If there existed a mechanism that would allow you to switch between two to

If there existed a mechanism that would allow you to switch between two to six filament lines using only a single extrusion motor (only one filament would be extruded at a time), how interested would you be in putting it on your Printer?

I’d give it a try.

@Jonathan_Maize You could either have a purge cycle (though it would end up consuming a lot of filament doing this) or multiple hot ends

If you were printing the same material you could have it start the new color while its doing a large section of infill, it will essentially purge the other color while its doing the infill.

Or you could modify the G-code to tell the extruder to move to the end of the bed and purge the material out of the hotend run it over a small wire brush to clear anything off the hot end then have it heat up or cool down, and switch the material. Just need to find an effective way to purge the hot end without having to manually do it.

I guess that if you buy fillament, you allways buy it at the same place. Therefor the quality should be the same.

I do not have a printer yet, but I would think that putting the material in infill would be most cost efficient. The temperature settings do sound like a hassle unless it is okay to overheat filaments. How about a rotating or sliding piece to chop the current filament? If inclined, geared hobs and a slide would make a 1 stepper, 1 actuator/servo setup quite doable… Or so I would hope.

Purging old filament (ie colour) in in-fill would only work with darker coloured (or non-translucent) perimeters.

Depends on how many perimeters you are printing 1-3 I can see the darker colors showing through 4+ I don’t see it showing through very well.

I definetly would.

It is long time I am looking for something good, and I have not found any good idea, so now I am thinking to build one by myself or with some help for complex parts.

It will:

  • Support at least input from 5 filament (next realease will be able to mix them: Cyn-Mag-Yel-Blk-White)
  • It will support fast auto-clean.
  • He will need to move in a specific angle out of the bed for cleaning/drop of the residual plastic that could not be recovered.
  • Adapt to the temperature of every single filament
    That was the easy part, I don’t see particular problems. I am evaluating solutions to avoid 6 motors and see if with a mecanical solution I can use only two motors.

The difficult part is the mixing. I have not yet found a smart easy and cheap technical solution to mix plastic and get any color. So for now, not yet CMK color gradient.

If you can use plastic pellets at the same speed, that would be great.

For colors I wouldn’t be interested because 6 is too little. For materials I might be interested if there are enough applications, can you name some ? Are there even applications that need more than 2 (except biology) ? Printing speed would be drastically increased by purging and temperature changes, I think professional machines use one material per extruder for this reason.