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Our 3D-printers Creality CR-10 and Creality Ender 3 are of the so-called FDM type, filament deposition method. These work by melting a wire (=filament) of plastic material. If you want to use a different color or different material than the person before you you'll have to change the filament.

Heating up the printer nozzle

In order to remove the old filament you need to heat up the heater nozzle so that the remaining plastics at the very end of the filament melts and releases from the interior of the print head. The normal print temperature of 200 °C to 215 °C is enough if we are dealing with PLA. However, if the old filament is a different material like ASA or PETG then zou might need a higher temperature of up to 245 °C.

Using the printer's front panel

You can completely control the printer from its own front panel.

First press the control wheel down and select Control.

Choose Temperature and then the point Nozzle.

Using the wheel increase the temperature to at least 200 °C.

Go back to the Info Screen and wait for the nozzle to heat up.

Using the Octoprint web interface

You can also use the web interface to heat up the nozzle before changing the filament.

The links to our three printers are:

Here you have to login to the system with the
username creality and password MakerSpace

On the temperature page you can see a history plot over the temperatures
on the printer and you can also heat up (or cool down) the printer.

Removing the old filament

The filament is fed by the extruder motor into the white teflon bowden tube. In order to remove the filament you have to unlock the extruder by pressing together the spring loaded clamp.

Then you should be able to drag out the filament completely from the tube with very little effort.

If the filament is stuck inside the tube or print head, then it might help to slightly push the filament forward instead. If this doesn't help, then please contact the MakerSpace team.

Preparing the new filament

The new filament passes more easily through the extruder mechanics and the tube when it is first cut with a wire snipper at a sharp angle of about 45 degrees. However, the feeding through the tube becomes easier with some practice.

Loading the new filament

Feed the tip of the filament through the opening of the extruder while again pressing together the spring loaded clamp. This opens the gap between the driving capstan and the idler of the extruder. It is a bit tricky to then also find the entrance hole into the bowden tube.

Push the new filament all the way into the printer head. The plastic should immediately melt inside the hot end and you are able to push out the remaining rest of the old filament. You can also do this from the Octoprint web interface:


That was all, now you should be able to print with your new filament.

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