Author Topic: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?  (Read 2315 times)

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Offline 741

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Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« on: September 28, 2022, 01:44:21 pm »
I do not have my own 3D printer - but I was wondering whether it is possible to create an enclosure with lettering of a different colour to the main part. This would mean that the print job would have to automatically pause whilst the reel of plastic filiament were changed, also it means that the enclosure labeling would have to be a final, separate task. (Unless, that is, the 3D printer used had a way to automatically select different filaments.)

Thus the un-labeled enclosure would be printed first, then the filament reel changed and finally the lettering is applied - as a surface finish to the existing enclosure shell.

For example, an 'A' shaped groove could be laid down on the main enclosure. Then, in the 2nd pass, the 'A' is printed again "on top of" the "'A' groove" - in a contrasting colour, and with some given thickness.

Somehow, on the 2nd pass, the print job would need to be "aware of" the existing 3D surface so as to apply the 2nd colour at the correct point in 3-space.

Offline jwet

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2022, 02:16:52 pm »
You can do this but it can get complicated.  There are dual extruder machines that make this somewhat easier.  I found a youtube video by Matter Hackers that does what you want- the guy talks pretty fast but shows you how to do it including the CAD required.  Link How To: "Two-Color 3D Printing with a Single Extruder Machine"  <google this on Youtube>
 
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Offline 741

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2022, 03:39:24 pm »
As I understand it, the first link shows the logo printed first, the table next, and a way to ensure alignment.

Presumably, for the situation where a logo/'decoration' is to be added to the outside of a hollow shell, the shell would have to be printed first? That is, the logo must not be attached to the printer platen, it has to sit on top of the enclosure shell outer face.


2nd link: I see a section https://all3dp.com/2/cura-pause-at-height-how-to-do-it/ which relates to single-nozzle printers, that is likely what the hardware would be in my case.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 03:53:18 pm by 741 »
 

Offline amwales

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2022, 03:55:52 pm »
As an aside, if you want to get something transferred onto a 3d printed surface I just came across a procedure that involves printing using a laser printer onto plastic acetate sheet ( for laser printers ), then putting the sheet onto the 3d printer bed, the object prints on top. When finished peel off the acetate and the print is transferred to the 3d print. The results looked incredible, but I can't find the video right now.

**edit, got the link

https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/xnin18/you_can_print_on_a_transparency_film_with_a_laser/

https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/xnotu1/heres_a_quick_video_of_the_toner_transfer_process/
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 05:12:08 pm by amwales »
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2022, 09:19:08 pm »
As an aside, if you want to get something transferred onto a 3d printed surface I just came across a procedure that involves printing using a laser printer onto plastic acetate sheet ( for laser printers ), then putting the sheet onto the 3d printer bed, the object prints on top. When finished peel off the acetate and the print is transferred to the 3d print. The results looked incredible, but I can't find the video right now.

**edit, got the link

https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/xnin18/you_can_print_on_a_transparency_film_with_a_laser/

https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/xnotu1/heres_a_quick_video_of_the_toner_transfer_process/

Yeah, you can do this or use waterslide/hydro dip decals: https://learn.adafruit.com/hydro-dip-3d-prints
- waterslide sheets ~70c each
- laser transparancy sheets ~20c each (and maybe can be reused?)

The results look decent: https://www.reddit.com/r/FDM_TonerTransfer/
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Offline brucehoult

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2022, 10:16:01 pm »
I've done this myself, by making the lettering raised a little and when the printer starts on the first layer of the lettering quickly manually cutting the filament off and feeding in a different colour. I don't pause the printer. The result looks fine, you just need to be in attendance at the right moment.
 

Offline mushroom

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2022, 12:09:18 am »
 
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Offline 741

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2022, 01:15:07 pm »
I noticed something that may be useful on one of the links given. It seems it is possible to (manually?) add a 'pause' in a gcode file.

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2022, 02:35:07 pm »
absolutey you can fondle with gcode file and add a pause code... possibly a beep if your specific machine code supports it.
https://machmotion.com/downloads/GCode/Mach4-G-and-M-Code-Reference-Manual.pdf
http://www.science.smith.edu/cdf/pdf_files/Techno_GCODE%20Commands.pdf
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Offline Infraviolet

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Re: Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2022, 10:22:09 pm »
A dual extruder dual nozzle printer (usually designed for doing a main material plus a weak or dissolvable support material) could do this. I'm pretty sure Ultimaker's Cura slicer (open source) has settings which let you pretty easily do this for circumstances, such as if the label you want to have a different colour is on different height layers than the main colour. You can create intersecting shapes in cura and tell it to print with the alternative material in area where the intersection crosses the main model.

There is another option too, recessed text and shapes can have very liquid "paints" poured in to them after printing.
https://hackaday.com/2022/03/14/brighten-up-your-prints-with-this-nail-polish-approach/

741: I'd highly recommend buying a printer, adequate ones start around £250. Creality is a well regarded brand and very easy to get spare parts for maintenance. Prusa is good too but pricier. £370 to £500 can get you a very effective machine in practice for single extrusion jobs. Dual extrusion printers though start above £700 or so. If you don't own a printer you'll be sending an stl file off to print-on-demand service, there won't be a way to specify gcode or cunning dual extrusion tricks or pauses, or use slicers like Cura. In an stl there is no way to specify colurs or anything like that. You need to be in control of the slicing and gcode to make theses sort of specifications.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2022, 10:28:46 pm by Infraviolet »
 


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