Changing filament while printing

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Changing filament while printing

Postby bbrown64 » 2015-Dec-Wed-14-Dec

I asked my supplier of filament how to go about changing filament color while printing. I suspected they would know. They asked me what printer and software I was using. A couple hours ago I got a reply. I use Cura and I have a Simple Metal 1403 with heat bed. This is what they told me to do.
One easy way to change filament on the fly with Cura is to do this:

When you get to the spot you want to change the filament, type this into the command input line in the print control window:

M220 S1 (make sure you do this while it is printing infill and not outer layers)

That will slow your printer down to 1% speed

Carefully change the filament to the new color, then type

M220 S100

to speed the printer back up to regular speed. Keep in mind there is a buffer, so it might take a while for the printer to change speeds.

I hope this bit of information is useful.
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Changing filament while printing

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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby musk » 2015-Dec-Wed-16-Dec

That technique sounds promising!
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Dec-Wed-16-Dec

Does the Cura UI have a pause button like Repetier-Host?

You might need to raise the extruder or otherwise position it so it won't start melting a spot on your print. Don't forget to put it back before you start printing.

Our local high school has several delta printers with bouden extruders, they just cut the filament off and feed in the new color as it prints. Works pretty well. If you're quick you might be able to do the same with a Printrbot.

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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby bbrown64 » 2015-Dec-Wed-19-Dec

Moose, Cura does not have a pause button as such. However, it does have two plugins one is tweak at Z, two is pause at height. I do not know how reliable those two plugins work. But with the instruction that my filament people have given me I can go ahead and change filament at anytime during the print. Also this will come in handy when a person is very near the end of the filament on a spool, yet still need to continue printing. Another thing about this command we do not have to stop printing, so there will be no big blob of plastic in the infill of the part.
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby PxT » 2015-Dec-Wed-21-Dec

Also see viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6473&hilit=#p41941 for anather technique that I have used successfully and is pretty foolproof.
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby olendorf » 2015-Dec-Thu-18-Dec

I have been tweaking the PauseAtZ plug-in today so that it actually works for us. It was written to pause until someone hits a button on the LCD panel. If no LCD then it did not pause. I modified it to accept a number of seconds to pause. I also had to tweak it to allow multiple instances of the plug-in to be run on one job. It has been working fine for me so give it a try.

I attached the plug-in to this post. It wouldn't allow a .py file as an attachment so copy it into your Cura plugin directory and rename it from .txt to .py. Then restart Cura and it will be there. On windows my directory name is K:\Program Files\Cura_15.04.2\plugins

Scott Olendorf
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby bbrown64 » 2015-Dec-Thu-18-Dec

Olendorf, thank you for the modified tweak. This will be handy since I do not have a LCD.
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby IB3D » 2016-Feb-Wed-18-Feb

Is this plug-in designed to pause at mm height or layer height?
I'm hoping for layer, but honestly can't tell by looking at the code within.
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby olendorf » 2016-Feb-Wed-18-Feb

With the version I have attached you can do either. You select which one you want. Enter 1 for mm or 2 for layer.

I'm attaching the newest version. I guess the one earlier in the thread only did LAYER.

This last version I figured out the retract amount and extrude amount have to be the same or it messes up the absolute positioning of the extrude axis.
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Re: Changing filament while printing

Postby IB3D » 2016-Feb-Wed-19-Feb

I was struggling to understand what needed to be replaced in this routine using your instructions over at the thingverse group. This helped immensely, thank you.
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