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Quick Change Replicator Reels with BONUS

by LeftAngle, published

Quick Change Replicator Reels with BONUS by LeftAngle Aug 22, 2012
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Save time when changing colors or materials by using this simple technique.

Oh... There's a DOUBLE bonus attached to this file now:-)


  1. Place the reel you want to change to near the rear of your Replicator.
  2. Unclip the guide tube from the extruder you want to change from.
  3. Feed the new plastic through the guide tube and let 3"- 4" hang from the end
  4. Set the menu to unload the extruder.
  5. As soon as the plastic releases, place the new plastic into the opening.
  6. Stop the extruder and immediately set it to load. It will begin to draw the plastic in as soon as you press the button.
  7. When you've loaded the extruder, pull the old plastic out of the guide tube, set the tube back onto the extruder and switch the reels at the rear of the machine... Done lickity-split :)

This will prevent the Replicator from shutting the heaters down while going through the motions of removing the old reel and loading the new.

Check out the entire process here:

Now, for the bonus:
Thingiverse loves to see objects posted. Rather than post a null file, here's something you may find useful:

Those stupid little spacers that separate the fans from the cooling fins are a pain to put back into place. This may have been done before, but here's a spacer that connects the 2 center bolts, so you only have to wrestle with the outer spacers, which are far easier to install.

Open the holes up with a 3.5mm drill.




I've modified a fan deck I'm using for another project. Might as well make things real easy and get all the spacers on one platform. Makes maintenance a non-issue.

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What is that cable chain sticking out of the side of your extruder for?

Good eyesight... Good question. The factory runs the fan wires between the extruders. While this is a neat solution, the 2 bolts that hold everything together also use that space. Bolts being harder than wire, they win any battle when trying to thread them into place.

I've re-routed the fan wires, off to the side. The cable chain keeps them out of the way of the end stop and I don't have any more frayed wires.

Just a note on the state of my extruders. I'm working on a method to constantly measure the height of the heads above the plate and the build. This is where I am now, which is not a good place (the dial gauge I'm using hits the forward portion of the wood case when it's heating up. I'd cut the wood away, but that's also where the lights are mounted. the reason it's still there, is because I've incorporated a snap-on cable holder that I think is superior to the cable ties that came with it and GeraldO's nifty little idea 21570 that was on there when those pictures were taken.

You can also see a velcro tool holder for the allen wrench and a MakerBotted .010 SS spring wire for clearing out nozzles that will be mounted elsewhere when I get everything together.