Posts Tagged ‘dualstrusion’

Living on the Cutting Edge with Dualstrusion

Posted by on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hopefully by now you’ve heard about MakerBot’s newest 3D printer, the Replicator 2X.  While 3D printing opens up a new world of possibilities, being able to print with a second plastic extruder at the same time takes it to another level entirely.  There are a lot of things that become possible with a dual extruding 3D printer that are simply not feasible by any other means.

  • Colors
    • The most obvious, and by far the simplest, use of dual extruders is to enable two color printing.  Although a single-color object could be painted, there are times when painting a particular object would require a great deal skill or be very time consuming.  While printing a plastic sushi set for my daughter I used dualstrusion to add black plastic “soy sauce” to white plastic dishes.  Sometimes, painting an object might even be impossible.  Imagine an object such as a bottle, vase, or an egg where you want to have an image or design inside.  While it might be impossible to paint inside such an object, the interior image could be printed inside the object as it is being created.
  • Dissolvable Support
    • Dual extruders allow for printing with a dissolvable support material like PVA.  Being able to print with a water soluable material means your robot could print entire mechanical devices complete with moving pieces.  PVA is still very experimental and fussy as an extruded material and at the extreme forefront of dual material printing.
  • Varying Densities
    • With two extruders it would be possible to create an entirely solid plastic object with a customizable density.  This could be used to make trick dice, a balancing toy, a toy that can’t be knocked down, a toy that can’t be stood up, or maybe a boat that is difficult to sink.
  • Mechanical Properties
    • Different extruded materials, such as ABS and PLA plastics, tend to have different physical and mechanical properties.  ABS tends to be more flexible and PLA tends to be more rigid.  A 3D printer with dualstrusion can combine the two plastics into a single object that is both flexible and rigid.
  • Simultaneous Dual Printing
    • One of the more exciting developments with dual extruder printing was a recent contribution by Thingiverse user thorstadg.  Thorstadg created a method for operating both extruders simultaneously – allowing the printer to print two objects, one with each extruder, at the same time.
  • Variable Resolution
    • Two extruders means you have two nozzles at your disposal.  However, there is no particular reason for both extruders to have the same size nozzle aperture.  With one very fine nozzle aperture and one relatively large nozzle aperture, a single object could be printed with quick printing coarse features and very high resolution features that take more time.
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Fantastic Two-Color Shapes By George Hart

Posted by on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

George Hart is a mathematician, sculptor, and educator, who was instrumental in the beginning stages of the Museum of Math, which opens in New York City on December 15.

He is also a MakerBot owner doing some stunning Dualstrusion work with The Replicator.

Spiky ball based on the (5,2)-Goldberg polyhedron, by George Hart


George has previously done some great stuff on both a Cupcake CNC and a Thing-O-Matic (galleries here and here) and inspired dozens of others on Thingiverse to replicate his designs. It would be perfect to see these shapes in different color schemes, and particularly in some of the new PLA colors.


George has some great ideas about using Dualstrusion, and we’ll share those tips on the blog here very soon. Stay tuned.

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Get On Board With The Northeast Tech Corridor, Literally

Posted by on Thursday, May 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Geeks have boarded a train in Washington, DC on a route through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, in order to celebrate the tech community in the northeastern US.

Geeks on a Train is happening on the 168th anniversary of the first telegraph transmission by Samuel Morse in 1844. Track their progress here, and get in on the tweet-up all day at #geektrain!

Our notable 3D modeler Todd  made a luggage tag/keychain today for the trip. But since the train schedule changed suddenly in the middle of the trip, he had to make a quick adjustment. No problem, says Todd, aka zenix on Thingiverse.


This cracks me up. It’s a dualstrusion file, so make it in whatever two colors you want.

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CNET Test Drives The Replicator

Posted by on Monday, May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

…and lurves it.

CNET’s Rich Brown has some nice things to say about The Replicator, “the most capable 3D printer for under $2,000.”

Yes, but it’s also fun.  And what did Rich use that Mr. Jaws clip for?!

Stay tuned for Rich’s full review of The Replicator, which is due out tomorrow.

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Dualstrusion Mashup, Zebra On Bird!

There’s something so cool about Dualstrusion.

The winner of the Engineer vs. Designer iPhone design competition, aubenc, has just added a cool kind of mashup. Rather than mashing up two kinds of shapes, he alluded to two animals by adding a zebra pattern to his Paper Bird model.

Now who’s going to add a cheetah skin to cushwa’s Owl statue?

Zebra Paper Bird by aubenc


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Community Support Forum for Experimental DualStrusion

Posted by on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

As many of you know, the recent release of ReplicatorG has introduced some of the software features that are necessary to use your Thing-O-Matic with two extruders, a process we like to call DualStrusion.

DualStrusion is highly experimental right now, and we’re all learning about it — engineers, developers, and tech support agents included.  While it’s a very exciting process, don’t expect DualStrusion to work right out of the box without some serious troubleshooting: that’s the cost of being on the cutting edge.

In light of that, we’ve just created a new support forum for DualStrusion experimenters to share their learning and experiences.  And so, I give to you: the DualStrusion experimenters support forum.

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Replicator G 0027 Released!

Hot on the heels of ReplicatorG 0026, we are already releasing a new version, ReplicatorG 0027. Most users will see no major feature additions in this version, but there are a stack of bugfixes, including the automated build platform belt issue, as well as  some important user interface improvements and other tweaks. However, for advanced users, we did include support for our experimental DualStrusion process into this release as a full feature, so it’s easier to get those awesome multi-color prints. The UI tweaks come compliments of Rob Giseburt, one of our community contributors. He had a great idea for a design to simplify skeinforge settings selection, and it worked so well we included in into our codebase. Many thanks to Rob!

Some details on the interface tweaks after the jump!

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Welcome, Dualstrusion Experimenters!


Those of you who got a chance to stop by Maker Faire this weekend (or read our earlier blog post) are probably wondering when you too can experiment with dual extrusion heads. The answer is: now! We’ve integrated tools into ReplicatorG that simplify the process of creating a two-material print. They’re not in the released version of ReplicatorG yet, but they are available in a git branch for experimenters who want to get a jump start on the future. And who doesn’t want to get a jump start on the future? Details for the bold below!

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