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11. First Flight

11. First Flight
Relevant for:
Last updated a day ago
11. First Flight
 Difficulty
Moderate
 Steps
17
 Available languages
CSPLDEESITFR
Filament preparation
Filament preparation
Filament preparation
Filament preparation
We can now move on to loading the filaments in and printing the test object! But first;
Please prepare at least five different PLA filaments and cut off the ends to form a round sharp tip on each - as seen in the picture.
The filaments must have a sharp tip in order to load properly into the MMU as well as into the printer. If the tip is deformed, bent or larger in diameter, it won't load properly.
Inspect the last 40cm (15") of each filament. Make sure there are no dents in it. Sometimes, if filament got jammed before, the pulley wheel makes an indent in it. This part of the filament can no longer be grabbed and moved by the MMU unit and must be cut off.
If the filament end is bent, straighten it. It must be perfectly straight.
Use only high-quality filament with guaranteed low diameter deviation. In case you have filament loading / unloading issues in the future, re-visit this step as well. Make sure the filament is dried up. Moisture-sensitive filaments can be problematic during the MMU operation.
Suggested filament layout
Suggested filament layout
Suggested filament layout
Suggested filament layout
Lay down the five filaments onto the spool holders. Make sure the spools do not interfere one with another.
Filament positions are labeled 1,2,3,4,5 from the left to right, from the user's point of view.
Adjust each spool holder so that the spool fits the rollers correctly.
Verify the spool is able to rotate freely and nothing interferes.
Take the cassette for Filament 1 out of the buffer.
Loading a filament through the buffer
Loading a filament through the buffer
Loading a filament through the buffer
Loading a filament through the buffer
Insert the tip of the filament 1 into the bottom PTFE tube attached to the spoolholder.
Keep pushing the filament into the PTFE tube until it appears in the corresponding buffer cassette.
Take the tip and insert it through the cassette into the other PTFE tube, which goes into the MMU unit.
Preloading filaments to MMU
Preloading filaments to MMU
Preloading filaments to MMU
Preloading filaments to MMU

On the printer, go to the Menu -> Preload to MMU

(Filament -> Preload to MMU on MK3.5/MK4)

Select Filament slot 1. The MMU unit will engage the idler into the first position and start rotating the pulley until the filament is loaded in.
Keep pushing the corresponding filament end into the PTFE tube from the buffer into the MMU, until you feel the filament being pulled in.
Remember, the filament tip must be straight and sharp in order to load it properly.
Repeat the same process until you load all five filaments.
Closing the buffer
Closing the buffer
Closing the buffer
After a given filament is successfully loaded into the MMU, return its cassette back into the buffer.
Repeat the same process for the other filament positions, until you successfully load all five filaments into the MMU.
Pro tip: Loading using the buttons.
Pro tip: Loading using the buttons.
Pro tip: Loading using the buttons.
You can also load a filament into the MMU using the buttons on the unit. Next time you load a filament, use the method you prefer. Either from the LCD menu, or using the physical buttons.

While the MMU is idle; (indicated by ALL LED lights OFF)

The middle button starts or aborts the filament loading to MMU.
The side buttons move the selector left and right to switch filament positions.
Use the side buttons to move the selector onto the desired filament position indicated by the selector being aligned with one of the lines on the label-plate.
The ongoing loading process is indicated by a blinking green LED light for the respective filament position.
Stable green LED light means the given filament is loaded to extruder.
Note, after you issue a command to the MMU unit, wait and let it finish the operation. Don't rush. Don't play around with the printer in the meanwhile. Let it finish first if the MMU unit does something (homing, loading, unloading).
Loading test (part 1)
Loading test (part 1)
Loading test (part 1)

Go to the Menu > Settings > Loading Test

or Control > Loading test (on MK3.5/MK4)

Select the filament type to preheat (PLA)

Select Load all / Test All

Or test all the filaments from 1 to 5 manually, if "Test All" item is unavailable on your firmware version.

The MMU unit will now load and then unload all five filaments to see if all work correctly.

