Changing colors during a 3D print is notoriously difficult. Either you need multiple heads ready to go during printing, which increases your printer’s O&M costs, or you need to stop printing to change filament and then hope everything matches up when printing resumes. There are a few solutions to this problem, but not many of them are as smooth and effortless as this one that uses erasable pen ink to add colors to the filament on the fly.
Erasable ballpoint ink is a thermochromic material that does not come off the paper when erased like lead from a pencil. Instead, the heat from the friction of erasing causes it to become transparent. By using this property for a 3D print, the colors of the print can be manipulated simply by changing the temperature of the hot end. Of course, the team [Autodrop3d] they had quite a learning curve when they experimented with this method, as they had to run the extruder at a much lower temperature than normal to have control over the color of the ink, they had to run the print much slower than normal normal and they were using a very sticky low temperature. -Temperature plastic for printing.
With all these tweaks to print settings, there are bound to be some limitations on material and speed, but the results of the project speak for themselves. This allows standard 3D printers to use this method without hardware modifications, and color changes can be done entirely in software. While everyone is getting up to speed on this new technology, there are other benefits to a 3D printer with multiple printheads and some clever ways to make the switch without too much disruption.