Variable Transition Lengths are useful for prints when you're using filaments that are very different from each other in terms of color strength. Color strength plays an important role in determining transition length and getting clean prints free of color bleed. If we take a look at the tooth model on the left side the transition length going from black to white has been set too low for the materials color strength however the tooth on the right has been set correctly. But what happens if you have two materials with very different color strengths?
For example, while it may take a 200 mm transition length to go cleanly from black to white it might only take 100 mm to go the other way around from white to black. This is because black is a strong color while white is weak in terms of color strength. For a clean print like the tooth model on the left, we would have had to set all transitions to 200 mm wasting 100 mm every time a white to black transition occurred, creating a denser transition block.
With the use of Variable transition lengths, you can reduce the amount of filament waste by optimizing transition lengths for each filament. A strong color such as black can now be assigned a transition length of 200 mm while a weak color such as white or yellow can be assigned 100 mm.
To use this feature, select a color from your tool box and press the Variable Transition Lengths button:
This will open the Variable Transition Lengths screen. The transition length that is used between these filaments will be adjusted based on the two colors' strengths. When transitioning from a weak color to strong color, it will use the Maximum transition length. The Minimum transition length would be used when transitioning from strong to weak.
In this print, for the white and yellow filament, we'd select Weak and for the black filament, we'd select Strong. This will use less filament when transitioning to black, and more filament when transitioning to white. Basically, you have a fixed amount of space to transition on your transition tower and by setting colors to be strong or weak, you dictate how much of that layer on the transition tower should be used to change between colors.
You can also enable Advanced Options which would allow you to specify the transition lengths for each filament. The grid positioned so that you can set the transition length from the outgoing filament to the ingoing filament. In this instance, we would use 100 mm to transition from white to black and 200 mm when transitioning from black to white:
The most common scenarios to use variable transitions are:
- If you're using a very strong color with a very weak color (ex. black bleeding into white). In this case, set black as 'strong' and white as 'weak' as it will take very little space to transition from white to black but more to transition in the opposite manner. Setting these colors to the appropriate strength will allow you to allocate space properly on your transition tower.
- If you're using two strong colors and one bleeds into another (ex. black bleeding into red). We would recommend setting black as 'strong' and red as medium ('-').
- If you're using two strong colors and both bleed into another color (ex. black and red bleeding into white). In this instance, the best solution is to increase the transition length as you would require more space for both strong colors to fully purge to the next color.
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