How to insert filament

Before you start any print, you need to load filament through the feeder into your Ultimaker. The filament is inserted into the feeder at the back of the printer, and forwarded to the nozzle in the print head. The process is similar for most Ultimaker 3D printer models, but there are some differences.

This page contains a short description of how to load materials on your Ultimaker 3D printer, and a link to the detailed product-specific page is also provided.

Tip: Make sure that the material in your printer matches the material you have selected in Ultimaker Cura.

Ultimaker Original and Original+

Preheating and loading material on the Ultimaker Original(+) is a manual process. Take the following steps:

  1. Place the spool on the spool holder at the back of the printer
  2. Preheat the nozzle via the menu on the UltiController (Prepare > Preheat > PLA)
  3. Open the feeder by sliding the lever upwards
  4. Guide the end of the material into the Bowden tube
  5. Manually push it all the way to the print head
  6. Close the feeder and secure it with the lever
  7. Manually turn the extruder gear until the filament extrudes from the nozzle

The material is now loaded and the Ultimaker Original(+) is ready to print!

Load-filament-UltimakerOriginal.jpeg

Tip: For detailed instructions, visit the user manual pages for the Ultimaker Original or Ultimaker Original+.

Ultimaker 2 family and Ultimaker 2+

The Ultimaker 2 and Ultimaker 2+ contain a guided process for loading filament into the printer. The feeders for the Ultimaker 2 family (including the Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 Extended) and the Ultimaker 2+ are very different, but the material loading process is the same.

The welcome setup will automatically guide you through this process. Otherwise, select the Materials menu on the printer to load or change the spool. Take the following steps:

  1. Place the spool on the spool holder at the back of the printer

Note: Ensure that the spool is placed with the filament coiled towards the feeder. For the Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker 2 Extended, Ultimaker 2+, and Ultimaker 2 Extended+ this means that the material is in a counterclockwise direction. For the Ultimaker 2 Go, the feeder is on the left side, so the material must be in a clockwise direction.

  1. Insert the end of the material into the feeder
  2. Wait until the feeder grabs the filament; the material will now slowly be forwarded
  3. As soon as the filament is visible in the Bowden tube above the feeder, press Continue

Note: Do not wait too long with pressing Continue. After this, the printer will automatically forward the filament to the print head. If the material is too far into the Bowden tube, the material will jam in the hot end and the feeder will grind into the filament.

  1. The material will now fast-forward to the print head
  2. Wait until the filament extrudes from the nozzle and select Confirm

The material is now loaded and the Ultimaker 2(+) is ready to print!

Load-filament-Ultimaker2Plus.jpg Load-filament-Ultimaker2.jpg Load-filament-Ultimaker2Go.jpg
Loading material on the Ultimaker 2+ Loading material on the Ultimaker 2 (Extended) Loading material on the Ultimaker 2 Go

Tip: For detailed instructions, visit the user manual page for your printer type: Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker 2 Go, Ultimaker 2 Extended, Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Extended+.

Ultimaker 3

The Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker 3 Extended are dual extrusion printers, capable of printing with two materials in one print. The two materials must be loaded in the correct order: first the material for extruder 2, then for extruder 1. The Ultimaker 3 also has a spool holder with an NFC reader, so it can automatically detect the type and color of your Ultimaker material.

The welcome setup will automatically guide you through this process. Otherwise, select the Materials menu on the printer to load or change spool(s). To load material, take the following steps:

  1. Place the spool on the spool holder at the back of the printer, with the material in a clockwise direction
  2. Wait for the printer to detect the material type, or manually select the correct type in the menu
  3. Insert the end of the material into the feeder (2)
  4. Wait until the feeder grabs the filament; the material will now slowly be forwarded
  5. As soon as the filament is visible in the Bowden tube above the feeder, press Continue

Note: Do not wait too long with pressing Continue. After this, the printer will automatically forward the filament to the print head. If the material is too far into the Bowden tube, the material will jam in the hot end and the feeder will grind into the filament.

  1. Wait until the filament reaches the print head and confirm when the material extrudes from the nozzle
  2. Place the other spool, for extruder 1, on the filament guide with the material in a counterclockwise direction
  3. Guide the end of the filament through the hole and place the filament guide onto the spool holder
  4. Repeat steps 2 - 6 for this material spool, but for feeder 1

The material is now loaded and the Ultimaker 3 (Extended) is ready to print!

