multicolored gradient filament

3DDPlus Multicolored Gradient Filament review

3DDPlus (Strongherohero Invest Limited) is a China based 3D filament supply company. In addition to their lines of PLA and ABS filaments, they have recently released an innovative multicolored gradient PLA.

multicolored gradient filament - 3DDPlus
Multicolored gradient filament on the spool. My particular spool was 1/2 pastel lime green

Multicolored Gradient 1.75 mm PLA

Multicolored gradient (MG) is an innovative solution to 3D printing with filaments of single colors.

Unlike standard filaments that are made with a single pigment during the extrusion process, MG is made with a blend of different pigments in extrusion. The result is a multi-colored spool of filament. This filament can then produce bands of colors in your print.

You may ask how this is different from using a two-head 3D printer. With a two head printer, you can control the location of each color, as well as create a sharp color contrast in the print.

With MG filament, you do not have that control. In talking with a sales rep from the company, the color changes randomly through the spool, which will result in unique color bands in your print. Even in looking at the company site, each spool is its own unique pattern of colors.

The sample spool of MG I received was light and pastel in colors, ranging from pastel green to pastel blue-grey at the end of the spool. I can see that this spool was made with a lot of white base PLA, and that 3DDPlus went easy on the pigment pellets to get such light colors.

The filament itself has a satin gloss to it, which gave the prints a nice glossy shine.

For my first test print, I needed to print another set of my spool of Thrones holder  for my printer. I recently purchased a dual extruder head from LulzBot and I’ll need the extra holders for the two spools of filament. I will write about installing the dual extruder in a upcoming blog.

Spool holders - 3DDPlus
The first (bottom) and second (top) Spool of Thrones holder. First was lime green, 2d went from green-yellow-pink)

For my particular spool, the first half of the 1 kg spool was a pastel lime green. Aa a result, the first holder I printed was entirely pastel lime green. I did not see any color change in the print.

For the second holder, I really wanted to see the multi gradient color effect. I ended up un-spooling about half the spool to get to the next band of yellows and reds.

The second spool of Thrones holder did have different colors, but only after I paused the print to un-spool more colors. I ended up with a holder that goes from pastel lime green through pastel yellow, and finishes with a pastel pink layer.

green-yellow-pink - 3DDPlus

All the pastel colors in the spool remind me of the year I rushed dying the Easter eggs. While I don’t mind the pastel lime green, the other light colors just are not to my taste.

The appeal of MG filament is a double-edged sword. On one edge, it will give your prints a splash of color. On the other edge, each spool is unique so you will not have control of where each color goes.

With each spool of MG being unique, you can never plan out a print to have specific patterns. The unique color gradients in each spool also means you may get a spool that does not have the colors you want.

I would recommend that 3DDPlus creates a couple different lines of this filament as they go forward in production. One line would have dark primary colors, another light primary colors, another have pastels, etc… this way they can offer printers a better choice of colors.

As a 1.75 mm PLA filament, the printing quality is great. I did not have a problem printing the large spool of Thrones holders. It printed large overhangs without support, with some slight warping in one corner of the holder.

Using the rating system I developed in a previous blog I scored MG filament the following.

Flexibility: Flexed through all 180 degrees. 12 pts

Color: Pastel colors with a satin finish. 3 pts

Starting Quality: Started well. 2 pts

Warping: Slight warping. 2 pts

End of Print: Came clean off build plate. 3 pts

Environmental: No smell. 2 pt

Special consideration: You cannot control the color changes unless you cut and reload filament during a print, which is inconvenient. With each spool unique, you will not get a consistent colored print. 0 pt

Processing / finishing the print: 2 pts

FINAL SCORE: 26 / 28

As a 1.75 mm PLA filament, 3DDPlus is a solid general purpose filament to print with. While I did not like the light pastel colors of my particular spool, I like the novelty of this MG filament. I plan on using the rest of the sample I was sent for general printing.

MG filament does have appeal to artistic 3D printers, and I would use it in the future if I had better choice in the range of colors.

DISCLAIMER: While 3DDPlus MG is for sale in our store, 3DDPlus sent me this sample at their expense, with no compensation or expectations for this review.

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