Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

Can a 3D printer job specify different colours for labels etc?

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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.

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>


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.

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




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