This guide assumes you are using PrusaSlicer and a Makerspace printer.
When 3D printing, you may find a use for 3D printing with multiple colors of filament. Some examples include smaller objects like keychains, coasters, and rings. This guide will detail some warnings and how to go about using a color change.
- This process only works on our Ender 3 and Prusa MINI+ printers.
- If using an Ender 3, make sure it is running our custom firmware. You can tell by a Makerspace logo being at the top-left corner of the screen. If the text "Ender 3" is there, do NOT use that printer.
- If you want to paint or post-process your print, it would be best to print in one color and paint the result.
- This process comes with an increased chance of failure. Be extremely careful and cancel your print if needed.
- You will NOT receive a notification that your print has paused for a filament change.
- We have only tested this process with PLA.
In this example, we will be using a UTDesign Makerspace keychain. Our goal is to print the bottom section with red filament and print the top section with white filament. If the image on your screen is too small, right-click it and select "Open image in new tab".
- Start by preparing your model like normal. We recommend a print detail of 0.10mm or shorter for smaller prints, as there will be a small amount of under-extrusion. These are the settings we will be using.
- At the top-right corner to the left of your print settings, you should see an arrow pointing upwards. Drag this down to the first layer of where the color should be different. If you are having trouble finding where you want your change, try slicing your G-Code and looking again. Included below is an example of what this layer would look like after slicing.
Note: The outline of the M has just taken shape. Since this is the first layer where the M is being printed, this is where we want our color change.
- To add a color change, left-click on the plus icon. You can hold shift while clicking if you want to specify a preview color.
Note: While you can specify a preview color for after color changes, you can't change the preview color of the bottom layers.
- Once you have inserted as many color changes as you need, click "Slice Now". Take note of the durations listed at the top-left of the preview. You will need these times to know when to return to the Makerspace.
- If you are satisfied with your slicing, export your G-Code.
Make sure you change your filament as quickly as possible. If necessary, have someone else do the change for you. UTDesign Makerspace reserves the right to cancel the prints of anyone who takes a long time to change filament.
- Log onto OctoPrint and upload your G-Code like normal.
- Start a timer on a device you keep with you for the duration listed first minus the amount of time it will take you to get to the Makerspace from where you will be waiting.
Note: For our example, the officer printing a keychain lives five minutes away. The first duration listed is 31 minutes. This means that they should set a timer for 26 minutes. This is just an example, but if your print time is this short, it may be worth staying at the Makerspace.
- Once your timer goes off, head to the Makerspace immediately. Complete the filament change using the section below.
- Refer back to the duration list you created earlier. If you will have to change filament again in the future, set another timer using the instructions above.
This process is different depending on which printer you are using. Make sure you follow the correct instructions for the printer you are using.
We do not currently have images for the below steps. These will be added in the next few days.