3 Simple Steps to Change Filament on Ender 3 (V2/Pro)

3 Simple Steps to Change Filament on Ender 3 (V2/Pro)

Creality’s Ender 3 has become the company’s flagship 3D printing product line, offering a highly customisable, yet affordable printing experience to both amateur and experienced designers. Since its release, the original model became such a success that Creality decided to go ahead and create several different iterations of their printer, including the Ender 5, Ender 6 SE, and more. Despite introducing newer printers to the market, Creality made sure to also update their ever-popular Ender 3; creating variations such as the popular Pro model and most recently, the all-new Ender 3 V2. 

For anyone starting out with 3D printing using the Ender 3, upgrading the filament can be a great way to spice up their prints. Having access to different colours and types of filament opens up more design options and possibilities.

Changing filament on the Ender 3 is an efficient and easy process which won’t take up too much time. There are a few variations based on the version of your printer, but in three simple steps, you can have your printer printing with a brand-new colour or material. If you’re using a V2 model of the Ender 3, you’ll appreciate the upgraded wheel that helps in quickly changing the filament. So whichever version of the Ender 3 you own, keep this article handy for quickly updating colours or types to suit your current printing needs.

Step #1: Remove the Existing Filament

The first step involves heating up the nozzle to the melting temperature specified by the manufacturer for that particular material.  Fortunately, if you’re not sure where to find this information, you can generally find the recommended temperature range listed on the side of the spool or on the manufacturer’s website. 

  • Turn on your printer, then click the control knob to display the menu in order to adjust the temperature.
  • Navigate to  Settings > Temperature > Nozzle.
  • Increase the temperature using the LCD knob.
  • Hold off until the hot end reaches the ideal temperature.
  • Squeeze the filament extruder lever to release its hold on it, remove the filament, and detach the spool. You should turn your extruder knob clockwise to remove the filament if you have an Ender 3 V2 or are using one.

With your hot end now free from its original filament, you can head over to whichever resource or supplier you prefer in order to get a different type of filament for your machine.

A good practice is to take the loose end of the filament and loop it through one of the holes on the edge of the spool so that it can be held in place securely. 

Step #2: Insert the New Filament

Now that the old filament has been removed from the extruder, the new filament may be loaded.

  • To facilitate feeding into the extruder, remove the filament and sever the end at a right angle. With a pair of scissors, you can snip the filament at a 45-degree angle while holding it in place.
  • Introduce the fresh material to the extruder. The filament will not be completely straight because it is coming out of a circular spool. At the end of the strand, gently bend a two-inch portion to make it straight.
  • Place the filament between the toothed extruder gear and the idler pulley while applying pressure to the extruder arm lever.
  • Slowly push the filament through by hand while the arm is still being pressed. If you have an Ender 3 V2, you can turn the extruder knob counter-clockwise to move the print head.
  • Keep pushing the new filament until you feel firm resistance. This means it has made it to the end of the tube.
3 Simple Steps to Change Filament on Ender 3

Step #3: Cleanse the Nozzle

As much as you might be eager to start printing with the new filament, it is important that prudent steps are taken beforehand. This purging process is necessary to ensure that no traces of the original material remain in the hot end and cause contamination of your creations. If a successful purge isn’t completed, then you may find yourself dealing with an unsatisfactory result due to colour mixing or clogs in the nozzle. 

Note that the nozzle temperature should be adjusted to the higher setting until the purging is complete when switching from a higher to a lower temperature material.

Luckily Ender 3 printers come with built-in software features to make the purging process highly efficient and easy.

  • To access the settings menu, click the LCD knob, then scroll to Move Axis > 1 mm > Extruder.
  • Move the extruder axis by 15 to 20 mm using the scroll. When the material is fed into the nozzle by the extruder, the old filament is purged and the new filament is introduced.
  • To make sure all of the old filament is removed from the nozzle, you might wish to repeat this process.

As soon as the new colour or material begins to flow out of the nozzle, the nozzle is considered to have been purged.

Bheema Shankar
Author | Website

I am Bheema Shankar. I have worked on SLS, CJP, DLP, SLA and FDM technologies at Think3D. Currently working as Process and application engineer at VEER-O-METALS PRIVATE LIMITED. I am always fascinated by the process of creating things layer by layer. This fascination led me to pursue a career in 3D printing technology. I am passionate about how 3D works and enjoy exploring new ways to improve the 3D printing process.

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