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Large print Requires more material than available on spool

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Ultimaker S5, Cura 3.6.0 latest edition, Black Tough PLA

Large print requires swapping out spools/material.

1. Can I add "program stop" to code? If so, where can I locate the code that needs editing?

2. Does the printer just stop for spool change and then pick up exactly where it left off?

3. Is there a way to use both heads with same material? When one runs out, switch to other?

4. Currently using genuine Ultimaker Material, Black Tough P, 2.85mm dia., 750 g. Part requires over 900 g material. 

5. Are there other products that have more material per spool?Different brands?

Any help/advice would be appreciated..

Thank you,



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Maybe you could reduce infill, if that would be what uses most material? If you need a certain wall thickness for strenght, set the walls to way more than the usual 2x nozzle width, lets say 20x nozzle width (e.g. 8mm instead of 0.4mm). And leave the rest empty or sparsely filled (20...30%)? I don't know what you are going to print, but for tires for lightweigh toys, it *might* work? For a heavy equipment tire, it won't.


Or something along this line?

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The S5 with its filament/flow sensor can detect when the spool is empty and pauses the print. But you should be aware, that when it stays in pause for several hours that you will see then some under extrusion on this layer. So try to keep the time as small as possible.


There is a postprocessing script available "Pause at Z" but I have read, it is currently not working in the S5, so this is currently not an option.


Filament spools are available from some brands in 1kg or 2kg, but as far as I know not in a Tough PLA comparable material. Often just PLA.


Using both heads is possible with some tricks, you have to split your model into 2 parts in your CAD software, import both in Cura, then assign Extruder 1 to one part and Extruder 2 to the other part and combine/merge the parts then together again. 


I would try if the suggestions from @geert_2 could work for your model. Infill percentage is often too much and not needed, but depends on the model and your needs. I often print parts with just 10% or even less without any problems.


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For tests I have melted filaments together: heat a knife in a flame, insert it between two filament ends (so they both get melted), and then push both ends together. I did this on a little tool I printed for this purpose (see picture).


After that, the joint needs rework with a Dremel, to remove the ridge.


This works well for small pieces of filament, but I don't see how it could be done on a whole spool while printing? Unless you are willing to do some acrobatics...   :-)




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On 12/21/2018 at 6:23 PM, yellowshark said:

Can you not just cut the filament towards the end and feed in filament from a new spool directly behind/touching the existing filament being pulled through the Bowden?

If it is not melted together as one piece of filament, it will not retract the loose end. It will push it just fine, but not pull it. I know. I tried. It sucked......

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