Loading test (part 2)
Loading test (part 2)
Loading test (part 2)
While your MK3S+ loads a filament into the extruder, it performs the loading check: Solid blocks should be generated on the bottom of the LCD representing the IR filament sensor detecting a filament during the process.
If there are lines instead of some of the solid blocks, it means the Filament sensor in the extruder is providing an intermittent reading and might require some aditional tuning.
In case several loading retries fail, a corresponding error screen is shown.
On the MK3.5 / MK4 printer, you can check the filament sensor's status in the "footer" area of the LCD screen to see if it's detecting the filament correctly.
Z axis and first layer calibration (optional)
Z axis and first layer calibration (optional)
Z axis and first layer calibration (optional)
IMPORTANT: This step is necessary for the MK3S+ / MK3.5 if you worked on the extruder head previously. If you only upgraded the old chimney to the new one, you can skip to the next step and use the Live Adjust Z function as usual to fine-tune the first layer.
Go to LCD Menu - Calibration - Calibrate Z.
Then run the First Layer Calibration.
Running a test print
Running a test print

As a first print please print the Sheep, which is pre-sliced and tested. In case of any issues, it will make troubleshooting much easier.

Visit Sheep (multi-material) to download a pre-sliced G-code.
Load the Sheep_2PLA G-code or another suitable test print file into your printer and start a print.
Make sure you are using a G-code correctly sliced for your printer model!
Tools Mapping (MK3.5 / MK4)
Tools Mapping (MK3.5 / MK4)
Tools Mapping (MK3.5 / MK4)

When you start a print on the MK3.5 or MK4, the Tools Mapping screen appears. This allows you to reassign the extruders with the specified color to another one as needed.

On the left side, you'll see a list of the required materials and their colors, as specified in the G-code file.

On the right side, you'll find a list of materials currently available on the printer, that will be used to print the object. 

For example, if the G-code requires orange filament in the first position, but you have orange loaded in the fifth position, select the first position on the left menu and then assign it to the fifth position on the right.
Double-tap the filament positions or use the encoder to select the filament number.
Print & Follow the Handbook.
Print & Follow the Handbook.
Print & Follow the Handbook.
Start the print and wait until it finishes. In the meantime you can take a look at the printed Handbook.

All the information regarding calibration, how to organise the printer, buffer, spools, or troubleshooting tips are all in the printed or online Handbook.

To download the Handbook or if you encounter any issues, please visit our knowledge base at: http://help.prusa3d.com/en/tag/mmu3/

If you are having any issues while printing, follow the on-screen instructions or visit the link from the LCD screen.
G-code preparation / Custom model preparation
G-code preparation / Custom model preparation
G-code preparation / Custom model preparation
Already printed all the bundled multi-material models from us as well as those seen at http://Printables.com? Time to print your own designs!
The simpliest way of making a single-body object colorful is the MMU Painting function in PrusaSlicer.
Basic steps for the manual method are described in our  G-code preparation for multi material print section.

For printing logos or text labels, you might also find the  automatic color change at a given layer height useful. Simply, slice an object, select a certain layer height, click the small orange "+" icon next to the height marker and select the desired MMU filament position (Extruder number).

Making your own Multi-material models
Making your own Multi-material models
Making your own Multi-material models
Making your own Multi-material models
If you have designed a model with multiple bodies, you may find the Exporting model from Fusion 360 guide useful.
If you are designing a single-body model, part of which should be MMU-Painted, make sure there is a sharp line surrounding each distinct part so that you can use the MMU Painting's Smart-fill function later on in PrusaSlicer.

If you have an intricate STL file that can't be MMU-Painted easily, you can try the more sophisticated way of Splitting STL with single compact part or Splitting STL into multiple parts using MeshMixer.

MMU Single material operation
MMU Single material operation
MMU Single material operation
Did you know that MMU3 unit can also be used to make single-material printing more convenient too?
You can keep up to five of your favorite materials loaded into the MMU unit.
On the MK3.5/MK3.9/MK4, when you run a single-material G-code, the printer allows you to choose which filament to use.
On the MK3S+, Slice an object with the MMU3 Single profile and start the print. Then, choose which filament to use from the LCD.
If you know which material to use already while slicing, you can continue using the regular MMU3 profile and assign a single color (Extruder number) to the object.

If one of the filaments runs out, your print might be able to continue automatically with the Spooljoin function.

Check the SpoolJoin article for more info.

Reward yourself
Reward yourself
If you successfully made it all the way to here, you have to reward yourself.
Have some Haribos, while you watch the printer print.
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