Has your filament been curling up on the sides of your extruder? Did you come back to your 3D Printer and notice a giant glob of plastic taking over your build tray? Or has your filament been coming out at an angle instead of straight out?
All of these signs might indicate a clogged nozzle.
When your nozzle gets clogged on a Makebot Replicator 2, you have a few options to fix your printer that you can check out here.
When you exhausted all these options and still the problem persists it likely means it's time replace your nozzle.
While replacing our nozzle we decided to replace our thermal tape as well so here are the steps to replacing the brass nozzle and thermal tape on the MakerBot Replicator 2!
Step 1: Unload filament from your printer
Using the LCD Panel on your Replicator 2, go to "Utilities" and "Change Filament". Start and run the unload filament. Follow the instructions on the Makerbot Screen.
Step 2: Take off 2 screws underneath the nozzle (Need hex keys / allen keys)
Using a 4mm Allen Key, carefully remove the two hex screws located on the underside of the extruder on the left and right sides of the nozzle. You might want to use a flashlight for this step as these two screws are not very easy to see otherwise.
These two screws hold the entire extruder assembly onto gantry. The screws should drop out and you should then be able to remove the extruder assembly as shown here.
Step 3: Take extruder assembly off of gantry
Once you have removed the allen keys from step #2, you will need to pull the extruder assembly as shown in the video here. This should be smooth and simple. If you are having trouble pulling the assembly off the gantry, be sure that you have unclipped the plastic vent or "fan duct" that is directing the air from the fan to the extruder nozzle.
Step 4: Remove the nozzle from the extruder
Once you have removed the extruder assembly from the gantry, place the extruder assembly upside down so that the nozzle is facing upward. For this step you will need two pairs of pliers. If you have a vice grip this would also work great!
First using vice grips or a pair of pliers, securely hold the Heater Block where the nozzle is attached. This is sometimes tricky due to the lack of free space around the heater block. Be careful not to tear the thermal tape wrapper around the heater block which will easily tear if you're not careful.
Next, using your second pair of pliers, grab the nozzle and turn the nozzle counter clockwise to remove the nozzle.
NOTE: If you are having trouble removing the nozzle you can try to run the preheat function on your Replicator 2 to head the extruder before attempting to turn the nozzle off. This will help loosen any jammed filament that might be stuck somewhere in the system. When working with a heated extruder be sure to always wear protective gloves that are heat resistant. If you don't have gloves, an oven mitt will do the trick!
Step 5: If needed, replace thermal tape as shown in photos
Now that you have the nozzle removed from the extruder, now would be a great time to replace the thermal tape if needed. You can see in the photos that the thermal tape has two holes and one slit on the end of the tape. The tape will only lay flat in one direction so test how the tape will lay on the heater block before removing the adhesive strip.
Step 6: Install the new nozzle onto the heater block
Hand tighten clockwise the new nozzle, Use adjustable wrench to make snug the same way you did when removing the old nozzle.
Step 7: Install extruder assembly back onto gantry
Now that you have replaced the new nozzle onto the heater block you are ready to reinstall the extruder assembly back onto the gantry. Simply set the extruder assembly back into place. Make sure you install with the extruder fan facing forward just as it was when you removed it. Once properly aligned, reinsert the two hex screws you removed in step #2 and lightly snug them into place with the allen key!
NOW YOU'RE READY TO GO!