1 (edited by DePartedPrinter 2013-04-19 18:35:44)

Topic: Colorants (masterbatch)

This thread is for posting information on making colored filament. 


Things you should post:
-Base plastic color (natural, white, clear, etc.)
-Masterbatch Color
-Ratio of base to masterbatch
-Ratio of masterbatch to masterbatch (for complementary colors)
-Type of Plastic (ABS, PLA, HDPE, etc.)


So far, here is what I have been experimenting with and some of my results:

Base Colors:  natural & clear
Masterbatch Colors: Green(ABS), Grey(ABS), Blue(HDPE), Red(HDPE)
Ratios:  I have been using everything from 25:1 to 100:1
Plastic: ABS

I have been playing with colorants from OS for about 4 months now and the results are very promising.  Using ABS colorant mixed with natural ABS I have been able to create solid colors with ease using the Filastruder.  Lately, I have been mixing at a ratio of 32:1 and adding that mix directly to the hopper of the Filastruder.

http://www.soliforum.com/misc.php?action=pun_attachment&item=1797&download=0

Once you start extruding, you will eventually start to see a hint of the color you are trying to create. From this point, it takes about 10-20 feet of extruded filament to start getting a really consistent color.

http://www.soliforum.com/misc.php?action=pun_attachment&item=1798&download=0

A couple of things to note:
-Do not mix HDPE colorant with ABS plastic
-Switching from one colorant to another takes some time as you have to push the old color out of the machine (this takes much longer with dark colors like black).

http://www.soliforum.com/misc.php?action=pun_attachment&item=1796&download=0

I will get up more/better pictures as I continue testing with OS Printing masterbatch http://osprintingllc.com/

Post's attachments

image.jpg 1.45 mb, file has never been downloaded. 

image.jpg 1.67 mb, 1 downloads since 2013-04-19 

image.jpg 1.76 mb, file has never been downloaded. 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.
SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

2

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

I have been interested in ways to pelletize the filament, though it is probably impossible to do cheaply.  I think any mixing effort is bound to produce filament that is more concentrated than necessary.   I think to have much control over ratios between colors and get an even mix, you are going to get concentrations that are maybe closer to 10:1.  It would be cool if you could pelletize the resulting filament and then use it to color the final batch.   I don't know what concentration of masterbatch is likely to affect the properties of the filament, and using higher concentration will use up the masterbatch faster.  On the otherhand, any pelletizing solution is bound to cost more than using up your masterbatch more quickly.

3

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

IanJohnson wrote:

I have been interested in ways to pelletize the filament, though it is probably impossible to do cheaply.  I think any mixing effort is bound to produce filament that is more concentrated than necessary.   I think to have much control over ratios between colors and get an even mix, you are going to get concentrations that are maybe closer to 10:1.  It would be cool if you could pelletize the resulting filament and then use it to color the final batch.   I don't know what concentration of masterbatch is likely to affect the properties of the filament, and using higher concentration will use up the masterbatch faster.  On the otherhand, any pelletizing solution is bound to cost more than using up your masterbatch more quickly.


You could just cut it with some wire snips to the size you wanted (not exactly the fastest way, but cheap).  Time will tell if we can pull off correct color mixes using a higher ratio with the Blue, Red, & Yellow from OS.

At least masterbatch is cheap...

1 scoop yellow + 1 scoop blue = green filament (I'm hoping it's this easy)

I would be happy with this color range:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/Color_star-en.svg/600px-Color_star-en.svg.png

SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

4

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

I have an idea for a pellet dispenser that would go upstream up the hopper.  It would be a hopper with a hole at the bottom big enough for one pellet.  Under the hopper would be a rotating disc with a matching hole, and the disc would turn once for every rotation of the auger.  When the holes line up, a pellet drops into the auger.  For mixing, there would be 3 sections to the hopper, each with a hole at different points along the radius of the disc.  The disc would have a ring of holes for each hopper.  Cover the disc with a piece of paper and punch out the number of holes you need for the mix you want.  Maybe 2 blues and 3 reds for every turn of the auger.  If it works, you could share mixes via templates for the paper disc. 

