How to Change 3D Printer Filament

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Updated February 1, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how to change the 3D printer filament. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers, and these models require filament or resin to operate. So how do the best 3D printers work, why should you change filament spools, and how to do it? Keep reading to find out.


  • Changing a printer’s filament mid-print is a requirement when you are running low or when switching to a new type of filament.
  • This process differs from printer to printer, but you will have to heat up the nozzle temperature to extrude the old filament.
  • Further purge the old filament before attaching the new spool and 3D printing, setting the correct extrusion diameter before using the new filament.

Why Change Printer Filament?

Before learning how to change a 3D printer nozzle, you should understand why you need to change the filament in the first place. No matter how thin a 3D printer can print, the filament or resin eventually runs out. In other words, you have to replace it every now and again, even if you just learned how to 3D print on fabric.

Insider Tip

Work slowly as you run the new filament through the nozzle to prepare it for use.

You may also want to swap out filament types to suit different designs, as each material has its own preferred use case scenarios, which is useful information if you just learned how to paint 3D prints.

Tips to Change Printer 3D Filament

The process differs depending on your printer and how it receives and uses filament. The process could also change depending on the filament itself. So, yeah, there is no universal “how to” guide here, but there are some useful tips that will get you past the finish line.

Heat Up the Nozzle

In the vast majority of cases, you will be heating up the nozzle to remove the filament. Heat the nozzle to match the melting temperature. This information should be readily available on the side of the filament spool or via the manufacturer’s website. As for changing temperatures, that is accomplished via the printer’s settings tab on the printer itself or via any affiliated smartphone app.

Purge the Old Filament

Just because you dispose of the old spool does not mean that every bit of the old filament is gone. The nozzle and extruder will be packed with the stuff, so get ready to purge this old material before installing the new spool. The purging process differs according to the printer, but you should find an option somewhere in the settings that, when engaged, releases any excess filament.

STAT: 3D printing or additive manufacturing is the construction of a three-dimensional object from a CAD model or a digital 3D model. (source)

Set the Correct Extrusion Diameter

Set the nozzle extruder lever to match the new filament so you can be sure the prints will be on point.

Changing Filament FAQs

How do you change your 3D printer filament?

This is completed by removing the old 3D printer filament, adjusting the nozzle temperature, and inserting new 3D printer filament, such as PLA 3D printer filament. How to change a 3D printer nozzle?

How do you change your printer nozzle?

Swapping out the nozzle is not too difficult, though you will have to reduce the nozzle temperature, as high nozzle temperatures are hot to the touch. After that, you are free to swap out the 3D printer filament.

What do you do if you run out of filament in the middle of a print?

If you run out of filament mid-print, you should be able to swap it out, though this is easier with PLA 3D printer filament than with amolen 3D printer filament. Follow the instructions and remove the extruder nozzle.
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