Colorful filament. Source: WhiteClouds
Colorful filament. Source: WhiteClouds

The ABS and PLA filaments come in a variety of bright colors. Therefore it is valuable to understand how to change out the spools of filament so that you can take advantage of the colors that are available. 

See Figure 1

Before withdrawing the filament, go to the Maintenance Menu and note the amount of filament left on the spool. It is advised that this information be recorded and attached to the spool so that in the future the information can be used when reloading the spool.

See Figure 2 and 3

One way to do this is to write the information on a sticky note and then stick it in the center of the spool. Another option is to write the information on a sticky label and attach it to the end of the filament.

See Figure 4 and 5  

Next, you click the Withdraw button in the Maintenance Menu, the nozzle will take a few minutes to heat to approx. 270 degrees and then the printer will push the filament from the extruder so that it can be withdrawn just above the fan. You can then gently extract the filament from the hole, remove the tube from the filament and remove the spool from the spool holder. 

After choosing the color of filament you wish to print with, slide the spool onto the holder, with the filament unwinding clockwise and coming up from the bottom. Run the filament through the clip found on the top of the spool holder. Next, feed the filament through the Filament Guide Tube until about 4 inches is protruding out of the opposite end of the filament guide tube. Finally, insert the end of the filament into the hole at the top of the extruder head.

See Figures 6, 7, 8, and 9

Next go to 3D Print>Maintenance in the Menu Bar. Click on the New Spool button. In the dialog box drop down menu, indicate the type of filament you are using, ABS or PLA. Also, enter in the amount of filament that is on the spool. If it is a newly opened spool it will probably be 700g. If it is a previously used spool, hopefully there is a note indicating how much filament is still on the spool.

See Figure 10

Next, click on the Extrude button. The Afinia 3D printer will beep to indicate it has begun the extruding process. The nozzle will heat to approximately 260º and then a thin stream of filament will be extruded. Using the tweezers that came in the Afinia 3D printer accessory pack, remove the extruded filament from the tip. Now you are ready to print with the new color of choice.