Designing for Dual Extrusion

Predesign Process

Before designing your project, think about which features you want to be printed in different material or colors. Do you want your project to be just multi-colored or multi-material?

A good example of multi-material projects combine ridge hard plastic with flexible TPE filament. With this, we could make hard mounting brackets with flexible joints.

  • Wheel axle with rubber wheels for a tire.
  • VR googles, flexible hood with ridged enclosure.
  • Embed circuits with outter hard shell and internal conductive traces.

These are just a few ideas. There's all sorts of exotic filaments these days so try to experimenting with composite metals, wood, nylon, temperature-color-changing material and many more!

Designing Parts

Once you've determinded what properties you want your project to have, then you can start designing the parts. There isn't too much difference you need to make while designing parts. The main thing to consider is you'll need to separate objects that will be printed in a different color/material.

  • Use boolean opertion like subtract or void to split solid parts.
  • Avoid intersecting parts. Solids will need to subtracted from each other.

Project Examples

Here are a few things you may want to consider when setting up your designs.

  • Conductive Traces
    • Subtract traces from main part to create channels.
    • Merge traces to make manifold objects.
  • Flexible Joints / Hard Parts
    • Create custom seams with bendability in mind.
    • Subtrace joins from main parts
  • Multi-colored Objects
    • Subtract colored features from main part.
    • Combine colored pieces to make a single file.
This guide was first published on Sep 10, 2015. It was last updated on Sep 10, 2015. This page (Designing for Dual Extrusion) was last updated on Aug 22, 2019.