Good ol' plastic extrusion
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:17 am


Post by hexes »

Hey, all!

I have seen around the internet some people having success dying FDM filament using spray paint or Sharpie ink. I know that some of you on this forum have the knowledge of print head hacking to help me with my DIY DIE project.

About a year and a half ago, I saw a video from Maker's Muse on YouTube in which he spray painted clear PLA, and then ran it through the printer. The flecks of dried paint got blended into the plastic as it extruded, allowing him to print in any color he could buy spray paint for. A search for "maker's muse any color" on YouTube should yield the video I'm referencing.

Similarly, things like this thing on Thingiverse ( have been designed to use Sharpies to color filament. I thought, why not modify an inkjet printer head to deposit dye onto a white filament, allowing for CMYK color choice? Now, flash forward to the present, XYZprinting has announced the Da Vinci Color, a printer that does exactly what I was imagining. It uses CMYK ink and white filament to print in full color. I know that Microsoft has a few tools that can color paint 3D object files (Microsoft 3D Builder has this functionality, 3D Paint may) and export them as a .obj and .mtl file pair.

This is where you lovely people come in. As a 17-year-old, I have limited knowledge of electronics and hardware hacking, but in my search for information I came across a post in the Plan B forum about hacking a printhead and thought I'd reach out. The head doesn't need to move, a stepper motor could drag filament past it, but I need to know how to do a few things.
  • How to modify a printhead to deposit color without needing to move,
  • How to slice a full color model
I would love to start by doing single color prints, then work up to full painted models. I believe that this could be a revolutionary project for DIY 3DP, and I'd love any help and advice I can get.

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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:31 pm


Post by ezrec »

That should do what you require, hardware wise.
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