The biggest problem I can forsee is a pellet getting caught halfway in the hole and jamming the disc since they can't get chopped the way they do in the extruder.  It's worth a try, but I haven't had a chance to CAD it up since I've been working on the spooler.

5

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

I wish I could afford one of these machines hmm Very cool work guys so glad to see the community active

(sorry for the useless post)

I edit my posts a lot.

6

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

IanJohnson wrote:

I have an idea for a pellet dispenser that would go upstream up the hopper.  It would be a hopper with a hole at the bottom big enough for one pellet.  Under the hopper would be a rotating disc with a matching hole, and the disc would turn once for every rotation of the auger.  When the holes line up, a pellet drops into the auger.  For mixing, there would be 3 sections to the hopper, each with a hole at different points along the radius of the disc.  The disc would have a ring of holes for each hopper.  Cover the disc with a piece of paper and punch out the number of holes you need for the mix you want.  Maybe 2 blues and 3 reds for every turn of the auger.  If it works, you could share mixes via templates for the paper disc. 

The biggest problem I can forsee is a pellet getting caught halfway in the hole and jamming the disc since they can't get chopped the way they do in the extruder.  It's worth a try, but I haven't had a chance to CAD it up since I've been working on the spooler.

I dont think we have to be this precise with mixing colorant unless you want to use as little as possible.  I have had no problems just mixing it in a separate container and adding to the hopper.

SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

7

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

I wonder if there would be a way to melt and mix a small amount ahead of time to see what the result will be before running it through the extruder.  The turnover for color in the extruder is so slow it would be very tedious to make tweaks to the color.   Maybe a crucible of some sort, if there is a way to keep the temp between 220-250.

8

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

How to test color.  1 small pan and a hot plate.  The heat level of 250 C is less than 500 degrees F.  This is less than what a stove or oven put out max.  So use a small pan on a hot plate.  Measure out a test batch, heat, stir and the pour out on a cookie sheet covered in Aluminum foil so that if you need to dump it in the trash because you hate it you can. Let cool.  At least that is what my wife tells me to do with my oatmeal raisin cookies but then there are never any left to let cool.  Yum.

Bob Teeter

9

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

IanJohnson wrote:

I wonder if there would be a way to melt and mix a small amount ahead of time to see what the result will be before running it through the extruder.  The turnover for color in the extruder is so slow it would be very tedious to make tweaks to the color.   Maybe a crucible of some sort, if there is a way to keep the temp between 220-250.


Ceramic cup in an oven...

SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

10

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

Something that might be good for standards is to take that sample from the stove and put it on a flatbed scanner.  Use an image program like GIMP to get an RGB value for it.  It would make for good side by side comparisons as well.

11 (edited by adrian 2013-04-22 09:19:09)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

IanJohnson wrote:

Something that might be good for standards is to take that sample from the stove and put it on a flatbed scanner.  Use an image program like GIMP to get an RGB value for it.  It would make for good side by side comparisons as well.

Just a small fly in the ointment though - the scanner is most likely not Colour Calibrated, so will only be good for a reference value *from that scanner* its self - good for an individual, useless to share amongst a group. sad Oh, and it will often change its calibration based on heat/age/ambient light leaks/etc.. so a scan from 6 months ago may not be the same as a scan taken today. Hence why you often calibrate again at the start of your workflow every time before doing 'colour sensitive work'

If you want true colour renditions, you need a Colorimeter/Spectrograph to sample the colours .. or to be using Calibrated Profiles on the Scanner (and everyone else needs to also be viewing them on a calibrated monitor).

And this is all ignoring whatever ICM profile is active on the video card/monitor that will also skew the appearance of the image - the RGB values *should* be accurate but 128,128,128 for example will *appear* very different between monitors unless they are all calibrated and running a proper profile.

Its the bane of life for anyone that works with colour-correct images like in photography/science... sad

12

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

There is going to be a lot of trial and error ahead of us. If only homemade filament extrusion technology had been around for a couple years already.

SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

13

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

The nice thing about this trial and error is that even if you don't get the right hue or consistency, the filament is still good quality and can be used on parts where the color doesn't matter.

14

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

Is anyone selling a Filastruder ? I am willing to pay 400$ please PM me

15

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

elmoret wrote:

The nice thing about this trial and error is that even if you don't get the right hue or consistency, the filament is still good quality and can be used on parts where the color doesn't matter.

Well I have no doubts about this.  At least ABS is cheap...

SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

16 (edited by ccox 2013-04-23 07:35:32)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

Green is not as easy as mixing blue and yellow - because you are dealing with real world pigments, similar to mixing inks, or CMYK colors in printing.  Also note that the chart you showed is the grade-school version of color mixing, not a realistic color chart.

Mixing blue and yellow will get you a very dull gray-green, or just gray depending on the pigments (because blue and yellow are actually compliments that mix to give gray).

Cyan and Yellow should get you a decent green.
But there will be interesting variations because of the specific spectral reflectances of the pigments and raw ABS used.
(if you want details, search for "color prediction in turbid media"... unfortunately kubelka-munk approximations won't help here)


Also, a flatbed scanner would be useless for anything more than a gross comparison - all scanners have slightly different color sensitivity, and they're usually optimized for printed photos or paper, not general color materials.
And Adrian is correct - for accurate color references you'd need a CIE reflectance colorimeter ($200 or so) or a spectrophotometer (ColorMunki for $600 or so).

17 (edited by Nimikin 2013-05-07 00:51:11)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

If anyone missed it on kickstarter...
"Hello all! Sean from OSP again. We wanted to let you know we will be putting up a very limited supply of red, yellow, and blue ABS colorant very soon. We will have a full inventory of these in a few weeks, but for those of you recieving your extruders in the first wave of shipments, this is a good oportunity for you to get your base colors (I don't think the full inventory would arrive in time for you). As for everyone else, try and save this first batch of colorant for the folks with early shipment dates, I promise there will be plenty of color for you when your shipment dates get closer!

Happy extruding"
* I am not Sean, or affiliated with OSP.

18 (edited by DePartedPrinter 2013-05-11 05:00:50)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

New colorants are in...busy weekend ahead

Thanks goes to the guys at OS Printing for coming through with these. http://osprintingllc.com/

http://www.soliforum.com/misc.php?action=pun_attachment&item=1969&download=0

Post's attachments

image.jpg 1.42 mb, file has never been downloaded. 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.
SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

19 (edited by Nimikin 2013-05-10 19:14:15)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

Ordered red,blue,yellow,green and black last night. As long as you keep it under 13oz, they can ship in an envelope USPS. After that it's flat rate box. There are shipping options other than UPS if you look under other carriers. Just thought I'd share.

20 (edited by DePartedPrinter 2013-05-11 23:55:17)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

Yellow @ 32:1

http://www.soliforum.com/misc.php?action=pun_attachment&item=1975&download=0

Post's attachments

image.jpg 1.7 mb, file has never been downloaded. 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.
SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

21

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

Looks consistent!

22

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

@DePartedPrinter
I noticed that OS Printing recommend a mix ratio of between 75:1 and 50:1
Have you tried these sorts of ratios?
Your ratio seems to be much higher.

Im interested in your thoughts.
PS the filament looks great.

23

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

@reesy they recommend 1:25 to 1:50 for new colorants yellow,blue and red
old colorants are 50:1 to 75:1 gray , green and black .

24 (edited by DePartedPrinter 2013-05-12 06:52:18)

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

elmoret wrote:

Looks consistent!


I am very happy with the final color. The yellow masterbatch looked more like orange but obviously that changed...

It is pretty much a dead match to the yellow you sent me.

Red is next, then blue, then mixing.

SD2 with E3D
Filastruder Beta v3
NYLON (taulman): http://www.soliforum.com/topic/466/nylon/
My Filastruder Colorant Thread: http://www.soliforum.com/topic/2123/col … sterbatch/

25

Re: Colorants (masterbatch)

@DePartedPrinter
Thanks for your comments, it seems you have a head start on... 750+ Kickstarters smile