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Color change at specific layers.


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Posted · Color change at specific layers.

Using dual extruder with different colors how can the color or nozzle be specified for specific layers or a range of layers?  Seems like that would be an option somewhere in the many available.  I see a top and bottom selection but otherwise it's a matter of pause and change filament during the print.


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    Posted (edited) · Color change at specific layers.

    Bring a Support Blocker in.

    Scale it in the X and Y to cover the entire model.

    Scale it in the Z so it goes from the top of the base plate to the top layer.

    Move it into position.

    With the block selected - click on the "Per Model" setting tool and select "Modify Settings for Overlaps".

    Select "Cutting Mesh" with no other settings.

    On the left side set the block to Extruder #2.


    This is hard to see as I'm in Compatibility mode but you can make out the color change.  The lower portion uses extruder 1 and the portion covered by the Cutting Mesh uses extruder 2.  I usually let the first color go 1 layer extra so if there are strings they are less noticeable.  In my case the bottom of the Cutting Mesh would be at Z=6.2.



    Edited by GregValiant
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    Posted · Color change at specific layers.

    "Just seems with all the selections Cura would have a straight forward solution."

    Can't be done without some sort of super AI that is custom built for each user and uses each persons personal preferences.  The best you can do is to know what all the settings do and how they interact.


    What I think I've figured out is that Cura:

    • Has a LOT of settings
    • Is highly customizable
    • Has a GUI that is written for at least 4 operating systems
    • Is an industrial strength application
    • Supports over 300 different printer models from a bunch of different manufacturers with varying firmware requirements.

    Add those together and throw in the fact that every project model is different, and it means that

    "There ain't no Easy Button".


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    Posted · Color change at specific layers.

    I agree about the easy button.  
    Maybe I don't see the big picture but why can't there be a selection for setting a given extruder depending on just the level that is printing.  In my model, which is 18.7mm high, say with .2 Layer height there are 94 layers, including 1 for the first layer.  I know that just printing the numbers and outside frame starts at 35, this is where I would like to have the color change and where I would manually pause the printer to change out the filament.  I think there is a plug in for setting a pause but I'm not sure so I have to just be there when I see the change. 
    Why not have a simple setting that says at level 35 start printing with extruder 2?
    What am I missing?

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    Posted · Color change at specific layers.

    This goes to the interaction of different settings.  Adaptive layers and different "initial layer height" make things change.  You could have your setting but how would it know to update when you change something else.

    In most post-processors having Z-hops enabled causes problems locating a height.

    I don't know the exact number but I would think the overall percentage of multi-extruder printers is pretty low.


    All that being said you could put this in as a Feature Request over on GITHUB.  This is actually something that may not be too difficult to implement (always an easy thing to say for the guy who doesn't have to do it).  It has the plus of being something useful to UltiMaker printers and that is always a boost when asking for a new feature.

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    Posted · Color change at specific layers.

    Thank you, I will sign up and make that suggestion.
    Looking for other ways I came across a Ulimaker Video that I was able to implement.  Again, not very easy, (at least for me) but did the same thing.  Was a little problematic but a good learning experience for me.

    I spit the model in Fusion and saved each to STL files.  Opened each STL file in Cura. Oriented them visually so that they were close.  Selected a different extruder for each one then merged the modules together.  It was important to select different extruders prior to the merge or they merged and could not be selected independently, which kind of makes sense.  I am away from my printer but suspect it will print correctly.
    All in all it is easy to change filament during the print, only problem is I must be there at the exact moment the layer change is needed.  I have a life and watching filament extrude for hours just does not do it for me.

    Thanks again!










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    Posted · Color change at specific layers.

    Hey @ClimbingInnovations,


    There is a trick you can do with a cutting mesh where you don't have to load two models:
    You can read more about it here. 


    In your case that would look like this


    I hope this helps! Good luck. 🤞

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