One of the basic things you need to know how to do with the Silhouette Alta® is load the PLA (polylactic acid) filament, or the plastic material, that the Alta uses to print your objects. The Alta can print any PLA filament that is 1.75 millimeters thick.

To load the filament in your Alta 3D printer, start by opening Silhouette 3D™, powering on your Alta, and connecting it to your computer. In the software, click on the 3D Print tab. In the upper right-hand corner, ensure that your machine has been selected.

With the Alta selected, click on the Filament button.

Next, click on Load Filament.

Go through the following steps to load your filament properly.

Place your filament spool on top of your machine and put the roll of filament on the spool.

When using filament that comes in either a loose roll or on a reel, it is important to make sure that you keep a hold of the leading end because the filament can become tangled.

On top of the machine, there is an eye and the filament loading lever. Feed the filament through the eye and then the filament tube. This will help prevent the filament from becoming tangled and jamming the machine.

Once the filament has been fed through the filament tube, press the tab on the filament loading lever to open the hole where you can insert the filament. You won’t have to insert it very far. Most of the time, you’ll know the filament is inserted far enough when you feel it come to a stop.

Then release the tab.

Click Next in Silhouette 3D™,

and then click Load.

The machine will feed the filament through the inner print tube and heat up the print head.

The print head will then move down and extrude (or expel) a little bit of filament once the filament is warmed up. This primes the print head and clears out any leftover filament that may have still been inside (which is especially helpful when you are switching filament colors).

Included with your machine is a loose roll of white filament that is approximately 60 grams. If you want to purchase more filament, Silhouette sells spools with 500 grams of filament in a variety of colors.