1. Got a question or need help troubleshooting? Post to the troubleshooting forum or Search the forums!

Experimenting with filament colorizing

Discussion in 'Show and Tell' started by Bil Forshey, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Bil Forshey

    Bil Forshey Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    18
    Now that I have my new FLEKS 3D build plate and my prints actually adhere while printing. I decided to test colorizing my filament on the fly.

    I did some research on the internet and found that others had successfully used colored felt markers to colorize filaments. I set about testing various markers and settled on Sharpie chisel tip markers due to the larger tip size, easy availability, color choices, and all plastic construction. I used my 3D cad software and designed a part that would mount easily to my Robo 3D R1+ printer. It holds a marker, and has a through hole for the filament to pass through. My previous attempts had failed during the print process due to the failure of the part to adhere to the bed. Thanks to FLEKS 3D plate that problem is now a thing of the past.

    The attached photos show the Robo 3D Filament Colorizer I designed, It works better than I exprcted and even allows changes of color at will without reloading the filament.

    I usually try to stock white ABS filament and most recently purchased a spool of Taulman N-Vent clear transparent filament and am pleased with its performance as it has less warpage than ABS does.

    My initial tests with coloring clear N-Vent were quite successful, and the material appears as a translucent color.

    The filament colorizer mounts in the filament slot at the top of the Robo and can slide to any position, the filament is fed throught the colorizer and into the extruder in the usual way. The marker has to be slighrly modified by using a razor blade to bifurcate the felt tip to create a slot for the filament to go through, then the marker is inserted into the colorizer so that the felt tip surounds the filament riding in the slot. As the filament moves through the marker tip the ink transfers to the filament and is absorbed changing the color. When the filament is melted in the extruder the color mixes into the plastc creating a colored extrusion material the solvent in the marked is boiled away leaving just the color.

    Even though the filament may not be completely covered with color when exiting the colorizer the extruder mixes the color thoroughly into the resultant extrusion and the color becomes integral with the printed part.

    The filament material appears unaffected in its properties except for the color.

    I can now print a variety of colors using a limited selection of filament colors (clear, white). And with a little extra effort to pause a print at various points and clear the extruder I could change colors during a print and produce multi-colored parts with a single extruder.
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Bil Forshey, Mar 10, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    Sliced Br3D, Jutte and MChrisP1 like this.
  2. Nathan Simers

    Nathan Simers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    19
    try holes on all four sides with different colors i wonder how that would look. How is it printing i would be worried about the oils from the ink.
     
  3. Bil Forshey

    Bil Forshey Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    18
    Adding different colors would result in them being thoroughly mixed together in the extruder, so using red and blue pens would result in a violet colored extrusion, four colors would probably result in something close to black. You wouldn't get a striped extrusion if that was what you were thinking.

    The printing is very good, in fact it even seems better than the uncolored filament, the alcohol solvents and other liquid compounds in the ink are evaporated in the extruder due to the heat, so all that is left are the solids from the ink pigment that get mixed with the molten plastic in the extruder.
     
  4. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    5,817
    Likes Received:
    3,539
    More than likely multiple colors will end up being brown, because of the nature of the way ink works. Especially with more than two colors in the mix. Tried this with fluorescent highlighters and while it worked, the effort involved was simply to high for the small return of unsaturated colors. It is much easier to paint things after the fact rather than to do this colorizing, or at least that is the conclusion I drew from my experience.

    There were a few attempts to make something multiple color filaments into a commercial product, just look at Mosiac (http://www.mosaicmanufacturing.com/).

    Here is an article from Make Magazine that does it the same way you have http://makezine.com/projects/make-42/rainbow-extrusion-coloring-3d-printer-filament/

    And here is a way to use the same idea and get deeper coloring, of course it is destructive to your Sharpie as the filament travels the entire length of your pen http://3dprint.com/3340/ulimate-filament-colorer/
     
    mark tomlinson likes this.
  5. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    21,338
    Likes Received:
    7,035
    Mine too. Get a decent airbrush and learn that puppy! You will get awesome looking final product.
     
  6. GAmbrosio

    GAmbrosio Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    79
    Not to mention an airbrush would look much better.

    My suggestion, coming from a plastic model builder for many years, don't skimp on the airbrush. Get a Badger (USA! USA! I actually became pen pals with the owner because I bought an airbrush and did not quiet work well because it was from eBay- he still honored the warranty) or Iwata, if you're fancy. :)


    Get a gravity fed dual action. More control, less issues with painting jamming. Compressor, this you can skimp on a little, just get one with a tank. I use a 2.5 Gallon, dual piston.

    Get some great paint. Get Vallejo Acrylic or Tamiya Acrylic. If you get Vallejo get the model color and don't pay for water/thinner by getting the Model Air. Get a good retarder, Vallejo, etc.
    For a final gloss, use Future Acrylic floor wax. If you want a flat finish as a flat medium into the paint cup with the future. It is cheap, looks great and makes your model smell awesome. :)

    Watch a lot of YouTube videos on Airbrush techniques. :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    5,817
    Likes Received:
    3,539
    I have a Paasche Double Action Gravity Feed, along with two cheap Chinese clones of the Paasche. As long as I keep the Chinese ones spotlessly clean they work very well. I like my Paasche better than any Badger I have ever owned. But we are talking about coloring filament here. I am all for painting after the fact, no registration issues that you might encounter with a dual hotend, no possible way to totally mess up a print with a single hotend and trying to swap filaments mid print, no messy inks from Sharpies and more saturated colors to boot.
     
  8. Bil Forshey

    Bil Forshey Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    18

    The point of my experiment was to determine if it would be advantageous and possible to change colors without reloading the filament and I have determined that it is possible to do without much fuss.

    The color saturation is not as good as colored filament but it is beter than I expected, the colors of the pen caps do not exactly match the resulting color of the print, ie. Red comes out more Orange and the Blue comes out much darker than expected. But if you know ahead of time what the actual color is going to be this method is still acceptable and much less expensive than buying even a single spool of filament when you don't need a particular color very often.

    The Sharpie pens make very little if any mess, are non-toxic, and any ink you might get on your hands is quickliy removed with an alcohol wipe. The cost of the pens is a fraction of the cost of a spool of filament, and provides the casual user a great option to print some colors inexpensively.

    If you need super saturated colors, colored filament or air brush painting the model post printing is still the preferred method.
     
  9. Bil Forshey

    Bil Forshey Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    18
    #9 Bil Forshey, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
    Cuda70 likes this.
  10. Terry Taylor

    Terry Taylor New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    9
     
  11. Bil Forshey

    Bil Forshey Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    18
    I bought the Makerbot Rep 2 5th gen model it is a little too small I think I would get the 10" x !0" for a better fit.

    I emailed Fleks3D and asked them which size they recommend. I'll post here when I get their reply.
     
  12. Cuda70

    Cuda70 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    10
    I like your idea it will be something cool to tinker with
     
  13. Ala Sawan

    Ala Sawan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    brilliant
     
  14. Susanne Adam

    Susanne Adam New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    this is an easy way to have a rainbow color 3d printed product. There will be some issue with color as it may not come good in one way due to mixing all the color pens but it will still look good.
     

Share This Page