Load-filament-Ultimaker3-spool2.jpeg Load-filament-Ultimaker3-filamentguide.jpeg Load-filament-Ultimaker3-spool1.jpeg
First load the spool for extruder 2 Place the spool on the filament guide Load the spool for extruder 1

Tip: For detailed instructions, visit the user manual page for the Ultimaker 3.

Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker S5

The Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker S5 are dual extrusion printers, capable of printing with two materials in one print. The two materials must be loaded in the correct order: first the material for extruder 2, then for extruder 1. The Ultimaker S-line printers also have a spool holder with an NFC reader, so it can automatically detect the type and color of your Ultimaker material.

The welcome setup will automatically guide you through this process. Otherwise, select the Materials menu on the printer to load or change spool(s). To load material, take the following steps:

  1. Place the spool on the spool holder at the back of the printer, with the material in a clockwise direction
  2. Wait for the printer to detect the material type, or manually select the correct type in the menu
  3. Insert the end of the material into the feeder (2)
  4. Wait until the feeder grabs the filament; the material will now slowly be forwarded
  5. As soon as the filament is visible in the Bowden tube above the feeder, press Continue

Note: Do not wait too long with pressing Continue. After this, the printer will automatically forward the filament to the print head. If the material is too far into the Bowden tube, the material will jam in the hot end and the feeder will grind into the filament.

  1. Wait until the filament reaches the print head and confirm when the material extrudes from the nozzle
  2. Place the other spool, for extruder 1, on the filament guide with the material in a counterclockwise direction
  3. Guide the end of the filament through the hole and place the filament guide onto the spool holder
  4. Repeat steps 2 - 6 for this material spool, but for feeder 1

The material is now loaded and the Ultimaker S3 or Ultimaker S5 is ready to print!

Load-filament-UltimakerS5-spool2.jpeg Load-filament-UltimakerS5-filamentguide.jpeg Load-filament-UltimakerS5-spool1.jpeg
First load the spool for extruder 2 Place the spool on the filament guide Load the spool for extruder 1

Tip: For detailed instructions, visit the user manual page for the Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker S5.

Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle (with Material Station)

Loading material spools into the Material Station is fast and easy. This can be done at any time, even during printing. You can pre-load up to six material spools in the Material Station and the Pro Bundle will automatically select the correct spools for your next print job.

  1. Cut the end of the filament spool into a nice, sharp tip to ensure reliable loading
  2. Open the Material Station door
  3. Place the spool into one of the six bays with the NFC tag on the left side
  4. Insert Insert the tip of the material into filament entry port 1 or entry port 2 until the prefeeder grabs the material
  5. Wait for the Material Station to detect the material or select the correct type manually
  6. Close the Material Station door when you are done installing material spools
Load-filament-Wirecutters.jpg Load-filament-Material-Station1.jpg Load-filament-Material-Station2.jpg
Ensure a nice, sharp tip before loading filament Drop the spool into one of the bays Guide the filament into entry port 1 or port 2
Ultimaker 2+ Connect

The Ultimaker 2+ Connect has a menu for loading material, to automatically heat up the nozzle to the correct temperature, but loading the material is a manual process. Take the following steps:

  1. Select the Materials menu on the touchscreen display and navigate to Load material
  2. Select the material type and wait for the nozzle to heat up
  3. Place the spool on the spool holder with the material in counterclockwise direction
  4. Open the feeder lever, insert the filament into the feeder, and push it through to the print head
  5. Close the feeder lever
  6. Confirm that the spool is loaded and wait for the material to extrude from the nozzle

The material is now loaded and the Ultimaker 2+ Connect is ready to print!

Tip: For detailed instructions, visit the page for loading, changing, and unloading material on your Ultimaker 2+ Connect.

Important note

When loading material(s) on a printer with an automated loading process (Ultimaker 2(+), Ultimaker 3, or S-line printer), it is important to forward the material through the Bowden tube at the right moment. The feeder will first move slowly, until it has a grip on the filament. After confirming this on the display, the feeder will fast forward the material until it reaches the hot end. This is a set distance.

Caution: If you wait too long with confirming on the display, the material will jam in the hot end and the feeder will grind into the material. This will cause extrusion and material quality problems, and requires corrective maintenance (cleaning the feeder).

You must confirm that the material is loaded into the feeder when the tip of the filament is visible in the Bowden tube just above the feeder, or a maximum of 10 cm (4 in) above it.

How_to_insert_filament_Ultimaker2__Inserting_filament.jpg

Note: Make sure to forward the filament when you see it in the Bowden tube.

If you have accidentally waited too long, you can relieve the tension of the feeder lever and manually pull back the material before confirming on the display.

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