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Printing with Dual extrusion (two colors) with Makerbot

    Assigning Objects for Dual Extrusion

    • Extruder settings1.1
    • Object Information menu1.2

    Setting things to build using two extruders is super simple in MakerWare. All you have to do is place your STLs or OBJs in the configuration in which you want them to build, and assign each one to the extruder you want to build it.

    You might want to start by setting colors for your two extruders. Open the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Settings. The Settings menu will let you choose a color to represent each extruder. 1.1

    Click on the drop-down menu for an extruder to see what colors are available. You can choose colors just to help you differentiate between objects in the MakerWare window, or you can match the extruder colors to the actual filament you will be building things with.

    To assign an object to an extruder, click on it to select it. Then click the Object Information button at the lower left of the MakerWare screen or use the O key to open the Object Information menu. If you don't see the Object Information button, check the MakerBots menu at the top of your screen; the button will not appear unless a bot with dual extruders is selected under Type of MakerBot.

    Use the drop-down in the Object Information menu to select which extruder you want to build the selected object. 1.2

    Once items on the plate are assigned to separate extruders, you will see a message warning you that the Thing you're printing uses dual extrusion. If you get this message when building on a bot with a single extruder, you will need to convert your plate to print on a single extruder before Making the file. When every individual piece on the plate has been assigned to the extruder you want it to build from, click the Make It button.

    Dual Extrusion Slicing Options

    • Make dialog for dual extrusion2.1

    When you open the Make dialog, you will see a few special options for dealing with dual extrusion prints. 1.3 First, choose which material is loaded into each extruder. Different materials will require different settings.

    Next, choose whether you want your object to print with rafts or supports. With dual extrusion, you have more raft and support options than just turning them on and off. Use the Raft and Support drop-down boxes to choose from these options:

    • Choose Off to turn off the raft or supports.
    • Choose Left Extruder or Right Extruder to have the raft or supports printed only using the left or right extruder.
    • Choose Color-Matched to have the materials of your rafts and supports determined automatically. If you are printing a single-material object, the raft and supports will automatically be printed with the same extruder. If you are printing a dual material object, the raft and supports will be built from both materials so that each portion of your object will only touch raft or support structures of the same color.

    Choose a profile and edit the other settings as you normally would. Then Make or Export your file. Your two extruders will work together to build your object.

    Dual Extrusion Examples

    • Dual color print with overhangs3.1
    • Dual color print with no overhangs3.3
    • Single color print with no overhangs3.3

    Which dual extrusion settings you use will depend on what you are printing. Here are a few examples of how you might optimize your raft and support settings for different kinds of prints.

    • A dual color print with overhangs.

      Use the Object information menu to assign each object on the build plate to the correct extruder. When each object on the plate is assigned to the extruder you want it to be printed by, click the Make button.

      Set both Raft and Supports to Color-Match. Then make your other settings changes and print or export your file. MakerWare will automatically arrange your raft and support structures so that any given part of your object will only touch raft or supports of the same color. 3.1

    • A dual color print with no overhangs.

      Use the Object information menu to assign each object on the build plate to the correct extruder. When each object on the plate is assigned to the extruder you want it to be printed by, click the Make button.

      Set Raft to Color-Match and Supports to Off. Then make your other settings changes and print or export your file. MakerWare will automatically arrange your raft so that any given part of your object will only touch raft of the same color. 3.2

    • A single color print.

      Use the Object Information menu to assign the object on the build plate to whichever extruder you like. Then click the Make Button.

      Set Raft to Color-Match. If your object does not have overhangs, set Supports to Off. If it does, set Supports to Color-Match.Then make your other settings changes and print or export your file. MakerWare will automatically print your raft and, if you're using them, your support structures in the same material as your object. 

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