Load Plastic


Goals:


Supplies

  • Scale accurate to 1g (for Meter Load)
  • Tweezers
  • Wire cutters

These instructions are for loading a new or partial spool of plastic (nylon or Onyx) filament into your Desktop Series printer. To do so, first follow the instructions in Set Up Plastic 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 Plastic or Quick Load Plastic. Before beginning these instructions, please ensure that you successfully do the following:

  • Completely unload any plastic that is currently loaded into the printer
  • Discard the old plastic spool if you anticipate it will not last another print
  • Discard all desiccant packs that did not come with the spool of plastic that you are currently loading
  • Review the Important Plastic Information support article

 

Set Up Plastic For Loading

  1. Open your drybox and remove the spindle from the inside. Pull the magnetic spindle cap and spindle body apart.
  2. After verifying that the bag containing your new plastic spool has no holes, remove the spool from its packaging. Place provided desiccant packs in the corners of the drybox.
  3. 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 plastic 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.
  4. Place the spool on the spindle and attach the magnetic retention cap onto the spindle.
  5. Place the spool and spindle in the drybox such that the metal shaft rests in the sheet metal V-grooves and the plastic filament exits from the top of the spool.
    Note: The plastic spool is wound under tension. Always hold the plastic against the spool to prevent unwinding during the loading routine.



  6. Cut the plastic filament at a 45o angle so that it can easily unspool to feed into the tube.
  7. Insert one end of the plastic feed tube into the adapter on the side of the drybox, then feed the plastic filament all the way through the tube such that it extends out the other end.
  8. Close the drybox cover and press the latches closed until they click twice each.
    Note: Ensure that the drybox remains closed and fully latched at all times, except when quickly loading or replacing filament.



  9. Verify that no leftover or broken plastic filament remains in the printer. If you spot any, please read Clearing the Bowden Tubes before continuing with these instructions.
  10.  Feed the plastic feed tube through the opening in the back of your printer and let it hang freely.



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Meter Load Plastic

Material metering is a process carried out by your printer to track how much material is used during printing, and to therefore determine how much material you have left on a spool. In order for material metering to take place, the printer must be told how much material is on the spool when the filament is loaded into the printer. If you run the Meter Load routine and input the weight of your plastic spool, your printer will keep track of the remaining material and can even warn you when your print job may require more plastic than is loaded.

  1. Select the menu icon from the dashboard. 



  2. Select the Materials tile from the menu options.



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



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



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



  6. Select the type of spool that you are loading.
    Note: Only select Full Spool if you are loading a new, standard 800cc spool of material. Otherwise, please select Partial Spool.



  7. If you selected Full Spool, skip to step 8. If you selected Partial Spool, please follow the additional steps below to provide your printer with accurate weight information:
    • 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. Wait for the print head to heat up and press the Next button on the screen.



  9. Feed the material from the plastic feed tube into the plastic extruder and insert the feed tube into the extruder’s push-to-connect fitting.
  10. Wait for the plastic filament to move through the plastic Bowden tube. Once the material begins extruding from the nozzle, press Stop.
    Note: The plastic extruder will start to click as material is extruded from the nozzle. This is normal and expected behavior for the material loading process.



  11. Use tweezers to grab and remove any extruded material that gathers on the nozzle.
  12. Press Done to exit the utility or press Retry to continue extruding material.



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Quick Load Plastic

Note: We strongly recommend using Meter Load whenever possible to ensure more accurate material measurement.

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 weigh your spool, the printer allows you to run a Quick Load routine. If you use this routine to load plastic, 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 Plastic tile to begin the Load Plastic routine.



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



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



  6. Wait for the print head to heat up and press Next.



  7. Feed the material from the plastic feed tube into the plastic extruder and insert the feed tube into the extruder’s push-to-connect fitting.

  8. Wait for the plastic filament to move through the plastic Bowden tube. Once the material begins extruding from the nozzle, press Stop.
    Note: The plastic extruder will start to click as material is extruded from the nozzle. This is normal and expected behavior for the material loading process.




  9. Use tweezers to remove any extruded material that gathers on the nozzle.
  10. Press Done to exit the utility, or press Retry to continue extruding material.



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