2.2 Loading Filament
Before starting your first print, you must first load filament
into each extruder you will be using. However, even if your
printer has two extruders, it is strongly recommended that you
start with a simple print which uses only a single extruder —
preferably the right extruder. As such, you should not load
filament into the second extruder until you actually need to use
Most 3D printers come with a spool or two of filament, which is
generally either ABS or PLA plastic. While the loading directions
are the same regardless, you should load a filament compatible with
the treatment applied to the surface of your build plate (e.g., ABS
for Kapton tape on the build surface; PLA for painter’s tape on the
From the documentation for your printer, you will need to
- The proper filament spool mounting technique. Many
printers come with a rear-mounted filament spool.
- The spool orientation and filament feed path. It is
important to set this up properly so as to prevent filament
tangles and other feed-related problems.
- The mechanical steps to load filament into your extruder’s
feed mechanism, as this varies between printers.
Once you have determined the above information, you are ready
to load filament into your extruder — the righthand extruder if you
- With a pair of scissors, neatly trim the end of the filament.
Mount the filament spool in its correct orientation and feed
the filament through any guide tubes along its feed path.
Do not yet attempt to load the filament into the extruder
- Turn on your printer. Then, from the front LCD panel
navigate with the down key to the “Utilities” item, Section
3.7. Press the center key to select it.
- Within the Utilities menu, navigate to the line reading
“Filament Loading” (Section 3.7.2). Again, press the
center key to select this.
- If your printer arrived with a short length of filament already
loaded into the extruder, then you will want to unload it
- Select “Unload Filament” and the printer will heat up
the extruder to the temperature set in Preheat Settings
under the Utilities menu, Section 3.7.3. By default,
this is 230° C. If you have two extruders, select this for
the right extruder.
- Once heated up, the printer will then begin to unload
the filament. After a few moments you should be able to
manually pull the segment out. This should not require
- You may press the center key to stop the unloading
- Now select “Load Filament”. If you have two extruders, select
loading for the right extruder.
- The printer will now begin to heat up the extruder to the
temperature set in Preheat Settings under the Utilities
- Once the extruder has reached temperature, the front LCD
panel will generate a screen telling you to begin loading
the filament into the extruder. The feed motor for the
extruder will begin turning to allow you to load the filament.
Following the necessary procedure for your printer, load
the filament into the extruder and allow it to feed the
- After a few moments, a hot plastic thread will begin to emerge
from the extruder’s nozzle. If it is not initially the color of the
filament you loaded, note that the factory may have tested the
printer using a different color filament. Allow the filament to
extrude for at least 30 seconds before pressing the center key to
stop the process. Press the left key once to return to the
Utilities menu; press the left key a second time to return to the
If the extruded filament tends
to curl upwards as it exits
the nozzle, then there may
be debris clogging the nozzle.
If such is the case, contact
your printer manufacturer for
assistance. Also, if the extruded
filament bubbles and pops a
little, then your filament has
absorbed too much moisture
and may need to be dried out.
The proper way of drying it
depends on the type of filament;
contact your filament vendor for