How you can Paint with a 3D Printer Utilizing HueForge

The very first thing I needed to make with my shiny new Creality Ender 3 Professional was a lithophane – a 3D printed black and white picture that involves life if you shine robust gentle by means of it. Because it seems, lithophanes are tough to print with a mattress slinger, take all day to make, and are quite boring to have a look at for those who don’t have them always again lit.

Shade lithophanes are even more durable. You’ll be able to both tape a translucent colour picture behind the plastic – lame – or painstakingly recreate the 4 colour technique of mixing Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black with an AMS system on a printer just like the Bambu Lab P1P .

The twenty first century has lastly caught up with the common-or-garden lithophane. Enter HueForge, a groundbreaking app that permits you to 3D print, for lack of a greater time period, stable lithophanes. This system was developed by Steve Lavedas of Horn & Rhode Artwork, and is at the moment obtainable for buy beginning at $12 a 12 months.

As an alternative of shadowy bas-reliefs, HueForge permits you to print in layers of colour. These prints can nonetheless obtain attention-grabbing 3D illusions, regardless of solely being a couple of millimeters thick. The group surrounding HueForge has dubbed the system “filament portray” as a result of the method stacks ultra-thin translucent layers that mix into new colours quite like paint. For instance, the buzzing hen beneath doesn’t use inexperienced filament, however a mix of yellow, blue, black and white.

HueForge shouldn’t be a design program or a slicer, however one thing that matches in between. You feed it picture information and your palette of filament colours. It then helps you calculate the place to introduce colour swaps based mostly on the transparency of the filament you’re utilizing within the print. When it’s completed, you export an stl file and course of it along with your favourite slicer.

Polymaker Helps HueForge

Polymaker acknowledged a novel alternative to help HueForge, and instantly arrange a dialogue space of their Discord and set photographer James Simpson to work testing dozens of colours. The corporate can be providing a filament coupon to early adopters of the software program. It is smart – with a big portion of Polymaker’s supplies constructed into HueForge, persons are extra prone to buy new spools quite than bothering to check their very own filament.

That’s proper. Earlier than you need to use any of your filament within the HueForge system it’s a must to run a couple of assessments to find out its transparency ranges. Various filament is already within the system because of Lavedas and Simpson.

HueForge is open to another filament producer who additionally desires to supply a library file of colours.

The take a look at isn’t that onerous and solely requires a fast print. See right here for instructions.

You don’t must be an artist to get good outcomes from HueForge, however you do want endurance and a complete palette of filament. Most of the program’s early adopters are creating intriguing artwork through the use of Midjourney, however any picture saved as png or jpg can be utilized.

I’d counsel beginning with one of many ready-made HueForge information posted on Printables.com to get a really feel for the system and tune your printer. You don’t want something fancy, simply the flexibility to pause for colour swapping. A .2mm nozzle is useful, however I’ve seen excellent outcomes on a Bambu X1 Carbon operating a .4mm nozzle and utilizing an AMS to swap layers robotically.

How you can Use HueForge

Navigating HueForge’s interface might be overwhelming, however there are a number of tutorials on YouTube that will help you out. Begin with the tutorial on the interface first, then transfer onto the HueForge Filament Portray.

What You Have to Use HueForge

A duplicate of HueForge

Filament in assorted colours

Picture file

Canva (non-compulsory)

How you can Use HueForge to 3D Print a Shade Lithophane

1. Select a picture. Begin with a picture – I’m going to make use of my social media headshot for this tutorial.

2. Take away the background and run the picture by means of a black and white filter for the very best outcomes. A free program like Canva can do each of those.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

3. Save the file as a png and drop it into the Program folder of HueForge.

4. Open the picture in HueForge.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

HueForge defaults to a black and white PETG profile. The Filament Library lists all the colours obtainable to you and you’ll add extra after testing them for “transmission distance.”

5. Choose the colours you need to use.

6. Drag the colours into the Shade Sliders.

I dind’t have many primary colours of Polymaker, so I’m chanced it utilizing Inland PLA in Black and White , that are hopefully shut sufficient to Polymaker in transparency. I ran a fast take a look at on a roll of Prusament Viva la Bronze and it seemed just like a gold already within the system. I simply renamed it Prusament and dropped it into the slider beforehand set for gray.

7. Tweak the sliders till you’re pleased with the outcomes.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

8. Choose the Mannequin Geometry window and alter the scale – I used 75 x75mm for a sooner print.

9. Click on “Save Undertaking As” and provides it a reputation. HueForge will robotically make an STL file.

10. Open your slicer. I used Bambu Slicer and ran this by means of the P1P with an AMS. I might run it by means of nearly any printer, however I would want to do guide filament swaps. The P1P will let me set it and neglect for a couple of hours.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

11. Set your layer top to .08mm and the primary layer to .16mm.

12. Set the infill to 100%.

13. Set the colour swaps in accordance with the instructions HueForge offers you, which you will discover by clicking the Describe Button on the Filament Layer window.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

On Bambu Slicer, colour swaps are set within the Preview Window by proper clicking the layers slider on the left hand facet of the display. I wanted two filament adjustments for this picture at layers 7 and 13.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

My first outcome was just a little heavy on the white, however I reprinted the picture utilizing a extra translucent white and had a significantly better print. HueForge requires a little bit of experimentation, so I like to recommend creating smaller, sooner pattern prints earlier than committing to a bigger print.

(Picture credit score: Tom’s {Hardware})

HueForge is at the moment solely obtainable on Home windows 10/11, however Mac and Linux variations are within the works.

*Particular because of Zombie Hedgehog and Dstrbdmedic167 who printed and shared their fashions on the Polymaker each in the course of the 2023 Midwest RepRap Pageant.

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