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3D-Printable Filament! -Print Your Own Filament for Multi-Color!

by Turbo_SunShine Apr 15, 2019
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Since I'm about to create lot's of personalized filaments I found this website:
It helps you create the right shade using the color of the filaments that you have, there are lot's of different palettes and the relative combination of basic colors for each shade.

At 0.2 layer height with 0.1 for initial layer and 0.4 line width i get approximately 26.5 lines in a filament, distributed between layers like so:
7: 2.5
6: 3
5: 4
4: 4.5
3: 4
2: 3
1: 3
0: 2.5

Bottom up, i'm about to print some skin tone!

(i'm going obsessed with this model! Damn you! but really you saved my ass since i need too many colors for some final fantasy 7 action figures i want to print)

Comments deleted.

oh nice! cool website! i'm sure it will come in usefull for others aswell :)
I'm happy you get some use out of this model ^^

I had this idea as a joke a while ago, but never imagined that it could actually be this useful

I'm trying to print the filament only once, but switching between 2 colors 3 times (instead of 1) for a more solid color, instead of printing the filament twice
i think it might be faster, even if a less automated project.
if this doesn't work i think i might try to print it switching the filament at each layer (since at 0.2 i have 8 layers)
I'll update with a result if this can be helpful to someone.

This model is awesome! I'm printing a model which needs tons of different colors and i obviously can't buy all the different spools i need, this is great!

EDIT: For now it seems to work as needed, I needed a solid dark-grey (mixing grey and black) I mixed two very different colors since the grey I have is really light, still the result seems satisfying for now (it's been almost like mixing black and white)

Great idea! I'm happy to hear that it works :) Thanks for the update! I really appreciate it when people share stuff like this!

Really a great result, not as i tought it would come out but a great result nonetheless.
i printed 4 almost identical pieces and these are the 4 vertical faces and 2 orizontal ones, i can clearly see a gradient showing, 'cause the filament is simmetrical only on 1 axis, there's no simmetry on the Z axis, maybe if i swap the filament once more creating a pattern like:
1B-2G-2B-2G-1B (where - is the concatenation and B,G are black and grey).
Still i managed to mix 2 really different colors! thanks!

Comments deleted.

Wanted a pink filament so printed a little more on the white and then red. Now to get a solid pink I reprinted the filament again but less the skirt and my worry was that I would run out of filament before it finished as the bowden tube needed to be full. Worked perfectly with just enough filament left to withdraw from the printer. Well done Turbo_Sunshine now I have a nearly solid pink.

What to think of degradation of the polymer? The quotient of extrusion temperature over print speed need to be as low as possible, right?

There should not be any degregation of the filament due to the thermal load during printing, however therre are other factors that can affect the quality of the printed filament, like dirt, or under/over -extrusion that can negativley impact the consistency of the filament.
I would not go to low on the temp since you could risk the filament de-laminating when you are driving it through your extruder. use as high/low of a prints speed that you are comfortable with :)

I'd like to mix clear PETG and opaque PLA. Thoughts?

I tried to mix clear PLA with blue PLA.
Hoped to get a clear philament with a little blue line in it.
But it mixed pretty welll and the blue just brighter/lighter and just a little bit translucent.

This stuff will put filablend out of business.

there is one in the remix-es :)

I did some math. I scaled the model uniformly on the z-axis to 1.5155mm in order to get the longer diagonal to 1.75mm. Because a hexagon has a smaller surface area than a circle, in theory, you'll have to adjust the flowrate by 1.2093 times whatever your current flowrate is right now. I haven't tested it yet but I will give this a try.

We know how much filament we are pushing in, and how much should have extruded at any point in the model, couldn't we print a filament that mixed the colors in the right spots at the right time to have a full-color print with no waste block. then just deal with Bowden delay if need be.

It is not that easy.

1st problem:
we would need to change filament a lot of times within one layer.
I am not sure if this is possible.

