First off, main credit for this guide goes out to 黃至宇 from ATOM 3D Printer Group for putting together this guide (originally in Chinese) for Dual Extrusion in Simplify3d (S3D) for the ATOM 2.5EX. Here is the English version of the guide so more can benefit from the information:
This article will not dig too deeply into the all various possible settings for Dual Extrusion, but will aim to accomplish the setting up of Simplify3D for ATOM 2.5EX’s Dual Extrusion Mode via the basic steps
We will first need to get the “Simplify3D/ATOM 2.5EX-DS.fff” FFF Profile, which can be downloaded from here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/atom3dp/1828402630731357/ (You may need to join the ATOM 3D Printer Group to access this file)
Importing the settings:
Select “File” Menu > Select “Import FFF Profile”
Select “ATOM 2.5 EX-DS.fff”
This is what it looks like after you have successfully imported the profile.
An Example of Dual Extrusion Operation
For this example, we will download and a Thingiverse model called 2-color tree frog. Here is the download link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:329436
After downloading the model, open S3D and import the 2 model files which have the term “small” in them.
After this, you will see 2 different 3D models appear on the build area.
The next step will be to combine these 2 models together.
First, select both of these using the check boxes next to the model names as shown in the red rectangle above.
What it should look like after the model has “combined” to the same position.
Dual Extrusion Wizard
Using the “Dual Extrusion Wizard” function, it is easy to set up a dual extrusion print. However, do remember to have first imported and setup the “ATOM 2.5 EX-DS.fff” profile, otherwise the following steps will not work.
From the “Tools” menu, select “Dual Extrusion Wizard”
The Dual Extrusion Wizard’s Settings Dialog Box:
Base Profile Template： Select “ATOM 2.5 EX-DS”
Extruder Configuration： Select “E0+E1 Dual” for Dual Extrusion (This are ATOM 2.5 EX-DS’s provided automatic selections)
Color1 Selector Box: Input the model file(s) which should be printed using the first color.
Color2 Selector Box: Input the model file(s) which should be printed using second color.
For both of these, there can be multiple selected models, making it easy to select the list of models to print using the 2 extruders using this step.
After pressing “OK” to confirm these settings, the Dual Extrusion Wizard will automatically set these 2 groups of processes as shown in the red rectangle below.
Dual Extrusion Wizard has automatically setup these 2 Processes and has named them “Color1” and “Color2” accordingly so that it is easily understandable.。
To edit these Processes, simply select them and click on “Edit Process Settings”
Both Processes have been setup under the same Group (Dual Ext Group 1)，and hence have linked settings which can be edited in tandem through changing them under Color1 or Color1
For example, if we would like to change the Layer Height, we can do so as per below:
Click on the settings to see the FFF profile window. Though by default there are some standard settings already for parameters such as Layer Height and Infill, it is sometimes easier to manually changes these as needed.
Once the settings have been set, click “Ok” to return to the main interface and then click “Prepare to Print” to begin the slicing process.
“Select Processes for Printing” Dialog Box:
Because we have used more than 1 Process here, there will be a dialog box which pops up to confirm which of the processes we would like to use for this print.
As this is a Dual Extrusion print, we will select all the listed Processes, telling S3D that we would like both “Color1” and “Color2” processes to be run in the “Continuous printing” model.
Then select “Ok” to complete this step.
3D Print Preview
Now that the main job is done, let’s look briefly at the S3D 3D Printing Preview screen.
S3D typically completes slicing operations very quickly, and then shows a clear preview of the 3d printing process, which is a great help towards understanding every step of the print process.
Using the “Feature Type” Display
For example, we can use change the “Coloring” selector to “Feature Type” and then move the progress slider under main preview pane to very clearly differentiate between the perimeters, infill and other additional features in the print.
Using the “Active Toolhead” Display
To visualize how the dual extruders will operate, we can change the “Coloring” setting to represent the “Active Toolhead”display. As in the images, the blue portions will represent portions which will be 3d printed by Tool0 (which is Extruder E0 in our settings) and the green portions will represent portions 3d printed by Tool1 (Extruder E1)
From the previews, we can see that the settings are more or less OK – both extruders are extruding in the right places we expect them to, there is a prime pillar in the top left and the change of filament colour is also visible in the prime pillar.
First Colour Change
If we move the time slider all the way to the start, we can see that the print will first start with blue (E0). Once the skirt and the first layer in blue has been completed, the extruder will move to the prime pillar towards the upper left of the model to start changing the filament for the next part of the print job.
Moving the time slider forward a bit further, we can see that after this layer of the prime pillar has been completed in green, it will move on to start printing the green portions of the first layer.
After this first layer of green is completed, the extruder moves back to the prime pillar to start on changing the colour back to blue.
After checking that the process as shown in the preview is roughly ok, then you can proceed to 3d printing itself.
So there you have it – these are the main steps involved in using S3D’s Dual Extrusion settings for the ATOM 2.5EX.
If there are any queries or parts which are not so clear, do feel free to reach out to us!