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E3D V6 hotend maintenance advice  

Sigurður Ásgeirsson
Active Member
E3D V6 hotend maintenance advice

After sorting the firmware for my second-hand MK3S and getting through most of the calibration, I got stuck on the first layer calibration. The MMU wouldn't feed the filament and neither could I feed it manually. De-clogging with an acupuncture needle didn't work, so I disassembled the extruder and hotend.

Turns out the heat break clogged - I don't know how that would have happened, but there you are. By taking off the nozzle and the heat sink, I was able to push the clogged gunk out.

Now I'm pondering what to do about reassembly and/or parts replacement. It looks like the nozzle was coated with heatsink compound, and it won't easily screw back into the heater block. According to the E3D assembly instructions, heatsink compound should only be used on the cold end of the heat break. Is that generally how this is done?

So now I'm wondering whether it might be a sane thing to do to run a tap through the heater block to clean out the dried-up gunk? Is the nozzle reusable, or should I change it?

I don't see a reason why I'd need to change the heater block? What about the heat break - is it going to e.g. be more prone to clogging after it happens once?

Posted : 25/05/2023 4:03 pm
Sigurður Ásgeirsson
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: E3D V6 hotend maintenance advice

I broke the heat break loose of the heater block, and it too is coated in whatever that stuff is. Could this reasonably be boron nitride paste or some kind of anti-seize?

Posted : 25/05/2023 6:49 pm
Estimable Member
RE: E3D V6 hotend maintenance advice

heatsink compound should only be used on the cold end of the heat break. Is that generally how this is done?

Yes! Follow the E3D instructions.

The hotend seems to be the "Gold edition " of the V6 with a  Copper heater block and "precision heater". I would not throw away anything of that!

You can easily clean a clogged nozzle or a  heat break with a 1,5 mm drill. But rotate it only with your fingers - not with a machine.

 Clean the heater block thread with a thread cutter but also rotate it only with your fingers.

To my experience it is important to have the thread connection between heatbreak and heatsink filled with the recommended  thermal compound (for 3D printing ) as good as possible - this avoids heatbreak clogs. 

Thermal compounds for Computer applications are in most cases not suited for the temperatures that can occur in a hotend.

Posted : 25/05/2023 9:17 pm