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FM Essentials: The Puller

The theory behind how the Puller Wheels operate. These essentials are to help you understand how best to use the machine to your specifications.

The Filament Maker extrudes with a collection of features and components working together efficiently. It is up to the user to utilize these tools and ensure that the machine works well.

Table of Contents

Things to Watch Out For
Machine Settings
Safety / Error Messages
Further Information


Placed strategically between the Sensor and the Spooler, the Puller helps establish filament diameter consistency. 

Just like with all the other components, it's important to understand that there is no single setting fix that gives perfect results. Instead, knowing how the Puller operates allows us to use it as a tool and manipulate the filament so we can finetune the extrusion results.

The Puller Wheels are only used during the Finetuning and Spooling phases. 



The Puller Wheels are made up of a two parallel wheels, one motorized and coated in silicon, while the other a single metal wheel. The settings can be Manual or Automatic with both being useful in different scenarios.

Manual means the wheels will turn at the set speed without change.

Automatic means the wheels will receive data from the Sensor and adjust accordingly. 

  1. Thickness is measured by the Sensor every second.
  2. Thickness average is calculated over 20 seconds.*
  3. If the average differs from the setpoint (eg 1.75mm), the calculator automatically adjusts the speed of the Puller Wheels. 
  4. Repeat.

      *If the 20s interval is interrupted by the Sensor measuring '0' (filament cutting, winding, clogging etc.) then the 20 seconds calculation restarts. 

      Read more about how to analyze the datalog graph in our DevoVision article.

      Things to Watch Out For

      Manual or Automatic

      During the Spooling phase, the Puller Wheels set on Automatic give a consistent filament diameter over long periods of time (30+ minutes). This does not work as well when still in the Finetuning Phase. Therefore, it can be very frustrating to run a less than perfect filament through the wheels. Here are the things to watch out for:


      • IF the extruding material visually looks like a promising filament, THEN set the Puller on High Manual and run the filament through. 
        (High Manual is generally 1500 ticks on Machine Settings, and will show up inverted on DevoVision)
      • IF the Puller Wheels pull too fast causing a thin filament diameter, THEN reduce the speed on Manual.


      • IF DevoVision graph AND the visuals confirm a stable flow and consistent diameter for a minimum of 10 minutes, THEN change Puller Wheels from Manual to Automatic.
        If you make this change too early or skip Manual altogether, you will most likely get filament winding and other issues!


      • IF the Puller Wheels deform the filament, the plastic is too hot and does not cool fast enough. Change Heaters and/or Fans.

      Read more about how to utilize the Puller in our Practice Essential. 

      Machine Settings

      • Automatic
      • Manual
      • 0 to 2000 ticks

      Safety / Error Messages

      Safety Warnings:

      There is no direct danger caused by the Puller Wheels.

      However, since they are part of the Finetuning and Spooling phase, they are in contact with the extruded filament, which can at some points still be too hot to touch with bare hands. Please use gloves or tools when handling a hot filament!

      Error Messages:

      The only Error Message associated with the Puller Wheel is

      "Error has occurred - Puller stepper driver fault."

      If you encounter this rare error message, it is most likely a hardware issue with the Puller Wheel motor. Please Contact Support.

      Further Information

      How to analyze the Puller Wheel graph and ticks on the DevoVision datalog.

      Where to order extra Puller Wheels.

      How to replace broken or degraded Puller Wheels on the FM1.

      Next essential: The Spooler