Changing the Filament Spool


Changing the filament for your Gigabot can be done both between prints and during a print. This article also outlines what additional steps you will need to perform when switching between filament types. 

Important Safety Information: Please keep skin, hair, and clothing away from the nozzles when changing filament, as the nozzles may be hot! 

Tools Needed: 

  • Wire cutters


  1.  To change the filament spool between prints:   
    1. Power on your Gigabot.
    2. Connect USB cable to computer.
    3. Open Pronterface and connect to your Gigabot.
    4. Heat up the hot end to the standard operating temp for the plastic you are using (210°C for PLA).
    5. Reverse the filament 90mm.
    6. Turn off the hot end heat.
    7. Remove the filament from the filament tube.
    8. Insert the new filament into the filament tube.
    9. Set the hot end temp to match the new filament.
    10. Guide the filament into the filament drive gear.
    11. Extrude 90mm of filament using the Pronterface controls.
    12. Re-attach the filament cleaning pad to keep dust and debris out of the filament tube and hot end.
    13. If you are switching to a different type of plastic filament (from PLA to ABS, for example), be sure to adjust the hot end temperature accordingly. You may need to extrude up to 100mm of filament to flush out the old plastic before printing.
  2. To change the filament spool mid-print:  
    1. With Gigabot Filament Detection Unit: 
      1. When the filament runs out while printing, your Gigabot will perform the following actions:
        1. It will retract 3mm of filament, and the print head will move to the filament change position.
        2. It will then retract 80mm of filament, and the hot end will cool down.
        3. The Viki will display a message to change filament.
      2. To replace filament: 
        1. Remove the remaining filament from the filament tube.
        2. Replace the filament spool and feed new filament into the filament tube up to the extruder.
        3. Press the center button on the Viki to initiate heating of the hot end.
        4. When the hot end has reached the correct temperature and stabilized for ten seconds, the Viki message will change from "Heating" to "Extrude".
        5. Turn the Viki wheel clockwise to feed filament through the extruder into the hot end. Continue until you see filament extruding from the hot end.
        6. Press the center button on the Viki to resume the print.
    2. Without Gigabot Filament Detection Unit: 
      1. Using Pronterface:
        1.  Click on the Pause button at the top of the screen.
        2. Click on the Home X button.
        3. Click on the Home Y button.
        4. Reverse the extruder 80mm.
        5. Turn off the extruder heat.
        6. Remove the filament.
        7. Open the filament tensioner, inspect, and clean drive gear.
        8. Insert the new filament.
        9. Close the filament tensioner.
        10. Set the extruder temperature.
        11. Click on the Home X button.
        12. Click on the Home Y button.
        13. Click on the Resume button.

Questions or concerns? Reach out to our support team at or open a support ticket




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