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How To 3D Print With Different Colors

How To 3D Print With Different Colors

Recent modifications in technological developments have led to multiple manufacturing processes. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is one of them which is being frequently used nowadays to create user-friendly objects or toys. 

To get more into the depth of this article, we first have to understand the process of 3D printing.

What is 3D printing and how it is used?

So essentially, 3D printing requires a layering procedure to create multi-dimensional objects using a blueprint or software like AutoCAD, Sketchup, or Adobe illustrator. The blueprint is then transferred to the printer that reads it and constructs an object under the required modifications.

However, the prime limitation of using a 3D printer is that it is restricted to using material of the same color which is a concern raised by many individuals. To sort that out, many companies have initiated different processes to help to print with multiple colors. 

For example, zero-waste full-color 3D printers can be purchased by Mcor Technologies, such as CG-1 printers. These printers use inkjet printing, paper, and other adhesives to build a full color while constructing 3D objects. But it can be quite expensive.

Now, let's discuss 3D printing technologies such as FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling). This technology uses a material extrusion process to build a certain layer at a time of an object. The process requires the material to be melted and extruded through a nozzle to create an object. But the main limitation of using it is that it is not able to mix multiple colors while constructing an object. 

To sort that out, you can pause your current print to change the filament color and then start again to build another color when the first layer of an object is completed. Moreover,  Multiple Extruders can also be attached to your printer to increase its coloring ability. This will save time as you won't have to change the filament settings all over again. 
However, the colors would be limited to the number of print heads only that will be attached to the printer. Now let's get into more detail and discuss some effective ways to add multiple colors to your 3D printer.

Printers with multiple Nozzles and Extruders

These are blended color-contrasting machines with nozzles that eliminate the need for constant retractions of the old filaments. They help build efficiency in the production of projects by interluding up the work between two extruders. 

The main benefit of using these printers is that the extrusion process allows you to add a variety of colors while printing or constructing an object. 

Moreover, it can also make one of the products stand out from the other one, making it exquisite and functional. These printers usually require more frequent maintenance, but the outcome produced is usually stronger in terms of its strength and defined quality. Some of these printers are the Ultimaker S5, BCN3D Sigma D25, and Fashforge Creator Pro 2.

Layers Swapping- Manual Color Changing

If you have a single extruder and want to add more color to the object's construction, then you can do layer swapping. However, your print has to be paused during the construction process before you decide to change your filament. 

Later, You can resume it through the printer controlling options. This would allow you to change the color of your objects and add more variety to the creation process. It's one of the easiest and fastest ways to print a 3D design from a single extruder machine. 

You can check the correct order of layers at the end to know whether the process is successful or not by removing the model from the machine. Also, this is only effective if the product has different features at a certain position or height.

Splicing- Adding different colors

This procedure involves appending different colors and materials so that the printer does not stop during the construction process. (For example, when changing colors, during retraction, or nozzle changing). Palettes such as Mosaic palette Pro 3 are commonly used for splicing as it lets you print up to 8 different colors.

If one of your filaments or spool runs out, then the palette automatically keeps your print going by splicing to another spool. Moreover, it also provides you with realistic color patterns that make your work more aesthetically pleasing. So it's a great way to enhance your color palette.

Blended Color Add-on kits

For a powerful multi-dimensional design solution, add-on kits have been introduced lately to convert your single color machine into a more diversified one. 
Among these blended kits, E3D cyclopes are the popular ones. It usually has two nozzle ends with an upgraded heatsink and a cold end. So it's multipurpose, and you can use more than one color.

Other Techniques

Since the Multi-colouring of 3D objects involves more investment. So if you aren't sure about investing in one, try to adopt some other techniques such as pre or post-coloring. These are cost-effective, but it's not part of the printing process. 

However, pre-printing techniques do not include the model's design, and you can expect any color as it is randomly selected before printing. So it involves multicolored filaments rather than a fixed set of color blends.

On the contrary, the post-printing technique is when the object is painted after its construction process is completed. The object first has to be closely monitored, and then a certain amount of colors are added to it. 

This technique provides a refined touch to the final product. And it's also more cost-effective than adding multiple extruders or kits to your printer. Dyeing, painting, and varnishing are other options to give the object a final outlook.

Conclusion

Using different blends and colors while printing or constructing 3D day-to-day objects is a great additive way to save energy and the cost of producing materials. But it is also essential to look at the budget you will require to construct those objects. 

Hence You should adopt effective coloring method techniques. Before that, you must take the quality of the color, extruders, and filaments into account to create

Previous article How to Fix Under Extrusion- What Causes Under Extrusion on Your 3d Prints and How to Fix Them

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