This is guide on how to do a fast clean of your MakerBot Extruder, It only take a few minutes to do. We will not be cleaning out the actual "Hot End" but rather the part of extruder that "grabs" the filament. For this sometimes slips if there is plastic build up in this area
Step 1: Unscrew the Extruder From the Carriage
Unscrew the two little screws that hold the extruder in the carriage, You will need a Hex Key for this. Above is a picture of the set I use. There is only two of them, one on each side of the Hot End. They are not hard to find.
Step 2: Place Extruder on a Safe Work Place
Once you have undone the screws that hold the Extruder in the carriage place it on a safe working space so you can take it apart safely.
Step 3: Start to Disassemble Extruder
To Start taking apart the Extruder first remove the screws that hold the fan to the extruder. By taking these two screws out you have just Disassembled the extruder as far as we need to in this tutorial. Once you undo those screws and remove the parts that are not held in place anymore. your extruder will look like the one pictured above.
Seprate the Stepper motor from the rest of the Extruder also.
Step 4: Clean Out Stepper
Once you have the stepper motor all by its self, find a can of compressed air or simply try and blow the plastic out with your mouth. What ever you prefer.
Once you have cleared all the plastic away from the stepper motor you are done.
Step 5: Clean With Guitar String
Since this guide is designed to be "Fast" guide I will not show how to clear the "hot end". One of the common ways of doing this by cleaning it with guitar string. If you wish to clean your Hot End also just Google the guitar string method and that will allow you to do a thorough clean of your extruder.
Edit : I have since made an instructable on the "Guitar String" method.
Step 6: Start Assembling Extruder Back Together
Start Piecing the extruder back together, It is the same process as taking it apart but just backwards. If you cant remember what goes where, look at the pictures above that will help you.
Step 7: Place Extruder Back on Extruder
Put the extruder back on carriage by pacing it on the carriage then inserting the two screws back where they were. Make sure it is seated securely and does not wiggle once the screws are tightened.
Step 8: Your Done!
You have done a basic clean, Hopefully this helps you a little. If you are still having problems I Highly Recommend using the Guitar String method. It has worked wonders for me in the past, It does take a while to do which is why it is not included in this Fast Guide.
I have fond that this simple clean does the trick for me more times than not. So I hope it works for you to