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Replacing the Filament on your FDM 3D Printer

I had been a FDM 3D printer newbie. Just got my Elegoo Ender 3 printer a few weeks ago. But I had already gone through a whole spool of PLA filaments. Like many of us 3D printer enthusiasts, I also gotten PETG filament and want to try a few others. But I had no clues about how to change filaments. And asking around and searching around gave me few results. My friend personally told me that it's a pain to change filaments. And so I've been sticking to the PLA filament this whole time. And when I used it up, I finally pushed in the PETG filament.

After using the PETG filament for only a week, I decided that it's just too much trouble. I'm able to get much stronger PLA prints. And playing around PETG settings gotten me no where. So I really want to switch back.

Today, a light bulb came on in my head. And I realized that changing the filament is really quite easy. I tried it and was able to swap back to the PLA filament in only a few minutes.

The trick really comes down to heating up the nozzle so that the filament can be easily pulled out of the print head and the feeding system. Prior to this method, the next simplest method was to cut the filament at the feeder, and print a small item to switch to the new filament. So this idea that finally came to my head makes the filament change almost instant.

On the Elegoo Ender 3, you go into "Menu" -> "Control" -> "Temperature" -> "Nozzle" and set it to a temperature that could melt the filament you had been using. So going from PETG to PLA means you set the temperature to something like 245 degrees. Then once the 3D printer is at temperature, just release the filament feeder and pull the filament back out.

When you make your first print with the new filament, be sure to clear out the previous filament that is in the nozzle. You'll have to print a really small item that can melt the previous filament.

Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:25:22 -0700

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