All 3D Printers : Filament Oiling

My print outs keep stopping part way through.

We have seen a lot of this in older machines. Basically the machine loads and starts printing perfectly, and then usually extrusion gets thin and stops. Leaving a rough surface to the in complete print out.

Also the barrel can appear clogged or blocked and you can get what we call "air printing" where the machine continues printing but no filament comes out of the nozzle and loading can feel like you are jammed solid; however when you unload and load again every thing seems fine.



Put simply the barrel and or filament has dries out causing an added level of resistance and friction in the filament load path which makes it stick and release and then eventually stick solid.

The barrels are oiled at manufacture but can dry out over time. Also filament can dry out over time.

Also Filament builds static that can attract dust onto the filament that then enters the barrel and builds up carbon material ton the barrel wall and blocks or partially blocks the nozzle.


How can you fix this?

This is the easiest fix ever!

What you need :

  •  A Chux (or similar)
  •  Machine oil (you can get it at the supermarket), baby oil also works.
  •  A bulldog clip, or peg


  1. Take Chux and put a few drops of oil on it.
  2. Wrap oily rag around filament 
  3. Clip bulldog clip on rag (not on filament) so that it hold still around filament and wipes oil onto filament as the machine loads/prints
  4. Unload filament, cut end and wipe first 15-20 cm with oil
  5.  Load and print


We could not believe this. It really does work. We have tested it with Makerbot and Bilby brand filament , on 3 different brand printers. 100% success!



IMPORTANT! Do not use cooling oil.

Cooking oils are not suitable for two reasons:

1. Vegetable oils have a low smoking point. This is the carbonation point.  You will see in the link below that most cooking oils begin to carbonize at  170-200oc This carbonation will form solid back carbon linings in the barrel that can block the nozzle and cause loading problems of their own.


2. Cooking oils contain vegetable gums. The gum point occurs where the oil is held at a high temperature for a long time and will look like grease oozing from your barrel or nozzle. They will clog up your extruder. A similar effect can also be seen when you use other lubricants.


Use a high temp machine oil like the singer oil in the photo available at most supermarkets or through Bilby 3D. Also a warning about a cheap “machine oil” we have found in some  department stores that smokes at low temperatures.  Not all machine oil is high temp! Also baby oil is machine oil with perfume.


What else could cause these symptoms?

A work of warning. These symptoms can also be caused by:

· Worn plunger (replicator 2 only)

· Damaged lever arm (replicator 2 only)

· Damaged feeder system (Replicator 2X)

· Damaged thermocoupler causing temperature to fall lower than melting temperature

· Damaged motor cable causing motor to stop (very rare)

· Damaged bot step on extruder motor (very very rare)


There are fact sheets on each of these at