2nd problem:
even if we could solve the first one, you cannot simply change colors so quickly.
The colors will always mix. This is why the mosaic palette needs a purge block oder at least purge to infill.

hi can you pls make one fit 90mm 90mm build plate thank you

I was seriously curious and puzzled why you'd want to print your own filament, seemed entirely redundant, then I looked closer at the photos...damn! Custom colour blending! That's genius!!

When my Prusa i3 Mk3 finishes its current print I'm going to have a go at a blended colour print.

Making the printer automatically stop and wait for you to swap filaments with Slic3r is easy. In the "Printer Settings" / "Custom G-code" / "After layer change G-code" box add this single line:

{if layer_num == 4}M600 ; Color change {endif}

So layers 5 and upwards will print with the new filament.

What is even easier, is to use the standard color change option in Prusa slicer...

Smart idea! Love it!

What a lovely idea! It could be a great way to also combine several dog-ends into a single, larger spool.

I'm in the process of making 7g of filament using Colorfabb NGEN Blue Transparent mixed with Violet Transparent. Can you recommend any models that I could print in vase mode that use less than 7g?

most vase mode prints can be scaled down to 7g or less, it really depends on what you want to print, check out all the "makes" if you need some inspiration :)

How did you get that video to be your thumbnail??

uploaded a gif file as the tumbnail pic :)

it is too big to fit into a Boden tube... because it turns into 2mm filament not 1.75mm

hmmm, what are your print settings? that's very wired, should not happen.

anyone tried mixing PLA with TPU? i'm interested in a rigid but flexible when hit, to print out quadcopter prop guards/ducts. i find abs pla and abs shatters, PETG holds up better, but limited in flex.

Try it, but you might need to adjust your print settings to accommodate the TPU or PETG.

Hallo JohnSkellington

look in remixes... ;-)

could you make a 90mm x 90mm

dimensional accuracy and extrusion aside, this is genius.

Could you perhaps make a version that could be used on my delta printer? The printbed has a diameter of 18cm.

hi! Stuart800 already made a 17cm one: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3578931

3D-Printable Filament! -Print Your Own Filament 16g 168mm

im sorry for the maybe silly question, why is this useful?

mixing 2 filament colors in the middle of a print or even 3 could result in some cool color blends and look that cant be made with traditional filament producing methods, with this you cant get a filament color vary through the width not jsut the length check the makes too see the cool results

This is genius thank you for coming up with this.

i live this! this is great, but what do you do if you don't have dual extrusion?

you don't need dual extrusion, simply swap your filament roll half way through the print!

I can see me shifting the excuder slightly while doing this and wasting plastic...

trust me I switch filament mid print all the times and never have any trouble. If you use Cura you can use use the "pause at layer height" so you switch colours at the desired time. (I don't use the "filament change" feature as THAT is alil buggy, at least on my version)

lol don't mess up and it'll be worth it you don't think you can get it done then jsut admrie the makes that do get them done

I use the filament to create the filament

I love this concept and had to try it on the weekend... must say, I was a bit frustrated with the process.... I got my blue/green filament printed just fine (just slow). Tried to print with my new creation on my Ender3 with a direct drive with a steel feed gear. Due to the inconsistency of the filament not being true round (compared to purchased filament), my extruder would chew into the filament and then stop extruding. I could experiment with different filaments but I feel one would be more successful with an extruder that was not based on a single drive gear. I felt due to the shape, I also had excessive drag in tube that is between my extruder and hot-end (all inch or so of it... ). Again, love the idea/concept... just didn't work out for me with my current set-up.

Thank you for the kind words, but also the feed back!
I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out!, I had a similar experience with one of my filaments once, but i assumed it only was a fluke. when it happened to me, it looked like the two different "filament halves" de-laminated, i'm guessing the z-axis moved ever so slightly when i swapped filaments, and i think they didn't bond together properly. If you want to give it another try, try not "pause"-ing the print, but rather just slowing it down to like 10%, and quickly just do a filament swap while the print is still going. also, higher temps might help.
again, thanks for posting your experience, it might help someone in the future :)

This is so cool and such a brilliant idea! I know what I'm doing tomorrow

According to Cura, the 7 gram version is only 1.5mm tall not 1.75, so am I missing something here?

