Load Fiber


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Supplies:

  • Scale accurate to 1g (if you intend to run the Meter Load routine)
  • Tweezers
  • Wire cutters
  • Tape (if there is none adhered to the side of the fiber spool)


These instructions are for setting up a new or partial spool of fiber (carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, or HSHT) with your fiber-capable Desktop Series printer. To do so, first follow the instructions in Set Up Fiber for Loading. Then, depending on whether or not you would like the printer to keep track of how much material remains on the spool, please continue on to read either Meter Load Fiber or Quick Load Fiber. Before beginning these steps, please ensure that you have completely unloaded any fiber that is currently loaded into the printer.

Set Up Fiber for Loading

  1. If this is a partial spool (i.e. you have previously used it to print) and you would like your printer to meter the remaining fiber material, weigh the spool in grams and make a note of the weight.
    Note: When you input this value later, the printer will automatically subtract the weight of the spool to obtain the weight of the material itself.
  2. Hold the end of the fiber to keep it from unspooling and remove the tape from it.
  3. Carefully unwind two and a half feet of material from the spool and then re-apply the tape to keep the rest of the material from unspooling. 
    Note: To avoid bending the material, tape it to the inside of the spool wall.
  4. Use wire cutters or a similar tool to trim off any filament that appears bent, as it may be difficult to load.
  5. Feed the cut end of the material through the fiber feed tube until it reaches the fiber extruder.

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Meter Load Fiber

Material metering is the process by which the printer tracks material usage to determine how much filament remains on a spool. If you run the Meter Load routine and input the weight of your fiber spool, your printer will keep track of the remaining material and can even warn you when your print may require more fiber than is loaded.

  1. Select the menu icon from the dashboard.



  2. Select the Materials tile from the menu options.



  3. Select the Load Fiber tile to begin the Load Fiber routine.



  4. Select Meter Load on the printer's touchscreen.



  5. Select the fiber you are loading into your printer.



  6. Select the type of spool you are loading.



  7. If you selected 50cc Full or 150cc Full, skip to step 8. If you selected 50cc Partial or 150cc Partial, please follow the additional steps below to provide your printer with accurate weight information:
    • Retrieve the note you made earlier of the spool’s weight.
    • Input the weight of the spool into your printer’s touchscreen and press Done.

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    • Press Next on the printer's touchscreen.



  8. Continue feeding the fiber into the feed tube until the extruder catches the material, at which point the fiber will be pulled upward automatically and fed through the Bowden tube until it reaches the print head. 
  9. As the fiber feeds through the fiber extruder, place the spool on the spindle such that material exits from the bottom of the spool. Attach the magnetic cap to the spindle to keep the spool in place.

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  10. Once the fiber is under tension on the spool, remove the tape from inside the spool and set it aside for later use. We recommend taping it to the front face of the spool. 

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  11. When the fiber begins to be extruded from the print head, press Cut on the printer’s touchscreen. Note: Do not press Cut until the fiber has been visibly extruded from the nozzle. Pressing Cut too soon will likely result in a fiber jam.



  12. Use tweezers to remove the extruded material from the nozzle if it does not fall out on its own.
  13. If the routine times out before fiber makes it to the nozzle, simply restart the fiber loading procedure by pressing Retry.
  14. Press Done on the touchscreen to finish the utility.



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Quick Load Fiber

If you do not want your printer to track the amount of material that is left, or if you don’t have the resources necessary to calculate the weight of the spool, the printer allows you to run a Quick Load routine. If you use this routine to load fiber, your printer will not be able to display how much material is left, nor will it be able to alert you when your printer is running low on material.

  1. Select the menu icon from the dashboard.



  2. Select the Materials tile from the menu options.



  3. Select the Load Fiber tile.



  4. Select Quick Load on the printer's touchscreen.



  5. Select the type of fiber you are loading into your printer.



  6. Continue feeding the fiber into the feed tube until the extruder catches the material, at which point the fiber will be pulled upward automatically and fed through the Bowden tube until it reaches the print head.
  7. As the fiber feeds through the extruder, put the spool on the spindle. Attach the magnetic cap to the spindle to keep the spool in place.

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  8. Once the fiber is under tension on the spool, remove the tape from inside the spool and set it aside for later use. We recommend taping it to the front face of the spool. 

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  9. When the fiber begins to be extruded from the print head, press Cut on the printer’s touchscreen. Note: Do not press Cut until the fiber has been visibly extruded through the nozzle. Pressing Cut too soon will likely result in a fiber jam.



  10. Use tweezers to remove the extruded material from the nozzle if it does not fall out on its own.
  11. If the routine times out before fiber makes it to the nozzle, simply restart the fiber loading procedure by pressing Retry.
  12. Press Done on the touchscreen to finish the utility.



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