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How to use FDM 3D printer for multi-color printing

This The best 3D printer, Even if it is like Creality Ender 3 Pro, Can make highly detailed models, but most can only output one color at a time. In this guide, we will explore several different ways that you can print parts in multiple colors using an FDM 3D printer with only one nozzle. The three techniques we will explore are the “pause and swap” method for swapping filament spools, printing objects into multiple pieces, and using rainbow filaments to create parts with satisfactory color transitions. You can also draw the model after printing, but this will be another article.

If you have never prepared a model for 3D printing before, you can read our process and familiarize yourself with the custom slicer settings A guide on how to make your first 3D print. If you are used to changing the slicer settings (such as filling, printing speed, etc.), please continue reading to learn how to create a multi-color print with a single extruder FDM 3D printer.

what do you need

  • 3D printer: In this article, we will use Creality Ender 3 Pro FDM 3D printer, but almost any FDM 3D printer can (SLA (aka resin) model is another matter).
  • filament: PLA is an easy-to-use, low-cost material. In this article, we will use PLA filaments from Begonova, Eryone and other companies. To create rainbow parts, we will use TTYT3D Rainbow PLA.
  • Slicer application: We will use Ultimaker Cura to prepare files for Creality Ender 3 Pro, but other slicer applications such as PrusaSlicer and Simplify3D have similar workflows. The settings should be similar, but they may be in different menus.

Get multi-color 3D printing software

(Image source: Tinkercad)

We will use Tinkercad to create multi-color parts, but you can use any known design program. Tinkercad is available as a free in-browser program, you can create an account by visiting their website.

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