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Dual-Color Printing with Simplify3D and the MakerGear M3-ID

When slicing a print for the MakerGear M3 Independent Dual, in Simplify3D, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure successful printing.

  • Dual-color prints are comprised of two separate, aligned 3D models.
  • Each 3D model as its own separate process.

Before you begin, you must download the newest version of Simplify3D and import the proper Simplify3D profiles into your Simplify3D workstation.

The first step in preparing a dual-color print is to align the models on the build plate. Not all models will align automatically; if working with two models that do not automatically align, simply highlight both models, then click Edit>>Align Model Origins. This will align the models for you based upon information stored in the STL file. 

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If the models do not align after clicking "Align Model Origins", you can also align them manually. To do so, select one of the models, zoom in, and manually reposition it along X and Y as best you can. You can double-click on one of the models to access the “Change Position” tool, which allows you to to enter coordinate values for the model's position along all three axes.

Next, you will create a new process (e.g. "M3-ID TO", "M3-ID T1") for each 3D model, assign each of these processes to the 3D models on your build plate (e.g. "CUPA", "CUPB"), and then assign each process to a specific extruder (e.g. "T0", "T1").

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Select the process you'd like to assign to the printer's left extruder (T0), then click "Edit Process Settings” in the lower left-hand corner.

Navigate to the "Auto-Configure Extruders" section in the upper right-hand corner of your process settings, then select ”Dual Mode - Left Extruder (T0)” — this will assign all process settings to T0. Next, click "Add Process”, then follow the same procedure within this new process in order to assign its settings to the printer's right extruder (T1) by selecting ”Dual Mode - Right Extruder (T1)”.

Unique parameters for dual-color printing can be found in the “Additions” tab. “Use Skirt/Brim”, “Prime Pillar”, and “Ooze shield” are all enabled to ensure maximum reliability, but are not required; advanced users can modify printing parameters according to their specific needs.

Additions.JPG

These setting will give you your best chance at a successful print. If you change any of the printing parameters in one process, these changes will not appear in the corresponding [process unless the two processes are grouped. Once you have created and finalized processes for your project, you can now slice your project into gCode by clicking “Prepare to Print” (ensure that all 3D models and processes are selected).

After slicing your project into gCode, it can be helpful to verify that your processes have been properly assigned to their corresponding models/extruders; to do so, select the "Active Toolhead" option under the "Coloring" dropdown menu. When this option is selected, 3D models that have been assigned to the T0 are highlighted in blue, while those assigned to the T1 are highlighted in green.

 

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