Filament advice before starting a Metal 3D print

To achieve the best possible result when printing Metal parts, please follow the guidelines below. This ensures the printed part quality suffices to allow the debinding and sintering process to succeed.

It is best to print the entire object with a single spool, but otherwise ensure to have sufficient material loaded on the machine to print the entire raft (shrinkage plate) and at least two layers of your 3D model. Printing the raft with a 'long filament change pause' in between, might cause instabilities and delamination and we strongly advise against it.

Note: Please read the entire article on detailed filament advice and how this may affect your final product.

Filament spool advice

For the best printing results, it is recommended to ensure you have sufficient filament left on the spool to complete your 3D print without changing the filament spool in the process. The weight indication can be found in Ultimaker Cura in the bottom right corner of the screen.

 

To weigh your filament accurately, follow these guidelines:

  • Weigh the spool of filament
  • Subtract the weight of an empty filament spool: -230 grams
  • Compare the weight to Cura's estimation
Weight-estimate-MFFF.png

Tip: Hover the mouse over the 'i' icon, to see the estimated material weight per filament used.

Print with insufficient material

When (accidentally) starting a print with insufficient material on your spool, you run into an 'End of filament' situation. In most cases, this can be recovered with a new spool of filament to successfully continue the print.

Caution: When your filament runs out before printing the raft (shrinkage plate) and a few model layers, the pause when changing filaments causes the plate and the connection to the plate to be unstable. In this case, we strongly advise aborting and restarting the print.

This table shows how many grams the raft (shrinkage plate) weighs when printing with a certain footprint in Ultimaker Cura. The footprint of your model can be found in the bottom left corner of the screen. Metal_FFF_footprint.png
Dimensions Estimated raft weight
150 mm x 150 mm 460 grams
125 mm x 125 mm 320 grams
100 mm x 100 mm 210 grams
50 mm x 50 mm 60 grams

Leftover material on spools

Any leftover materials on spools can be used for the following use cases:

  • Continue prints after 'end of filament'
    Use leftover filament when another print job pauses mid-print to change material.
  • Print something small
    Start a print job that requires less material first, to reduce filament waste.

Removing stuck filament

If the filament runs out before the raft (shrinkage plate) is complete, the flow sensors may not be triggered in time. This means that the filament could have already passed the feeder's knurled wheel, and it cannot be retracted successfully. If this happens, follow these steps to remove the stuck filament before restarting your print:

  1. Abort the print and wait for the post-print process to complete.
  2. Via the Configuration menu, select the print core in which the material is stuck. Manually set the print core temperature to 240°C.

Note: Do not heat the print core above 250°C, as this releases VOCs.

  1. At the back of the printer, remove the clamp clip from the feeder in which the material is stuck.
  2. Press down on the tube coupling collet and pull the Bowden tube out of the feeder.

Note: If the Bowden tube cannot be removed from the feeder easily, the material can still be (partially) stuck. Lift up the lever at the side to release the pressure from the filament and try pulling out the Bowden tube again.

  1. A short piece of filament will stick out of the Bowden tube that you have just removed. Grab it with pliers and pull firmly to remove the material from the print head and Bowden tube.
  2. Insert the Bowden tube into the feeder again and secure it with the clamp clip.
  3. Set the print core temperature back to 0°C.

Note: It is strongly recommended to clean the print core after a failed print. If the material has been stuck inside the print core for a while without extruding this can cause blockages.

Tip: For detailed instructions on how to remove the stuck filament, visit this page.

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