Hi, no, thats about right, the reason for that is that the largest "diameter" is 1.75, the filament is modeled to be a hex shape (to make it easier to print), and thus the max height is less then 1.75mm.

Update, I tried a 50/50 black and white mix, but it was mostly black gradient going to white on one side of my test model.
80/20 and the black for some reason still dominates, and one side was a black gradient to white, but 70% of the column was banded like a rock strata. I was hoping to find a way to skip painting, and print some marbling on some lion models, with the look of Ruskeala marble.
I did experiment with flow settings, but nothing changed too drastically.

For anyone reading this, the model actually prints out pretty good on my CR-10s and the test models I made came out perfect. It just didn't suit my needs.

Tip: If you do want banding to occur (if using a one nozzle machine), print with your primary color up to 50%, then pause the switch out the primary color, and print 1 layer of the secondary color you want. After that, just switch back to your primary color. Please note, the banding always occurs along the horizontal layers. It will not spider web, but rather look like a gradient.

Thank you Turbo, always fun to learn new things. :D

alright, I am making the 7g version now, to see if this can make a better marble look (with black and white PLA) than that PLA with black speckles in white PLA. :)

This puts the idea that recycled filament has to be cut with fresh pellets or filament when re-extruding it. I skimmed your summary, did you note all the different types of filaments that you tried? ABS, PLA, etc.

I thought this was a troll, it is not.

OK, now lets try to make filament from plastic bottles! :-)

You could shred PET bottles, then make a contraption similar to the Filastruder and make PET filament.

the only reason makerbot is not featuring this is cause it would make it alot harder for them to sell filament lol

lol, you still need to buy filament to do this ^^, but thanks

could you make one for a 300x 300 bed

Hi, i already made one, check out the 290mm version :)

i have googly eyes on my calipers now.

I have a couple of questions about your design, if you have the time to answer.

  1. What software did you use? (I used openscad, but it seems to hit complexity limits quite soon in terms of shape/weight of the part)
  2. Did you consider an overall filament shape that was more of a rounded box in XY, in order to make better use of build plate area?
    1. How did you decide how small the radius of the innermost section should be?
  3. Did you consider octagon or higher sides count for cross sectional shape? (I used octagon in my version)
    1. Did you use any fancy math to decide what the "radius" (long diagonal) should be, e.g., so that the cross sectional area was the same as a 1.75mm diameter circle?

Thanks for the questions!

  1. I usually use an industrial cad software, however you can use fusion 360 to do the same without any major issues, just use the "coil" tool, select only radial (or something like that), and then chamfer the edges to get a polygon.

  2. I did consider it, but since i use a bowden extruder 3d-printer, i was worried that small radius bends could end up creating too much friction in the tube and cause a jam. so when designing i always tried to do as big of a radius as possible, the smaller radius was simply defined by how much filament i wanted (while trying to avoid to go too low on the radius size for the before mentioned reason).

  3. So i didn't do any fancy math, i just made sure that the hexagonal shape would on its largest "diameter" not exceed 1.75mm, (this so everything would fit and not cause jams). I did consider using other shapes, however i ended up only trying the hexagonal shape, this i chose since i thought that most 3d printer would print this easily (you get a larger area that can stick to the bed then with higher polygons). But essentially, the higher the polygon the more material you get per length, so if you are able to print an octogon without issues, then that is certainly better :) (this is why you have to increase the flow when printing with this filament, it simply delivers less mass per length)

Amazing idea, totally understand the filament is degraded each pass but this is great for some custom colors and materials, Great job.

I recently have been playing around with hot swapping the filaments in print with great success, will try this out.

