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How to Load Filament

    The first step of filament loading in a MakerBot Replicator is to remove the filament guide tube(s). Make sure to hold down the gray ring that connects the tube to the MK8 Stepstruder-- just pulling on the tube won’t work.

    Once the tubes are disconnected, you can go ahead and feed the filament into the guide tubes from the back until you see it come out at the front.

    Make sure that the filament loads up from the center on both spools, so you don't get jams during printing. One of the spools will have to go on backwards. You want it to look like this: 

    After you’ve fed the filament through, press the M. The machine will start to heat both extruders.

    You’ll have to wait for a few minutes for them to heat up. Be careful not to touch the bottom of the extruder while it’s heating -- it gets up to about 220° C, which is hot and can burn you!

    Once the nozzle is at temperature, your MakerBot Replicator will tell you to load filament in the right-hand extruder.

     

    Click through the message until your MakerBot Replicator asks you to press the M when you see plastic extruding. Then take the end of the filament itself and push it right into the center of the gray ring. Make sure it goes into the center, and doesn’t get caught at the edge.

    You'll have to use to use some force, but as long as you’re holding only the filament, you can’t hurt your Makerbot Replicator.

    Maintain pressure on the filament, and after a few moments you should feel the motor pulling it in. Then you’ll see some plastic start to come out the nozzle. When that happens, you can press the M and push the guide tubes back into the gray rings. Don't be surprised if you don't see the color you expected -- there's probably still a bit of plastic inside the extruder left over from the testing process.

    If you have a dual-extruder machine, your MakerBot Replicator will now ask you to load filament into the left-hand extruder. Follow the same process you did for the right.

    After your MakerBot Replicator is done extruding, wait a moment for the extruded plastic to cool down before you pull it away. You can discard the plastic in your normal garbage, or recycle it, if your recycling system can handle ABS. Don't leave plastic clinging to the extruder nozzle -- if you do, newly extruded plastic might stick to the nozzle instead of the build platform.

    Your MakerBot Replicator will give you a couple of chances at this before continuing. If you don’t get it quite right the first time, you can load filament from the menu at any time by going to Utilities > Filament Options in the menu.


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