Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our First Two-Tone Print!

There's an old English proverb that says, "Necessity is the mother of invention."  In our classroom, we have been printing most things with a single color for simplicity.  Though we recognize the potential in a mid-print filament switch, we also realize the potential for things to go wrong during the transition. However, once one student began a lovely pumpkin print, someone later pointed out that we were going to run out of filament.  After our previous mid-print, filament-exchange experiments, we've sort of avoided the whole process.

Surprisingly, the filament-changing process was smooth and simple.  Once we paused the print, the Makerbot screen walked us though the process. Once un-paused, the print continued as it nothing had happened! The most interesting part was that, when paused, we got a message while the code wrapped up a few layers, getting to a good stopping point. Smart.

A quick Google search of "switch filament mid-print" will uncover many people who use this technique successfully to acheive some pretty cool results.   Interestingly enough, we've read that "MakerBot has invented a new type of process which, if it works properly, will allow 3D printers to change build material mid print.  They have filed a patent to protect this solution over a year and a half ago, but just recently was it published for the public to see."

Another tool in our toolbox! :)

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