TechTip - Color Mixing in your design with 3D filament

3D Color Swatch


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Not too long ago I started working on a project that required the use of our Digikey Logo in the 3D printed form. I could create a post on that alone and If I decide to make one of those I will put a link to it right here arrow_gloss_red_down_T

When I designed this logo I needed to attach it to another item. What you see is a bezel that snaps over a logo and then both snap over the interfacing part. When I first did this I printed the Bezel in Red and I then did a multi-color print using that same red filament on the logo. As you can see the results were not going to meet any color requirements.

The red bezel was exactly what it was supposed to be but the red on the logo was darkened by the black layers under it. Since I needed to lighten that up I knew I would have to increase the number of layers but how would I know how many?

A color Swatch!

The concept is simple. There is a base of black and then a set of stairs on top of that. My layer height on my 3D printer was going to be set to 0.15mm, and since I knew that, I set a variable in Onhape so that I could easily change it in the future for different needs.


As you can see in the images of the printed color swatch above, each additional layer created a brighter red. I was able to compare the red from our actual logo to the colors available and this told me exactly how many layers I would need to print to achieve that color.

Armed with that knowledge I set my color change points accordingly and here are the results I achieved.

While this concept is not super complex it is not something that is necessarily apparent. I do hope that someone finds it useful.

CartoonMe4 Happy printing!

Keep an eye out for more of my creations as time goes on and feel free to reply here with creations of your own.

I use Onshape to create most of my designs. If you haven’t given Onshape a shot yet perhaps you should. It is very good at allowing multiple people to make their own iterations of a project. You can start by editing this file to suit your needs. Click below if you would like to learn more about Onshape in general

This can be printed it with your preferred 3D printer and material - in addition to almost any electronic component you might need, Digi-Key carries a variety of 3D printers and filaments if you’re in the market.