How to Load Filament into a 3D Printer

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Updated February 10, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 6
Time Required 10 minutes
Things to Know

Users invested in a premium printer should understand how to feed filament into a 3D printer. Loading filament into a high-end 3D printer is a basic step, but some 3D printing hobbyists find it confusing. Luckily, you can learn proper filament loading techniques to ensure successful 3D prints. First, you need to make sure your 3D printer is on and heated up to the right temperature for your chosen material. Then, take out any filament that might already be loaded into the printer by slowly pulling it out of the extruder. Now, you can put the new filament into the extruder.

Sounds simple, right? Keep reading to find more detailed instructions below.


  • Preheat your 3D printer to the recommended temperature range for your new filament roll.
  • Cut the edge of the filament at an angle so the extruder can catch the filament more efficiently.
  • Once the filament is inside the extruder, push a few mm of filament through the print head to ensure you’re ready to print.

How to Put Filament in a 3D Printer

Understanding how to keep 3D printer filament from tangling is a simple step toward successful prints. Additionally, learning how to make 3D printer filament spools can help you save money by recycling leftover filament.

Insider Tip

Wipe your print head before a printing session to prevent a stuck piece of filament from disrupting your model.

A lack of maintenance will result in bad prints, so learning how to lubricate a 3D printer is critical. Advanced users should clean their print bed and extruder nozzle to ensure printing accuracy.


A tangled spool of filament can result in incomplete prints, so always check the filament roll before loading it.

STEP 1 Preheat Your Printer

Set your 3D printer’s nozzle temperature to the level your filament requires. For example, set the extruder temperature to around 200 degrees celsius for PLA filament.

STEP 2 Prep Your Filament Wire

Place the spool on your printer’s filament holder and cut the edge of the filament with a wire cutter. Cut the filament at an angle so it is easier to slide into the filament gear.

STEP 3 Straighten a Bit of Filament

Straighten the filament, so it doesn’t bend or curl before entering the extruder path.

STEP 4 Place the Filament into the Extruder Path

Loosen the extruder lever or unscrew it so the filament can slide into the printer. Once you place the filament into the extruder, close the extruder tube.

STEP 5 Adjust the Tension

Adjust the filament spool until it is taught between the spool and the extruder entrance.

STEP 6 Use the Settings Menu

Use your printer’s LCD menu or the extruder knob to push around 100mm of filament through the nozzle. This ensures that you’ve completed the loading process and you’re ready to print.

STAT: A 2019 Global EY study showed that 100% of the worldwide aerospace industry already applied or considered 3D printing for their businesses. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image