.

Check if it is working: install filament according to instruction manual, turn on heat, run some wire through extruder.

Plastic started to come out of spout – handle is working again.

Prevention: what to do to prevent the problem from recurring?

Careful following of instruction manual and manufacturer’s recommendations will prevent plastic from jamming in 3D pen:

the temperature and feed rate of the filament should be chosen according to the characteristics of the plastic;
Do not try to insert a wire of a larger diameter than specified in the specifications into the receiving hole;
timely change the laminate if the spool runs out, do not wait until the tail of the filament goes inside the handle;
it is recommended to use quality consumables approved by the manufacturer;
It is necessary to remove the filament at the end of work, not allowing it to harden in the extruder.
Despite the simplicity of its design, the 3D Pen is an electronic device that requires proper handling. If you follow the instructions, safety rules, and general recommendations for handling the device, it will operate stably and remain safe not only for adults, but also for young users.

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