Inline Air Filter Contamination - won't pick up seeds

Our inline air filter has suffered some soil contamination. When I turn the vacuum on, you can see small pieces of soil and the white filter itself dancing around. However, when you put your hand under the seeder tool, air is coming out! There’s no vacuum suction at all, and thus it won’t pick up seeds. When I remove the air filter and replace it with a 3D printed 6mm joint connecting the two tubes, the vacuum suction works great. Therefore, I can assume that the inline air filter is the issue.

Is it possible to fix the air filter? Can I open it, clean it out, and replace it good as new?

Is there a better inline air filter on the market that won’t have clogging problems like this in the future? Is there a filter I can make with my 3D printer that would be better?

Lastly, WHY would a broken filter cause a vacuum to behave like a fan? Intuitively this makes no sense. Is the filter and soil bouncing around having an effect on air pressure? Is it just a poorly designed part or is this a normal behavior for a line air filter for a vacuum?

I have seen other posts about this topic, but none that mention why it occurs. I want to be able to explain to students why and how things break when we need to spend our class time troubleshooting. Thanks in advance!

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