So, here's a literal shower thought that I have to get out of my head.
Sometimes you 3D print stuff that needs some kind of markings on the face. A good example is the Prusa LCD case and their brand name on the front:
The way it's done here, is to create the markings by omitting material. Either by printing overhangs or by having the face upwards.
A second (in my opinion) more attractive way is to use color. This can be achieved by manually changing filament at a certain layer. For example using the Prusa color print tool. I did this in my model here:
However this requires the face to be printed up and the markings need to be raised from the rest of the face.
So here's my thought: It should be possible to print the very first layer in multiple colors with manual filament changes in between. For this, the printer would need to print all elements of the same color first, then stop and ask for a manual filament change and continue with the next color. If you only use two or three colors, that would be easily doable. Maybe even for the first two or three layers.
I am aiming for an effect like the following but without the need for a Multi Material Unit (MMU) on my printer.
So I am wondering – I can't be the only one who had that thought. It should be technically feasible. The only question is what slicer would create the appropriate gcode for me? Maybe an MMU aware slicer could be tricked into something like this? Did I miss something obvious somewhere? Has this been done before?
Answer: Here's how to do it
Of course I was not the first to think of this. User moorviper linked to some useful ressources in the Tom's 3D community forums.
A detailed description is available on Thingiverse.
The gist is:
- set up a printer with multiple extruders in Slic3r
M600(filament change) as the gcode command for a tool change
- print a multi material model as if you have a multi-extruder printer
Pretty simple. I'm looking forward to try it on one of my next designs.