Thanks! let me know how it goes! :)

Could you include a little more information on the settings and methods you would recommend for printing this? I'm assuming that you pause the print, load in the second filament, get it flowing through the nozzle, auto-home the extruder, and resume? I tried just loading the second filament in until it hit the hotend, but ran into an issue that I think might have been caused by a bit of the first filament cooling on the nozzle. A recommended layer height would also help. The 0.2mm that I assumed you were using based on the video seemed to be working okay before the print failed, but to speed things up a bit (since I'm still testing it out) I'm also going to try the 0.4 someone recommended in the comments.

Hi, how you pause and resume a print is very printer specific, i personally just selected the pause print button on my ender 3 when i felt that i was about half way, changed the filament, and then resumed. If you have issues pausing and resuming, you could also just slow the printer down to like 2-10% print speed, and while its printing, quickly change the filament, this of curse might cause a little bit of under extrusion, but its still better than not being able to print at all.
I used 0.2mm layer height, but other layer heights might work too, shouldn't really matter i think.
the 0.4mm layer height recommendation was with a 0.8mm nozzle, i would strongly discourage to try that on a 0.4mm nozzle.

im freking out , wonderful idea.

How about 2.85mm filament (Lulzbot TAZ 6)?

Hey, I didn't see any files for 2.85 uploaded, so I thought I'd lend a hand and remix this awesome make (thanks, Turbo_SunShine!) for my 2.85 crew. Here's my remix: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3629025

3D Printable Filament (2.85/3mm remix)

Hey! thank you for posting this! I wanted to get to this myself, but life got a little in the way lateley. I realy appreciate it! Thank you!

Sure! I'll make a version when I get home. if you can't wait, taking one of the smaller ones and scaling it up should work just as well :)

i've been looking to do some sort of marbelling and I think this just answered a ton of questions I had. thank you so much!

Can you make a 14g filament?

Sure, what size bed do you have?

Does the 30g version not fit your bed?

No, it fits. I just wanted something that was in between those two.

thank god, i was running out of filament

Great idea!

I found a good setting for slicing: nozzle 0,8 mm and layer 0,4 mm.
In this mode you have 4 layers without interrupted filament.
More or less it's possible to print the 30g filament in 30 or 40 minutes.

I have a question: how long is the 30g filament?

You're not really losing filament anywhere, so I imagine the amount you get out is more or less the same as the amount you put in (minus skirt), right?

I think that the length changes because there are many approximations of wire section.

by mass, yes. by length, probably not.

Thanks for the feedback!
Not sure tbh. guessing around 7m?

Very beautiful work, it is possible to upload thread to bed size, 300x300mm. Thank you Pavel.

Hey, I added a ø290mm version, it should fill a 300x300 bed, let me know if it works for you! :)

By the way, the "110mm" version worked great for me.

Thanks for the feedback, i'll ad it to the description! :)

Lifehack 2: I heard you can also print printer paper with a regular desktop laser (or ink) jet. If interested I can post some pdfs to achieve that here.

Pretty neat color effects! I'm going to have to try this with my Filastruder now!

so I'm thinking that with a multi-material capable machine, you could mix differently along the length of the filament... status: giving openscad fits

Oh wow! please keep me updated!

Forgive the potato quality photo -- the model is quite small as I had just 2g to work with -- but the gradient concept seems to work


Procedure: use the "A" and "B" files in your printer's multimaterial mode to print the gradient filament, then use that filament to print a real model in "single material" mode. The "steps" of mixing are limited by the vertical resolution of your printer, so about 8 steps with the print settings I used (.2mm layer thickness).

ooh wow, interesting! could you post a picture of the filament?

I've published this as a Thing now: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3609741 -- a picture of the filament is included.

Print Your Own Gradient Filament
by jepler

Thanks! that's really cool! i'll have to give this a try if i ever get a multi material printer!

