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Loading and Changing Gigabot X Materials

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Connecting the GBX Feed System
    1. Connecting the Feed Tube to the Hopper
    2. Installing the Hopper onto the Hopper Gantry
    3. Connecting the Feed Throat to the Feed Tube and the Extruder
  2. Changing Printing Material
  3. Using Purging Materials
  4. Historical Feed Throats

Connecting the GBX Feed System

The GBX feed system consists of three connected parts: the hopper, feed tube, and feed throat. These parts connect from the hopper gantry to the GBX extruder.

 

Connecting the Feed Tube to the Hopper

Follow the directions in Section F of the Hopper Gantry Assembly Instructions. The hopper must be disconnected from hopper gantry system to access the relevant parts.

 

Installing the Hopper onto the Hopper Gantry

Before installing the hopper onto the hopper gantry, first connect the feed tube to the hopper, following the steps in the previous section. To install the hopper onto the hopper gantry:

  1. Insert the hopper and feed hose sub assembly through the top of the [12176] Hopper Gantry Trolley.
  2. Hopper_Installation.jpg
  3. Attach the [11484] GBX hopper to the hopper trolley by using a 3mm hex screwdriver to screw four [10242] M5 x 35 FHCS up through the bottom of the hopper trolley and into the underside of the hopper. Note: if the screws aren’t lining up with the heat-set inserts on the underside of the hopper, rotate the hopper by 90 degrees.

  4. 2021-11-09_13_33_20-GBX_Hopper_Gantry_Upgrade_Instructions_-_Google_Slides.png

 

Connecting the Feed Throat to the Feed Tube and the Extruder

Before performing the steps in this section, ensure the feed tube and hopper are installed on the hopper gantry. To connect the feed tube to the feed throat:

  1. Insert [11482] Feed Tube in the top of the [12228] Feed Throat, pushing down until it hits a hard stop.
  2. Use 2.5mm and 2mm screwdrivers to tighten the two [10434] M3 x 14 SHCS, then the two [11005] M3 x 8 BHCS at the front and back of the feed throat.
  3. 2021-11-09_13_38_13-GBX_Hopper_Gantry_Upgrade_Instructions_-_Google_Slides.png
  4. Use a 4mm hex head screw driver, two M5 x 8 SHCS, and two M5 x 14 SHCS to attach the feed throat to the extruder body.

Changing Printing Material

Items you will need to switch materials:

  1. Container to catch pellets
  2. 4mm hex head screwdriver
  3. 2.5mm hex head screwdriver
  4. Purge material (optional)

To switch the printing material:

  1. Place a container below the extruder to catch any stray material. Lower the bed if necessary.
  2. Detach the [11336] Feed Throat from the extruder body by using a 4mm hex head screwdriver to remove the feed throat's four mounting screws.
  3. Pull the feed throat away from the extruder body and hold it over the container to catch the printing material.
  4. Allow the material to flow via gravity out of the entire feed system (hopper, feed tube, and feed throat) and into the container.
  5. For material with dust or fine particles that don’t completely flow out of the feed system, clean the feed system using compressed air to prevent cross-contamination between materials.
  6. Once all of the previous material has been removed from the feed system, slide the feed throat back into the extruder body. Use a 4mm hex head screw driver to bolt it in place.
  7. Load new printing material into the hopper. Optionally, load a purging material to use as an intermediary between the old and new materials. For more information, refer to the Purge Materials article.
  8. Screw the hopper lid onto the hopper to reduce the moisture absorbed by the material in the hopper.
  9. Heat all heat zones to purging temperatures. To determine purging temperatures, compare the printing temperatures of the previous and new materials and choose the higher temperatures.
  10. Once the extruder is fully heated, purge until the extruded stream transitions to the new material. The extruder holds between 20 and 30g of material, but certain materials may require purging more mass. Purge using one of the following 3 methods:
    1. Connect to the printer over USB and extrude through Simplify3D’s Machine Control Panel
    2. On the Viki, purge using "Prepare">"Move Axis"
    3. On the Viki, purge using "Prepare">"Purge"

 

Using Purging Materials

The previous steps can be performed to transition any one material to another, but it may be beneficial to use a purge material as an intermediary between materials. For more information, refer to the Purge Materials article.

 

Historical Feed Throats

Older versions of the [11336] Feed Throat have a stopper that can be used in the material changing process. However, newer versions of the feed throat and its interfacing parts offer a variety of improvements such as stronger parts, longer and more consistent printing, improved material flow, and higher extrusion rates. If you're interested in an upgrade, contact support@re3d.org.

 

To remove material from the feed system with a [11336] Feed Throat that is rev8 to rev10:

  1. Place a container below the extruder to catch any stray material. Lower the bed if necessary.
  2. Remove the feed throat stopper by sliding it out of the feed throat. Material in the hopper and feed tube should flow out through the opening and fall into your container.
  3. Once all the material has flowed out through the feed system, slide the feed throat stopper back into place in the feed throat.

To remove material from the feed system with a [11336] feed throat that is rev7 or earlier:

  1. Place a container below the extruder to catch any stray material. Lower the bed if necessary.
  2. Insert the stopper into the side of the feed throat to cut off the flow of material into the extruder.
  3. With a 3mm allen wrench, unscrew the 4 screws securing the feed throat to the extruder block. The feed tube, with the feed throat at the end, should now swing free of the extruder.
  4. Direct the opening of the feed throat to a container. Remove the stopper in the feed throat and allow any material in the hose and hopper to flow out and into the container.
  5. Once all the material has fallen out of the feed system, use a 3mm allen wrench to reattach the feed attachment to the extruder block with its 4 screws.
  6. Load new printing material into the hopper.
  7. Slide out the stopper in the feed throat to allow the flow of material into the extruder block.

 

Questions or concerns? Reach out to our support team at support@re:3D.org or open a support ticket.

 

Article Revision: 3

Revision Date: 11/9/2021

 

 

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