Building An 8-Color Automated Filament Changer

Multi-filament printing can really open up possibilities for your prints, even more so the more filaments you have. Enter the 8-Track from [Armored_Turtle], which will swap between 8 filaments for you!

The system is modular, with each spool of filament installed in a drybox with its own filament feeder .The dryboxes connect to the 8-Track changer via pogo pins for communication and power. While [Armored_Turtle] is currently using the device on a Voron printer, he’s designed it so that it can be easily modified to suit other printers. As it’s modular, it’s also not locked into running 8 filaments. Redesigning it to use more or less is easy enough thanks to its modular design.

The design hasn’t been publicly released yet, but [Armored_Turtle] states they hope to put it on Github when it’s ready. It’s early days, but we love the chunky design of those actively-heated drybox filament cassettes. They’re a great step up from just keeping filament hanging on a rod, and they ought to improve print performance in addition to enabling multi-filament switching.

We’ve seen some other neat work in this space before, too. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Keith Olson for the tip!]

12 thoughts on “Building An 8-Color Automated Filament Changer

      1. It really did. The problem is that ERCF takes a lot of space all things considered, and for some people space is at a premium. Also, it’s always nice to have alternatives, especially when they are also open source: both projects can benefit from different ideas and evolve from that.

  1. I enjoyed my Palette but hated the waste. Bambu has done a great job with their printers but didnt really improve this issue at all.

    Id love to see someone implement a CCD based purge monitor to optimize both time and materials.

    1. The problem is that filament has largely laminar flow, so what you see on the outside of the filament isn’t exactly the ground truth – often times you’ll have a central core of filament encased in the new purge filament. Sure, a CCD based purge monitor might help waste a little bit, but not likely the huge change you’re imagining.

      1. This is not a problem that is insurmountable. I cant say Ive ever seen the specific situation you claim exists. Ive never seen filament B wipe the dirty walls of the extruder, engulf filament A and hide it entirely within itself. But lets pretend that happens.
        If only there was a way to take flowing material and spread it out and have a look at it, Any ideas spring to mind? A simple extrusion path maybe?
        Do you even have a multimaterial system? Ever watched purge towers or even free extrusion?
        My issue is that the amount of material you need to purge to transition between two given colors cleanly varies greatly. Some color transitions happen very quickly, while other pigments seem to cling to the extruder for dear life. A CCD based system WOULD be more efficient than pushing the same amount of material every time.
        If you dont think so, then dont buy/implement one if they ever become available.

    2. Lol. Using a Palette was never enjoyable. It was high cost, complex, rife with maintenance issues and they launched it with a strong advocation for flexible filament which we all know NEVER worked. I bought my first palette as a Kickstart and the 3.5 years later decided to give the P3P a go. A massive disappointment- total garbage.

    3. Lol. The Palette was never enjoyable. High cost & high maintenance. I was an original kickstarter for the Palette and 4 yrs later i bought a P3P. Big mistake. The P3P was touted at launch as being able to support flexible filament which proved to be a total lie. Mosaic sold thousands of units to unsuspecting and subsequently pissed-off customers.

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