A Guide to Dual Head Printing

by FELIX Stories

Read the full story at http://www.felixprinters.com/stories/guides/a-guide-to-dual-head-printing/

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Ever since the start of 3D printing, the most common way to do so has been with one print head. The increased popularity and accessibility of 3D printing has also influenced the demand for 3D printers that are able to combine materials in one single print. Of course a well developed dual head system brings great possibilities but it requires a bit of knowledge to use the technology to it’s full potential. To give you an idea of the possibilities of a Dual Head system we have written a guide that will talk you through the basics.

Layers_printing_print_head

To fully understand the features and limitations of a dual head system, …

Two individual print heads - clearly visible

Different materials in one print

Having two individual print heads allows you to use two different materials in one single print. An example would be to use the same materials but in different colours ….

Physical challenges of 3D printing

Soluble Support material

The technique of most 3D printers is based on stacking tiny layers on top of each other. Starting with the first layer, which is always build on the build plate. That means it is physically impossible …..

(Water Soluble) Support Filament

Each layer is built upon a foundation (the previous layer or in case of the first layer the build plate). If you print for instance a bridge. The printer will first print the side pillars of the bridge, ….

Finished product after removal Support Material

Open object - what the support material looks like

Will printing go twice as fast with a dual head 3D printer?

The answer is easy: no. Both print heads are physically connected to each other – which makes it impossible to let them print their own part at the same time. The 3D printer will print with one print head at a time. ……

How to create one object with two materials?

three dice

The creation of an object with multiple colours or materials is done within the software (that comes with the printer). What is most important, …..

How to create a support structure?

Creating a support structure is also done within the software. All you have to do, is to select the ‘generate support’ button and the software will automatically determine if a support structure is required …

Essentials to keep in mind

Regardless of the object you are printing, the materials in each print head should be compatible with each other. The points to take into considerations ….

The print temperature range should be approximately the same. Especially the required build plate temperatures. ….

Compatible combinations

As mentioned above – you should always check if two different materials are compatible with each other. What could happen is that the materials do not bond to each other with the risk of an object being detached from the build plate. At FELIX we have tested several materials and we can recommend the following combinations:

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