Preparing your Multi-Filament print with a slicer

Preparing your Multi-Filament print with a slicer

So we're back with the second in our series of posts to walk you through the slicing portion of The Palette's software workflow. For this example we’ll be using Cura to demonstrate how you can import your 3D models, combine them, and slice multiple .stls as a SEEM print. If you’re wondering how to export your 3D model for a SEEM print, check out our last blog post on the topic here.

To start off, click the icon in the top left corner, the “Load” icon. This will bring up a window to allow you to choose which files you want to import into Cura.

Import the four .stl files you saved from our last walk-through. In this screenshot, they’re titled: “Black CFR,” “Green,” “Yellow,” and “Purple.”

This is how they will all appear on your virtual print bed:

The next step is to snap all of these parts together into a single piece. To do so, use the “Dual Extrusion Merge.” To bring this up, left click on one of the objects, then right click on one of the others, and select the “Dual Extrusion Merge” button.

You should be left with something similar to what is pictured below:

Continue that process with the other two objects, until you have a single object on your virtual print bed, as pictured below.

At this point, your object will behave like a single .stl. Feel free to rotate it, scale it, or move it on the print bed as needed. Now we’re going to move into slicing settings. First, we don’t suggest changing any of the default setting that your printer already has setup, there are no differences here between a regular print and a SEEM print.

One thing you will notice is the second, third, and fourth nozzle temperature. These new boxes are because Cura thinks we’re printing with a four nozzle 3D printer. Set the temperature of nozzles 2, 3 and 4 to zero degrees, and the temperature of nozzle 1 to the temp you wish to print with. In the case of this walk through, we set the temp to 210 for use with our PLA filament.

Pro-tip: If you notice one of your filament diameters is less than the others you are able to go in and input a specific diameter value at the bottom of the slicer settings. This will help you better control the flow rate if you’re going for very high quality prints. 

Now head on over to the “Advanced” tab. The settings here are almost identical between a single colour, and multi-colour print; however, we need to highlight two of them – “Dual Extrusion Switch Amount,” and “Dual Extrusion Overlap.”

Change "Dual Extrusion Switch Amount" to be the exact same as your retraction value, in this case, .8. For "Dual Extrusion Overlap," go ahead and set this to 0. If you have issues with the different .stl files not sticking to each other you may want to input a small value; however, 0 works well in most cases.

Now, you've got your multi-extruder .gcode file ready to go! We'll be releasing more information on this process at a later date, when The Palette's Operating Manual is published.

If you're having issues, try consulting the full video below. It may give additional context/instructions if you're stuck on a step.

Keep your eye out next week for another post walking through what the physical setup of a print is like.