DSC09437The Dimensional Print Studio has joined the ranks of multi-color three-dimensional printing. This is with the FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) process using plastic extruded filament. The printer obtained, a GeeeTech A20M (the “M” is for multicolor) printer. 

The A20M uses two filaments and combines the feeds into a single nozzle. This permits blending (sort of) of the two filaments. The colors don’t mix and when fed to the nozzle together, come out the 0.04MM tip side by side in proportion to the feed. Like stripe toothpaste in a tube. 30/70, 50/50, 70/30 it will show in the print.

Much two-color printing is done with a nozzle for each color. No blending is possible. Using a single nozzle, requires a purge area to pump out the old color before printing (100%) with the new color. A “purge pillar” is built up layer by layer alongside the intended print for purging. This pillar is “wasted” and thrown away and is a concern for some stingy printer owners.

Two color printing can take up to twice as long as single color printing. So, two color printing is not popular for many folks. Especially if they have an extreme obsession or phobia about “wasting” material changing colors. 

Waste is a product of all forms of crafting and manufacturing. Does a woodcarver obsess over the 50% waste of material in the form of shavings and chips when carving a figure? Did Michael Angelo obsess over the “wasted marble” when carving David? I think NOT!

Not sorry about the rant above. I’ve just heard about wasting material too many times in 3D printing…

The rewards of having color options are quite enjoyable. For me it has moved my printing further in the realm of an art form, without the need for priming and painting. Or printing multiple pieces to assemble. That will go on, but it is fun to design and see it produced in a single print.

Here are some examples of my first prints. Surely there will be much more to come.


DSC09439 DSC09443
 This is my first print in two color. It is my own design created in Fusion 360.  The A20M came with a mouse pad!. The rectangle is the purge piliar required to clear color from the single nozzle.
DSC09441 DSC09444
 This is a key fob I printed with different color loaded.   The W5EHS is my amateur (ham) radio call sign
DSC09445 DSC09448
 This is a process of blending two colors into a single nozzle printer.  Because the colors don't truely mix, the pink rises higher on the right side and the green is lower on the left.
DSC09451 DSC09450
 Quilting square coaster I designed in single color has been updated for 2 color printing.  Same pattern, just switch colors when slicing.
DSC09453 DSC09455
 Here is a blended color FDM owl nect to a DLP resin printed owl.  Another blended color print. This time red to grey