Layered Printing for Multi Colors
Updated: Oct 2, 2021
We have all been there - we want to print something in multiple colors and only have one extruder, so we can print in just one color. The usual answer for this is to have your favorite slicer add some bit of code to "pause at height" or "pause at layer" so you can then change your filament color and continue printing.
Now, with LuBan's Painting feature, you can import your color photo and LuBan will automatically layer the colors for you! This allows you to print each layer in whatever color you want, then just stack them together and you have now "painted" your photo in color, using your 3D Printer!
If you do not already have LuBan installed, go here
Since this is a new feature in LuBan, if you have LuBan already installed, you will need to click here and download the exe file that is for your OS again and save it/replace the existing exe file for it on your computer to get the new feature.
Create Your Painting
To begin, open LuBan and go to File > Create > Photo magic
Next, select Painting Method from the drop-down
Choosing Your Photo
The Painting Method works best with photos that do not have small details, as those may be lost in layering or difficult to print.
Your photo should also avoid gradient colors. Gradients will generate a different layer for each color of the gradient. You may need to use gimp or another photo editing software to even out the colors in your photo.
TIP "Transparent" background imports into this method, so the background of the photo will be the white and light gray squares. To avoid this, have a solid background in your photo.
Adjust the Painting
Next, you will want to adjust the Painting to fit your project.
With the Flat option, all of the colors will remain in the same Z layer, and the end result is a flat print. As you can see in the example below, the Base will hold the shapes.
The three colors each have their own file and will fit together.
With the Layered option, each color has its own layer in the finished painting.
As you can see in the example below, the Base will hold the shapes, and each color has its own layer. The layer thickness is set by you in the Color Layer menu option.
You can remove the Base by changing the value to 0 and pressing Enter. This will tell LuBan not to create the "box" that the shapes will fit into. You can make the Base larger by adjusting this value higher and pressing Enter.
You can remove the Border by changing the value to 0 and pressing Enter. You can make the Border larger by adjusting the value higher and pressing Enter.
You can adjust the Number of Colors value to increase or decrease the colors being used.
Below is an example of a photo with a gradient. The original file, what it looks like with 2 colors and what it looks like with 6 colors
Saving the File
When you save the file, it will generate a base file (if the value is greater than 0), as well as each color file. The file name will have the RGB Color included.
LuBan will also generate several other file types for you. These include DXF and SVG files which can be used for laser cutting.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Happy printing!