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3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3


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Posted (edited) · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

Hi there,

I'm Matt and I have been writing about experiments in grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3. This is a technique created by Tim Kuipers.

In a nutshell, grayscale 3D printing allows you to print items in two colors, rather than monochrome. This gives an item enhanced depth, definition, and realism when compared to a monochrome print.

Here's an example of what can be achieved:

grayscale-can-resized.jpg

You can read a full article about it here.

See all of Tim's designs here.

At the time of writing, grayscale printing is not integrated into a stable version of Cura. However, it is possible to preview this feature.

Please note: this feature is in a very early experimental stage and only intended for advanced users!

1. Download the CuraEngine backend configured to print in grayscale.

2. Compile the C++ code and run "CuraEngine" directly from the command line. Note: Currently there is no GUI.

3. Download a textured input model:

Crushed can (Designed by Beerend Groot)

https://ultimaker.com/en/community/prints/37649-grayscale-can-linear-halftoning

Kuipers bust

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/textured-bust

Blockade bust

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/blockade-textured

Connecting rod

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/connecting-rod-textured

4. Print!

Please share your reactions/trials in this thread!

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Posted (edited) · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

I think this is a pretty amazing development. It does not happen often when you are surrounded and exposed to 3D printers and their outputs on a daily basis that you make this 'whooaaaaa' sound, just like when you saw a 3D print(er) for the first time.

Many kudos to @Bagel-orb (

Who is going to give this a try?

What would you like to try/see?

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Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

A correction!

Previously I had written the crushed can was designed by Tim Kuipers - I would like to correct this, it was actually designed and textured by Beerend Groot.

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    Looks nice,

    Is there a easy document that describes how to install everything to try this?

    There's not really an easy documentation. Currently you can only run it by compiling the feature_texture_processing_rebased_newer branch of CuraEngine yourself and running it directly from the command line.

    Here's an example CuraEngine call:

    ./texture_processing_build/CuraEngine slice -v -j /home/t.kuipers/Development/Cura/resources/definitions/ultimaker3.def.json -o "output/rhino_good.gcode" -s center_object=1 -s mesh_rotation_matrix="[[1,0,0],[0,0,-1],[0,1,0]]" -s mesh_position_z=-.1 -s infill_line_distance=2 -s infill_pattern=cubic -s gradual_infill_steps=3 -s gradual_infill_step_height=4.8 -s top_layers=8 -s bottom_layers=2 -s wall_line_count=3 -s bump_map_alternate=1 -s bump_map_enabled=1 -s bump_map_texture_color=grey -s bump_map_point_dist=.05 -s bump_map_offset=0.1 -l "/home/t.kuipers/Documents/3D_models/obj/rhino/RhinoBust_textured.obj" -s bump_map_amplitude=-0.08 -s bump_map_face_angle_correction=-95 -e1 -s machine_nozzle_offset_x=17.885 -s machine_nozzle_offset_y=0.02 -l "/home/t.kuipers/Documents/3D_models/obj/rhino/RhinoBust_textured.obj" -s bump_map_amplitude=0.08 -s bump_map_face_angle_correction=95

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    hello all, this is really really amazing. Can this run on Mac?

    Thanks a lot!

     

     

    Looks nice,

    Is there a easy document that describes how to install everything to try this?

     

    There's not really an easy documentation. Currently you can only run it by compiling the feature_texture_processing_rebased_newer branch of CuraEngine yourself and running it directly from the command line.

    Here's an example CuraEngine call:

     

    ./texture_processing_build/CuraEngine slice -v  -j /home/t.kuipers/Development/Cura/resources/definitions/ultimaker3.def.json   -o "output/rhino_good.gcode"   -s center_object=1  -s mesh_rotation_matrix="[[1,0,0],[0,0,-1],[0,1,0]]"  -s mesh_position_z=-.1             -s infill_line_distance=2 -s infill_pattern=cubic -s gradual_infill_steps=3 -s gradual_infill_step_height=4.8 -s top_layers=8 -s bottom_layers=2 -s wall_line_count=3               -s bump_map_alternate=1 -s bump_map_enabled=1 -s bump_map_texture_color=grey -s bump_map_point_dist=.05 -s bump_map_offset=0.1 -l "/home/t.kuipers/Documents/3D_models/obj/rhino/RhinoBust_textured.obj" -s bump_map_amplitude=-0.08 -s bump_map_face_angle_correction=-95 -e1 -s machine_nozzle_offset_x=17.885 -s machine_nozzle_offset_y=0.02       -l "/home/t.kuipers/Documents/3D_models/obj/rhino/RhinoBust_textured.obj" -s bump_map_amplitude=0.08 -s bump_map_face_angle_correction=95

     

     

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    This is just a detailed 2-colour print. I've been planning to make something like this but it would be time-consuming. I am looking forward to software that can easily fast-track making models like this with a new process, but you can make gray-scale or colour-gradients using no new software. All you have to do is design it in CAD with the same-coloured layers unioned and make sure that your layer height in Cura matches your layer or layer-multiple heights in the model and then merge them in Cura for a regular 2-colour print.

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    Actually it is quite a bit smarter and more involved than just interleaving two colors layer by layer. The mix is further affected by slightly affecting the horizontal offset of each color in the layer, so that either of the two colors show slightly more. This way the "mix resolution" is much higher than line-by-line interleaving.

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    Posted (edited) · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    Ok, that is interesting... And to add to ideas, maybe the hot tip of the nozzle could also be used to physically micromix 2 colours right on the model as its printing. Could playing with the nozzle height and an overheated nozzle be used to truly mix colours by re-melting the layer below and injecting new colour into it?? Might be tricky but probably possible.

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    Well it's hard to stop extrusion - it kind of never stops for long. So this re-melting process would have to be very fast but it's something that would be cool to test out.

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    @bagel-orb and @maht is there a way to get a copy of the executable for this?  I have windows and linux so if you have a version that runs on either I would be grateful.  I have a need.  If I can get this to work I'll post a photo of the resulting print.

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    Realise that if it were as easy to use a "load a file with a texture into Cura, slice and print a perfect end-result", it would have already been included as a feature. Last I heard the state of the art is a CuraEngine that can only be used through the command-line with quite a bit of manual editing of profile files.

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    @gr5CuraEngine.zip Here's a compiled linux binary of the backend. There's no frontend for it and in order to get it to work you will need to do a super fine calibration. I've put some documentation out there on how to get this to work via the command line, but it's certainly not easy. Unfortunately I don't have the time to make a step-by-step guide on this.

    I'm not sure whether providing this binary helps, but please share your project in case you get it figured out!

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    Posted · 3D Hatching: Grayscale printing on the Ultimaker 3

    Thanks.  Downloaded.  I'm still waiting for my daughter to provide the model.

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