The Toronto-based company Mosaic just announced the launch of their new Palette 3 and Palette 3 Pro. This was along with other products: the Array, a mid-volume printer, and the Element HT, high strength material printer.
Palette 3 is the brand new addition to Mosaic’s popular Palette line of products. These allow you to print with multiple materials with a single nozzle.
Overview of the Palette 3 and Palette 3 Pro
At first glance, the Palette 3 looks like a premium product with great design. The Palette 3 and the Palette 3 Pro come in gorgeous white and black colors, respectively. Both have the same HD touch display at the bottom right corner. They come with a detachable metal stand.
It can be used with many popular 3D printers like the Prusa MK3 and even the Creality Ender 3. It’s mounted easily on the side or can sit next to your printer.
The Palette 3 is compatible with any filament, which is of 1.75±0.03mm size. Like PLA, PETG, TPU, ABS, PVA, anything with a Shore hardness of 95A or harder.
The Slicing software
For slicing, Palette 3 uses the Canvas slicing software. It will allow you to slice, paint or stamp your STL files. It’s cloud-based software, and thus, managing files will be a lot easier.
For coloring your 3D model file, you have to open it in the Canvas software. There, under the coloring option, you can choose any color and configure your Color palette tool… Then, drag and drop colors on certain parts of the model.
Here, the transition tower size and position can also be changed along with the usual model placement and print settings.
What exactly does the Palette do?
Think of it this way. The Palette takes multiple filaments at the same time. It selects a particular filament and cuts it to the required length. It then selects another filament, cuts it to size, and fuses( or splices)them both. The Palette repeats this process according to the information that you’ve provided it.
The result is a new filament that is made up of multiple different filaments. This can then be fed to your 3D printer extruder.
Working of the Palette 3. How does it actually do this?
Once you remove the detachable magnetic face cover, you’ll be able to see the beautiful inner mechanism of the Palette. Depending on the model, there are 4( in Palette 3) and 8( in Palette 3 Pro) different filament inputs. Each input has its own little ring light illumination and switches to detect when the filament is loaded and when it has run out.
These 8 inputs are merged into 4 channels. The filament gets pulled by a cylindrical roller bar above the inputs. They get selected individually by a selector behind the roller bar so that only one filament is driven at a time.
A single filament is then pulled through the bent path, leading to the cutter wheel. The cut filament then hits a switch, letting the device know it has reached the Splicer Core entrance. It then pulls the next color so that the end of the previous color and the tip of the new color align in the Splicer Core 3 and get spliced there.
The spliced filament goes around the PTFE tube-lined buffer path. The flexible PTFE tube will flex according to the filament pulled. There is new Max. and Min. switches now. If the tube hits any of them, the machine will know if it’s making too much or not enough filament for the path.
Finally, The spliced filament reaches the encoder wheels, from where it’s pushed out of the machine from the top.
While printing, The Palette 3 will make your 3D printer create an extra part called the transition tower or the purge tower. This is made up of waste filament, which is produced while switching colors or materials.
In single nozzle multi-material prints, you have to transition between the color or material. Since if your spliced filament has color 1 coming through and color 2 right behind it, that transition will take some filament to switch between colors 1 to 2 cleanly. That’s what is seen in the transition tower.
The transition Tower has some sparse sections and some that aren’t. This all depends on the number of colors or filaments you have per layer. That’s what dictates how many times it has to transition between different colors.
Often, the transition Tower is heavier than the model itself
To reduce this filament wastage, you can choose to transition inside the infill itself. This, though, depends on your infill settings
What has changed and updated over Palette 2?
There are many changes and upgrades over the original palette 2
The third generation Splice Core( P3-SC ) on Palette 3 has a 25% faster-splicing speed than Palette 2. And the third generation Splice Core Pro( P3-SCP ) is 35% faster in splicing than the Palette 2
An attached fan helps with the cooling of the filament as it gets Spliced. The inner tubes are optimized .to reduce the chances of filament jamming inside substantially
Canvas hub, which enabled your palette to connect to the Canvas software and computer, as well as establish communication between your 3D printer and palate, is now in build.
The Canvas hub is just a Raspberry Pi board and enabled connectivity options. you can run Octaprint and Octalapse on it
The Palette 3 now also gets inbuilt Wi-Fi. It can connect to your Local Network, and you can use your computer to connect easily to the Palette 3. This comes in handy for remote working or checking on the status of the job. The Palette 3 Pro gets an additional Ethernet connectivity option.
Uses of the Palette 3
Making multi-colored print got a lot easier with the Palette 3. Utilizing 8 colors in print easily is a boon for someone who does not have the time or skill to paint a model.
You can also automate your filament if you have a big print to run or have tiny filament on many spools that you don’t want to waste. You can load up a bunch of these spools in the Palette 3, and if you run out of one, the splicer will splice the next one, and so on up to 8 spools. But the most exciting use of the Palette 3 is the ability to do multi-material printing. Hailed by many as the most promising breakthrough in 3D printing technology, it is considered the future of 3D printing.
This means that unique properties of different material filaments can be utilized in a single print. High-quality, functional prints can be achieved by combining flexible and rigid materials.
Simplifying prints with challenging overhangs using breakaway or soluble support is also possible.
Joel from 3D printing nerd has also come up with a unique approach towards support structures. He suggests using different materials for interface support layers. For example – the whole print and the support structure can PLA, and only the interface between the print and the support structure, that layer can be made up of PETG. This will give an incredible finish to your print and is less expensive than soluble filament.
These new products are a refinement of the original. So we can be assured that what works well is inherited and is made to work even better. So while being a fairly new technology, there have been to previous generations of it, and the issues well seem to be ironed out. This looks like an amazing product and will open up new avenues of 3D printing for the user.
Currently, Palette 3 is in the pre-order phase, and shipping will start in a couple of months.
At $599, the Palette 3 gets a 4 material Input and 1-year warranty from the factory. For an extra $200 at $799, The Palette 3 Pro gets 8 material inputs, a 2-year warranty, 10% fastest splicing, and additional spare parts. But for April and May 2021, during the pre-order period, It’s $100 lesson each, so $499 for Palette 3 and $699 for Palette 3 Pro.
All images are taken from Mosaic’s official page for Palette 3 and Palette 3 Pro. Technical information source – Joel from 3D printing Nerd.
Harsh Pawar is a student of Mechanical Engineering. Specializes in the Mechatronics domain. Alongside this, He’s an avid runner and an auto enthusiast