Multifilament is going “mainstream”
One of the drawbacks to conventional 3D printing, is that you have to print everything the same color. Thankfully, there are a lot of smart people out there, working on this problem, and they have solved it to varying degrees. There are now hot ends up that allow you to print with 2 or more filaments in this multifilament design. This segment of 3D printing is just now, heating up.
First up, is the reason this post came about. Josef Průša posted an update on their Multi-Material print head. I have to admit, this is one of those upgrades I am looking forward to, though, the price is pretty steep. If you have not heard of this, I highly recommend watching this video about it. You can find out more about it, here.
Moving on, there are other makers. First up, is the Diamond head from RepRap.me. Click here if you want to watch it in action. While it is far less expensive than the Prusa version, it is still not exactly “cheap”. There are much more inexpensive knock-offs, but as with all knock-offs, there is a good chance of problems and work needing done to get them to function properly.
That brings us to the E3D variations. They have three different hot ends that work with multiple filaments. The Chimera uses dual hot ends with single inputs. The Cyclops has two inputs and one output. Finally, the Kraken has 4 inputs and 4 outputs. The biggest drawbacks for the Chimera and Kraken is trying to make the nozzles the same distance from the print bed. On the flip side, you can use materials that use different temperatures allowing you to mix filaments easier. It’s all about tradeoffs.
You can find a knock-off of sorts of the Cyclops system as well.
Next up, is the Prometheus System. The prometheus system is a dual extruder system that features 2 inputs and 1 output. The Prometheus system is a hot end and filament and feed system. If you already own a Prometheus hotend, the system costs much less.
On the very expensive side, there is the Mosaic Manufacturing Palette. This is another 4 input, 1 output multifilament design that that mixes the filament before the printer input. This is a more novel approach to the multifilament problem.
Finally, Abuzz Designs did an interview with Jason Powell who has created an actual color mixing delta. this is pretty cool since he mixes filament to produce other colors. This one isn’t available