Master Filament Swaps: Ender 3 Guide & Beyond in 3D Printing!

Hey, tech enthusiast! Ever scratched your head, pondering over the best way to switch out that filament in your snazzy 3D printer? Well, you’re not alone. I, Carolina, a die-hard lover of all things tech, have dived deep into this subject to unveil the magic behind smooth filament transitions in 3D printing!


Mistakes happen, and it’s common to encounter challenges like stubborn filaments, struggling to fit the new filament post removal, or the dreaded incomplete print post filament change. If any of this sounds like a scene from your life, hold on tight because I’m here to guide you through!

Switching Up Filament in Classic 3D Printers – Think Ender 3 & Its Siblings

When working with popular 3D printers like Ender, Anet, or Prusa, you can load your filament in a breeze. Kick start by ensuring your previous filament says its goodbyes. How? Crank up the heat on that nozzle based on your filament type. Your filament spool is the cheat sheet here. Dive into your printer’s settings and choose the right temperature.

Now, once your printer’s hot end is all warm and cozy, press down on the extruder lever. Voila! Your old filament should slide right out from behind the extruder. With the exit of the old guest, it’s time to roll out the red carpet for the new filament. For a smoother entry, snip the filament end at a sharp angle. Use your trusty Flush Micro Cutters for this. Push this filament gently up the extruder, and you’ll know you’ve hit gold when you feel a slight resistance.

Pro tip: If your filament end looks like it’s done the hula hoop, simply twist it a bit and ensure it slides through the extruder’s gateway. Dive into some cool vids for a visual walkthrough on loading filaments for your 3D wizard.

Got some old filament you’re reluctant to part with? Fear not! Secure it by threading its end through those handy holes on most spool edges. And if you’re hungry for more storage intel, do peep into my piece titled 3D Printer Filament Storage – The Ultimate Guide!

The Mid-Print Filament Tango

Here’s a scenario: You’re mid-print, and suddenly there’s a filament shortage, or perhaps you’re itching to switch colors for a dual-toned masterpiece. No stress! It’s a dance I’ve mastered, and I’m here to lead. Hit pause (and not stop – we don’t want any abandoned projects). With your printer on pause, you’ll find the z-axis slightly elevated. Now, gracefully swap out that filament. No need for preheating – you’re already in the groove. Clear out any leftovers of the previous filament and let your printer strut its stuff for a few moments post-filament change before hitting play. Software like Cura Slicer can be your choreographer, marking exact pause moments for that filament switch.

What’s The Scene When Filament Bids Adieu Mid-Print?

Your printer type is the diva here. Printers with sensors, like Prusa, Anet, Ender 3, and others, will graciously pause, awaiting the new filament superstar. However, printers lacking this sensor will continue their performance, albeit without any filament output, resulting in an unfinished masterpiece.

Keep those pesky nozzles from clogging by ensuring you’re well-stocked on filament or get yourself a run-out sensor. Cura software’s got your back, letting you know the filament length you’ll need for a particular print. Remember, if you sense a filament drought during a print, hit pause and refresh!

If you’re one of those who like to keep tabs on their prints even from afar, I’ve got the magic potion. Dive into my guide on Monitoring Your 3D Printer – The Remote Way!