Frequently Asked Questions
You can purchase The Palette on our site: www.mosaicmanufacturing.comLast updated:
The Palette’s software works with existing multi-extruder slicers on the market. You start by configuring your slicer to prepare a four extruder print and then assign each extruder to the appropriate .stl files. You slice the parts, create four extruder .gcode. Using Mosaic’s software app, this .gcode is processed to make it ready for your single extruder printer. The app also creates a .SEEM file which can be loaded onto the Palette using the included SD card. The .SEEM file contains all of the information that the Palette needs in order to change filaments at the correct times and to stay in tune with your printer.
As a bonus, we have built this process into a simple Cura plugin! This means that all you need to do in Cura (a great - free - open source slicing program) is import your models, press slice, and it will create the .gcode for your printer, and .SEEM file for the Palette in one shot.
We also are creating tutorials explaining the process to ensure you a smooth transition to printing with multiple filaments.Last updated:
Our software solutions allow the use of a wide variety of slicers. In general, it will work with any slicer that outputs standard .gcode and supports multiple extruders. The software has been designed to allow you to use the slicing package you are most comfortable and experienced with. A few examples of slicers it will work with are Cura, Slic3r, and Simplify 3D.
We will provide documentation on configuring slicers prior to shipping The Palette.Last updated:
Open 1.75mm Filament
If you can use a standard spool of 1.75mm filament with your printer then you are good! Proprietary filament cartridges like those used on the Stratasys Mojo will not work with the Palette.
The Palette creates filament for your printer to print with so there must be access to pass the filament to your printer’s extruder from outside the printer. In general, there are very few printers where this is a concern.
If your printer runs off of .gcode or .x3g then it will be compatible with our software, learn more If your printer runs on closed source proprietary software then it will not work directly with the Palette’s software solutions.
The hot end on your printer will dictate how well it can transition from one filament to the next.Last updated:
Yep! You can use The Palette with a direct drive or a Bowden system. From the printer’s point of view, using the The Palette’s output was designed to be essentially the same as pulling a single filament off of a spool.Last updated:
You don’t need to make any modifications to your printer! The closest thing to a modification is that the scroll wheel will need to be attached to your printer. We include a piece of adhesive backed Velcro to make this quick and easy.Last updated:
You’ll get your very own Palette, along with the scroll wheel, teflon tubing, a power supply, some basic tools, USB cable and an SD Card. Some basic assembly may be required to accommodate shipping.Last updated:
Multiple filament models are just like regular single filament models except that there are separate .stl files for each component. When you are modeling for multi-filament prints, you can export each grouping of components as their own .stl file so that you can later assign them to a certain filament colour or type in the slicing software. Downloading multi-filament models is just as easy as before where now there will be multiple .stl files rather than just one. We will provide tutorials to get you started with designing multi-filament models.Last updated:
9. When switching between colours, my printer blends the two materials together. How does the Palette create clean areas on the part?
HOT END TRANSITONING
As the hot end on a 3D printer transitions from one filament to the next some degree of blending will occur. For instance, when going from blue to yellow, there will be a section of transition material that may have a green tint. To account for this, the transition material can be discarded to allow for only the pure filament to be used. There are some 3D printers that transition from one filament to the next very quickly limiting the amount of transition waste, while others can take much longer to do so. There is a setting in our software solution to control how much transition material is discarded between filament changes to allow this to be easily tweaked for different printers. If you would like to check the transition properties of your 3D printer there is a simple test you can perform. Take two pieces of filament that are different colors and run them through your printer one after another. Keep on extruding the second material through until the extruded material has fully transitioned to the colour of the second filament, the shorter the transition, the less material that will be need to be discarded during a transition when printing with The Palette.
DEALING WITH TRANSITION MATERIAL
There are a number of common ways to deal with the transition material. The most common solution is to use a transition tower which is a sacrificial structure built up alongside your printer part. This is similar to a wipe tower or cooling tower commonly used with multi-extruder systems. When the hot end needs to transition from one filament to the next, it prints the transition material onto this transition tower. Another solution is to discard the transition material off the side of the printer’s build plate. This is a quick and simple way to achieve a similar result to the transition tower. For some parts the transition material can be hidden as infill. We are working on streamlining our software to simplify the process of setting this up on different printers. There is also a lot of opportunity to optimize the transition process and minimizing the amount of material that is wasted. We are continuously working on this and have already seen large improvements in the last couple months.Last updated:
The reward price does not include shipping, duties, or taxes unless specified in the reward. Following the campaign we will be collecting more information from backers including shipping information, filament colours, and any other specifics relevant to their rewards. In the months leading up to shipping rewards we will get in touch to collect payment for shipping and any other country specific duties or taxes required to get you your rewards.Last updated:
Multi-colour printing means that The Palette can use the 4 input filament colours to create a part on your 3D printer that has these 4 colours in it. The same can be said for multi-filament printing where this is more broad and can apply to the use of filaments with different properties such as strength, conductance, or texture to name a few. There is incidental blending that occurs inside of a 3D printer’s hot end which can, in some cases, be leveraged to create gradients and blending although the Palette itself does not blend the 4 input filaments together. There have been some publications that loosely use the terms ‘full colour’ or ‘colour blending’ and we wanted to clarify that The Palette is in fact a multi-colour / multi-filament technology.Last updated:
One of the requirements to use different filaments together is that they have temperature compatibility. This means that they can both be extruded at similar temperature since they will be passing through the same hot end. As a lot of 3DP filaments were engineered to be used on printers designed to extrude PLA or ABS, we have found that there are a large number of filaments that meet this requirement. We have found that as long as the extrusion temperatures of the 4 filaments are within 5-10 degrees of each other, good performance can be achieved. In a more extreme case we were able to splice and print filaments that differed by 20 degrees although this is something we would consider experimental at this point.Last updated:
The Palette has been optimized for the PLA family of filaments. You can use the filament you already have with your Palette or buy some new material from your favorite filament suppliers.
We have used over a dozen different brands of filament and have been able to print reliably with all of them. We have found that you get the best results when using 4 filaments from the same supplier, although we have had success loading The Palette with 4 filaments from different suppliers.
If you purchase the ‘Ultimate Package’ reward or the 4KG Colour Filament Pack add on, you will receive very high quality PLA filament. We have done extensive testing with this filament and would highly recommend using it with your Palette.Last updated:
The filament storage modules are designed to provide a low rolling friction, sturdy, and durable, stacking solution that fits almost any sized spool of filament. These units can be used with The Palette for multi-filament printing. Loading a spool of filament into each unit allows it to spin freely on 4 roller bearings. The low rolling resistance allows more consistent performance from The Palette. The storage units are stackable allowing you to arrange them however you like to save desk space. They also include filament locking holes where you can fix the filament end when the spool is not being used. This is really convenient as it helps avoid the filament getting tangled.
The storage units will be shipped as a kit which includes the necessary roller bearings, steel hardware, vertical structures, and tools to put them together. We estimate it will take less than 20 minutes for the one time assembly of the units. We will provide STL files for the 3D printed cross struts of the storage units in dozens of common spool thicknesses so that you can download and print the right size for your spools. You will be required to print these cross struts yourself (4 cross struts per storage module). The struts have been designed so that regardless of the spool size they have been printed for, they are all able to stack onto one another. We will provide an instructional video as well as written documentation to ensure you can get your storage units assembled in no time.
Please note, the storage units shown in the campaign are subject to change as the design has not yet been finalized. We are working to optimize the stability, rolling performance, and ease of assembly for the units. We appreciate your understanding and will be sure to share images of the finalized storage unit designs as soon as they are ready.Last updated:
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