No, this is not a multi-extruder or multi-nozzle print. Although my printer has dual extruders and a Y-adapter allowing it’s single nozzle hotend to print using 2 different filaments, I have never been able to successfully complete a dual extruder 2-color print.

But what I have been able to do is switch filaments in the middle of a print. This is possible because my printer’s firmware has 2 very convenient commands: Pause print & move, and Resume print. This has enabled me to continue a long print at the point of running out of filament on one spool by simply switching to a new spool. The spool changing process is fairly simple:

First,  I use the Pause print & move command to pause the print when the printhead is at some internal location – such as some infill or the interior loop of a vertical shell. This stops the print, raises the printhead vertically about 2 inches above the last printhead position, maintains the nozzle temperature, and keeps the fans running. I then manually pull out the current filament and feed in the new filament. I push some of the new filament through the nozzle to make sure I have cleared out the old filament color and of course clean off the end of the nozzle. Finally, I run the Resume print command to restart he print, and the printer does exactly that – returns the printhead to the last position and continues printing with the new filament.

As you can see from this close-up photo there is no visible seam or discontinuity at the point of color change. Since most of the parts I print are large ones I have found myself with a fair number of short spools of filament, none of which are capable of a complete print. But using this technique I’ll still be able to use the filaments simply by switching colors during a long print.

About this print

Here is a 3D rotatable image of the STL file for this part:

Note that, to make the part more interesting I gave it an oval cross-section instead of a simple round one. This photo shows thatsomewhat better than the top one:

Here is the completed part on my printer:

Print time: 

The part is actually 298.8 mm high; the control panel shows the printhead at it’s home position of 365.00 mm.

Slicer: Craftware

Layer height: 0.200 mm

Print speed: 100 mm/sec

Click here to download the STL file for this part.

Last Update: 25 Mar 2017