Finally i won't run out of filament ever again

I love this idea. Very creative, and makes even more derivative creativity possible.
At least for you creative types, lol.
I'm sure I'll play with this idea as I have time.

i thought this was just silly when i saw it initially, but having seen the makes people have posted so far i'm amazed at the results and plan on playing some with this for sure

I'm happy to hear that you will give this a try! The community makes are really impressive! Hope to see your results as well soon :)

I'm really interested in creating this for my class however our printers only have about 9x6 inches of space. How should I go about altering or creating to make use of our small beds?

Hi! I'm happy to hear that! I'm currently abroad, so I won't be able to make a custom filament for you this week, however there is a 110mm version that should fit on a 6x6 inch bed.
Let me know if thats good enough for you.

I had modeled an version of my own based on yours that I'm going to wait to finish and then I will try the 110mm version. Thank you for responding, I'll let you know how it goes!

Cool! Let me know how it goes! Feel free to post your design as a remix or something, especially if it works! I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate it!

This looks really cool. I can't play around with it at this very second, but do you have to do half and half with the filament combos? Could you do 25% one and 75% another? I would love to do a two tone filament with mostly one color and with a little of another.

You can do whatever you want :) , I just changed filaments at random around the half way point. Theoretically for the maximum amount of "multicolourness" 50-50 would be ideal, but let us know how 30-70 goes :)

Wait... This is actually possible.
mind blown

-filament producers hate him! XD

Wow! I'm surprised I had never thought of that lol! Great idea!

I love the idea, Have to try it out for myself to make some Gopnik colored shit :D

haha, staying true to your user name i see! let me know how it goes :)

Wow! Awesome idea! What type(s) of filament have you tried this with?

Hi! Thanks! :) I have only tried PLA so far. Was planing on trying PETG and PLA together some time in the future, i'm kinda hoping that it will give some interesting results :)

OK, I was a little bit interested in the color-mixing, 'coz I've got a friend whose favorite color is purple-green.

But I got really interested when you mentioned PETG and PLA. Copolymers. PETG is a lot stronger / less brittle, but I have a lot of trouble with it being goopy/sticky/stringy, so I wonder if mixing it with PLA would make it easier to print. Along those lines, could we mix PLA with TPU? I may have to experiment (though my time seems extremely limited, so if anybody else is thinking along these lines, I'd love to hear your results)

I will try, too! Cool Idea. I will post pictures of the result and prints of it! I think Extrusion width of 0,3 would be good... I will try tonight!

Cool and thanks! I really appreciate it! :)

Hmmm, I see. My extruder has problems with too thin filaments. I will increase height to 2 mm. (Measured 1.05 mm with the orginal. I am too close to the bed...) I love this experiment.

not sure i fully understand the issue you are having, could you elaborate?

The height of my filament-print ist only 1.05 mm instead of 1.5 mm and this is the side, which lies between the two extruder wheels (I think I am printing too near to the bed). And my extruder does not move the new filament to the nozzle. So I increased height in the model to 2 mm. Printing now. BUT: the few lines I printed, I got the color-mix I imagined (the test print will be a small benchy).

ohh, ok, i see, let me know if it works

Works! Benchy is printing. Addition blue and grey.

Maybe slower print speed makes better colour stability... Will work further on this GREAT experiment! BTW: To print the filament: speed up! Works! For my colour, I will add a third colour: white for one layer at the last layer.... Like mixing colours on the water colour palette. I love it!

Cool! keep us up to date! i would really appreciate if you would upload your results as a "make" with all the print settings and your experiences, i think that's the easiest way of documenting things as of now.

one more problem: Now the new Filament splits between two colours.... No chance to extrude it.... Nice experiment...

hmmm... did you use the same material? any suspicions on why this is happening?

Too fast printing the upper layer. (120 mm/s)

Oh lol, thats fast! thats even faster then my travels! what printer are you using?

Ender 3 with klipper. Works fine with that STL. Will print another one, but first layer slower ;)

Cool! Please upload your results! i'm really interested in what people can come up with :)

ok you hace tiempo bé popular bro

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honestly, idk lol, it just looks unreal

I GET IT, its infinite FILAMENT!!!! My problems are solved