This article is taken from Steps 2-3 of the Palette 2 (Pro) Splice Tuning Guide, and focuses on how to perform splice tuning on Palette 2 (Pro). Please read Step 1 of the guide to learn more about baseline numbers to enter when doing multi-material prints.
Palette 2 (Pro) ™ splices together different materials and feeds them into 3D printers to create objects with multiple colors and materials. Palette uses a combination of heat, compression, and cooling to join these filaments together depending on the materials’ properties. Splices should be:
- Strong enough to feed into your extruder without breaking
- Have a diameter of approximately 1.75 mm ± 0.1 mm so they feed properly.
Materials require different amounts of heat , compression, and cooling to create good splices.
You can use Materials Profiles to control how much heat, compression, and cooling are used when splicing together different materials. These can be found, created, or adjusted in our CANVAS ™ and Chroma ™ software.
CANVAS and Chroma include default values that work for the majority of filaments (like PLA and PETG), but if you are using special filaments like solubles, flexibles, or other exotics, the Splice Tuning feature will help you find the ideal settings so your Palette 2 can create optimal splices.
Using Splice Tuning Mode
You can access this feature on Palette 2's menu under Settings > Splice Tuning.
Select Next and follow the on-screen instructions. Palette 2 will prompt you to remove the Teflon tubing from the unit to allow easy access to the spliced filament. Once this is done, load the outgoing filament into drive 1 and the ingoing filament into drive 2. Once this is complete, Palette 2 will display this screen:
You can find the base values we recommend for different materials here.
This allows you to adjust the following factors:
Heat Factor - Each increment of 1 adds an additional 0.5 seconds to the heating time. Note that substantially higher heating times may require more cooling time as well.These increases together may require slower print speeds so it is best not to heat more than is necessary.
Compression Factor - Each increment of 1 adds additional compression of 0.5 mm to the splice. Compression pushes the rigid filament into the end of the melted filament to create a strong bond. Over-compression can sometimes lead to large splices so you only want to compress as much as is needed to create a strong bond.
Cooling Factor - Each increment of 1 adds an additional 2 seconds to the cooling time. Note that substantially higher cooling times may require slower print speeds.
Splicing Order - Note that for some materials, the order with which you splice will affect the splicing parameters. During Splice Tuning, Palette 2 will splice the filament in drive 2 to the end of the filament in drive 1. It is especially important to try splicing with both combinations when using different material types (i.e. TPU and PLA). You can do so by swapping the filaments between the two drives and re-testing the values. If you find different settings dependent on the order, you can input these into CANVAS/Chroma accordingly.
Once the values and features are chosen, press 'Splice', and Palette 2 will create one splice between the filaments based on these values. This allows you to check the quality of the splice without having to run a full print.
Tune your Heat, Compression and Cooling Values
Follow these steps to help ensure your Palette 2 creates strong splices.
Heat & Cooling Factor
The amount of time the splice core spends heating and cooling filament can dictate your splice quality. The most common issues you may experience are brittle splices and necking. Both these issues can be solved by adjusting the Heat and Cooling Factor. Note that each increment of 1 in your Heat and Cooling Factor value adds an additional half second to the heating and cooling time.
Brittle splices - This occurs when the filament is weak at the point of the splice. When applying a small amount of pressure, the splice snaps or breaks apart. A strong splice is malleable and can bend and act as if it were a single strand of filament without issue. If you’re experiencing brittle splices, increase the Heat Factor by one unit at a time testing the splice after each increase. For every increase of 1 heat you should also increase cooling by 1 increment to counteract this.
|Example of a good splice (after bending)|
Necking splices - This occurs when splices are heated for too long, causing splices to ‘neck’ and create a thin string-like center at the splice. Decrease the Heat Factor and increase the Cooling Factor to fix this issue.
The Compression Factor adjusts the distance the two filament ends are compressed into each other. If the filaments are compressed too much or too little, it can negatively splice quality.
If the Compression Factor is set too low, you will see a small penetration cone in the splice:
|Compression factor too low, small penetration cone|
Increase the Compression Factor to create a larger penetration cone, which will help with splice quality:
|Compression factor increased, larger penetration cone|
Alternatively, having too much compression can affect splice quality negatively as well, as Palette 2 will try to force the compression of the filament together. Often, users will hear a skipping sound from the motors if their compression value is too high. Skipping will weaken the bond between the two filaments as it will cause the filaments to separate. If you hear Palette 2’s ingoing drives skipping or grinding away at filament when splicing, decrease the Compression Factor by 1 at a time to reduce this.
Once you're satisfied with the splices, input the Heat Factor, Compression Factor, and Cooling Factor into CANVAS.
If you have any additional questions, please send a message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.