Changing 3d Printer Filament

Straight from the Matterhacker’s page. There’s also a bunch of other useful ‘How-to’ information on the pages linked.

Changing Filament

When switching PLA colors:

  1. While the extruder is cold set the heat to 80c and wait for it to heat up.
  2. When you reach 80c remove the current filament from the extruder.  You may be able to back it out by hand or you may need to reverse the extruder.
  3. If you are having trouble removing the filament, increase the temperature to 100c and try again.
  4. Increase the heat and load the new filament normally.
  5. Run the new color through the extruder until it runs clean and the new color is all that is coming out of the extruder. If you are switching from a dark color (such as black) to a light color (like white or natural) run a while longer to be sure you don’t have any dark contamination:
    1. Clean the extruder gear and blow out any particles from the extruder entrance.
    2. Print something that you don’t care if it has bits of the previous color in it, or run the extruder for several minutes.  It may take as much as 10 to 15 minutes of extrusion before you can have confidence that there won’t be dark material mixed with lighter material.

Note: We recommended removing the filament when soft rather than when fully melted so that there is less possibility of depositing melted material onto the extruder drive gear or leaving meterial high up the melt chamber entrance.  Both of which can cause jamming and are hard to clean out.  Soft removal also helps ensure that you get everything out of the extruder tip.

 

Same thing from ABS Page:

When switching ABS colors:

  1. While the extruder is cold set the heat to 120c and wait for it to heat up.
  2. When you reach 120c remove the current filament from the extruder.  You may be able to back it out by hand or you may need to reverse the extruder.
  3. If you are having trouble removing the filament, increase the temperature to 180c and try again.
  4. Clean the extruder gear and blow out any particles from the extruder entrance.
  5. Increase the heat and load the new filament normally.
  6. Run the new color through the extruder until it runs clean and the new color is all that is coming out of the extruder. If you are switching from a dark color (such as black) to a light color (like white or natural) you may want to extrude for a few minutes to be you sure don’t have any dark contamination.
  7. Print something that you don’t care if it has bits of the previous color in it, or run the extruder for several minutes.  It may take as much as 10 to 15 minutes of extrusion before you can have confidence that there won’t be dark material mixed with lighter material.

Note: We recommended removing the filament when soft rather than when fully melted so that there is a lower possibility of depositing melted material onto the extruder drive gear or leaving meterial high up the melt chamber entrance.  Both of which can cause jamming and are hard to clean out.  Soft removal also helps ensure that you get everything out of the extruder tip.

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