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How do you switch filament ?

Discussion in 'Printing Filament' started by TexasToon, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. TexasToon

    TexasToon New Member

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    Please forgive the horrific newbie question, but how do you switch filaments between prints?

    In the manual it shows me how to insert a filament and there are a dozen youtube videos showing how to do it too, but, it doesn't explain if I already have filament in my extruder, how I go about switching over to a different spool.

    Last night I had a extruder jam presumably because I used the wrong method, what I have been doing (and please correct me) is to cut the filament a couple of inches above the extruder and then hand wind the big gear until the filament has passed through the nozzle and then inserting the new filament.

    Which method do you use ?

    (Ps, feel free to yell at me and tell me that its in the manual and I'm too dumb to own this equipment)
     
  2. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    Hello! Nobody here will yell at you :D. If you preheat the extruder when you want to change filaments you should be able to manually rotate the big gear. I like to go forward until it extrudes a little then reverse the large gear until the filament comes out. occasionally you will need to pull back on the quick release (plastic piece that has the screws with springs on it ) hold onto the filament when it comes out or you may tangle your spool. The insert the new filament by pulling back on the hinge (part with the springs we already talked about) and push until it starts extruding your new color. go gently. if your positive you have the filament in the hole it goes in, you can use the large gear.

    if in doubt! you can remove the screws with the springs on them (2 springs) and then you can see the hobbled bolt, the hole where filament goes etc. ALOT of people perfer this method.

    If this doesn't make sense please let me know and I'll explain better :D
     
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  3. Rigmarol

    Rigmarol Well-Known Member

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    I like to remove the two screws/springs/washers.
    I DON"T like chasing any of them under the furniture so be careful.

    I heat up the nozzle (assuming it's a new print not a midprint change) to about 210 or higher (I print at 190 usually).
    With the tension wheel folded away, I push a bit of filament into the extruder to be sure it's flowing ok. I then pull the filament out. No cutting needed.

    I then take the new filament and with the nozzle still heated up I insert into the small hole (old eyes of mine need extra light to see it) and gently feed it in until I get extrusion. I then continue to feed until the color changes from the first color to the new color.
    I then replace the screws/springs/washers and test with the big gear.

    When changing colors for a new print I also print out the test object "deprime" http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:147628
    To be sure the new filament is going to perform as expected.
     
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  4. Toro1966

    Toro1966 Active Member

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    I heat up the hotend for the material, and then squeeze the tensioner to release it and feed the filament into the extruder and hotend. Then I release the tensioner. I never remove the springs/bolts. Once you do it a few times you get used to how far down to push the filament. Basically you just push it down until you feel resistance.

    I also do a cold pull every filament change. So when you are ready to change filament, heat up to proper temp. Extrude 100mm of filament. Cool down to between 100 and 110. I have found the exact temp really depends on the filament. Let it stabilize at that temp (100-110). Release the tension on the filament as before, and pull up on the filament. You should feel slight resistance and then it will come out with a nice blob on the end in about the same shape as the nozzle end. There you go, all clean and ready to do it again.
     
  5. TexasToon

    TexasToon New Member

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    Thank you everyone, it seems to be one of the things that is neglected on all of the guides and tutorials.
     
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