Changing 3D Printer Filament on the Fly/ Multicolor Prints!




Introduction: Changing 3D Printer Filament on the Fly/ Multicolor Prints!

Have you ever got a knot in your 3D printer filament, or want to make a object multicolored without having 2 extruders? If so this is the instructable for you!

Now you can make multicolor prints without a dual extruder!

For this instructables you will need a 3D printer (I'm using the Robo 3D printer), the matter control program (or any other software for the RoBo 3D printer with a pause button)

Also don't turn off the heat to the extruder or the bed

Step 1: Pausing and Moving the Extruder

(Tip: you may want to put a blob of filament where you extruder is after you pass the print, this will help find where you left off incase you move the x axis. But don't put too much filament in a blob this may clog you extruder so only a noticeable amount)

This step is fairly simple, as the name states all you have to do is press the pause button when the extruder is near the edge of the print, wait for it to pause then move the extruder up on the Z axis to the desired hight to change the filament. (Note: remember how many times you pressed the Z axis button that will be important later and do not change any settings only move it up)

Step 2: Changing the Filament

When doing this do not bump into or move the Y axis and try to stay on the sides of the printer so you don't risk moving it because it is hard to get that back into its position.

Now that you have the extruder in your desired spot, carefully pull the latch back that holds the filament in and remove the filament like you normally would, (if you have a knot in the filament now would be the time to cut it off or untangle it) then re-insert the desired filament that you would like to print with like you normally would, and move the Z axis down until it touches your print (you should only need to press it how many times you counted to move it up to that position.

If you move the X axis it does not matter that much because we will fix that in the next step.

Step 3: Repositioning the Extruder

If your extruder moved on the X Axis then you will need to do this step, otherwise this step is unnecessary.

First start by finding the blob you made earlier, then hit the release button in the upper right hand corner of the movement controls box. Now push the extruder over to the blob and make sure that is accurately in position, otherwise it will not print right.

Step 4: Resuming the Print and Some Other Stuff

This step is easy, all you have to do is press the resume button and watch a few layers to make sure that it is printing right and once your satisfied you can leave it alone.

Once your print is done you can sand down the blob and/or give it a acetone vapor bath.

Thank you for reading this instructable and please vote for me on the 3D printing contest.

Also, i am not responsible for anything that may happen. (it is very unlikely that anything will happen.)

Step 5: Examples

the orange picture is a golf ball holder and if you can see the bump, that is where I stopped when I found out that there was a knot in my filament. that was my first attempt at this trick

My second attempt at this trick was to make a multicolor print, It worked out really really well and it looks like it was made by a dual extruder but it wasn't.

above I made some examples from this method, and I plan to add more images in the future

sorry if they are not the clearest photos

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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Also i recommend trying this on a small print first to get the hang of it.


    4 years ago

    Great idea. I always had terrible luck with the "cut and feed" approach. In fact, I'm clearing a nozzle jam as I write this. lol. Going to do things your way next. :)


    Reply 4 years ago



    5 years ago

    Awesome! Do you have any photos of prints where you used this technique? I have a robo 3d and I love it. It's like the special secret of the 3d printing world!


    Reply 5 years ago

    yes I do, I used it on a golf ball holder that I found on thingiverse. I found out this trick when there was a knot in my filament and I was not going to be able to get more through so thus I came up with this cool trick and after this happend 2 times I figured that it was worth sharing. Also I will get the image up as soon as possible (once I find the part)