Gone are the days when few could afford to make use of 3D printing; not only is it available to more people due to the affordable prices of printers and filaments, it’s also constantly improving, allowing people the freedom to print out items for work and home, from decorating pieces and homewares to toys.
No matter the materials or colours and designs, it’s nowadays possible to print out a single item using a variety of materials, both standard, as in the example of PLA, and dissolvable like HIPS and PVA all at once thanks to the ingenuity of the multicolor 3d printer.
This is enabled thanks to the independent dual and multiple extruders that provide high precision while improving the printing speed altogether as opposed to the single extruder design of the older 3D printers. Efficient multimaterial printing is available because the independent print heads move on separate axes, the X and Y.
It’s a great advancement since the earlier days of 3D printing with the fused deposition modeling (FDM) because you can print out your colourful item right away instead of needing to stop the whole process in the middle only to empty out the old filament and replace it with a filament of a different colour and then continue.
Based on what you’re printing, the printer uses each of the filaments when required. Thanks to this development, you can produce something that has similar parts without the worry they won’t be noticeable, all it takes is two different colours to indicate them – this is exactly what makes this kind of 3D printing suitable for educational purposes.
The outcome of using two different filaments is an item with colours in a gradient effect instead of a mix and it all depends on the resolution, whether you want low or high resolution prints, knowing that the higher it is the more the blending, differing from the lower resolution giving a striped result.
There’s also the fact the multicolor 3d printer provides items of quality even with different materials as you don’t have to remove the support materials so the print doesn’t have support marks. Likewise, there’s an improvement in the strength of the print when you use two materials different in structure.
Along with the many advantages this innovation provides, it’s important to note the need to pay more attention to the calibration of the two extruders and nozzles as well as prevent hot end trouble.