Two colors with a single extruder – 3D printing stylish plant labels

Published by Oliver on

How can you print two colors with a single extruder? I need some with customizable plant labels and faced this issue. In the end the color change was astonishingly easy with Prusa slicer. Here is how to print such stylish plant labels.

Some plants need labeling

I was looking for some nice plant labels as a gift. Designing something functional like that yourself can be easy but I was looking for some stylish version and did not want to spend too much time on it (also I am just bad at designing sometimes ;)).

Fortunately I found this awesome model online – stylish plant labels by fortinmike. Looks great and comes with a good manual. I had to figure out one or two steps myself anyways so here is how I printed these labels.

Changing the text label

First you need to download the model file – I used the stylish-plant-labels-model-1 v28.f3d file version with only a one sided label. I am using Fusion 360 for most small projects so I used it here again to open the file.

Actually changing the label is quite simple. Open the sketch called “recto” and and double click on the text. This will open a new menu where you can update the text and change the font.

Make sure to change the font and text here

The model is created with a font only available on Mac by default. I suggest switching to Calibri if you use Windows, like I do. Change the text and make sure that it overlaps the main body enough afterwards.

Now close the sketch again by finalizing it and right click on the main model and select “Export as net”. This will open a small dialog to export the file as a .stl which can then be imported into your slicer.

Export as net to get a file for your slicer

Two colors with a single extruder – slicing the model

Now open your slicer of choice – I use Prusa Slicer at the moment – and import the stl file. Start by positioning the model flat on the print bed.

A position like this worked best for me

Now set up your slicing configurations, I used the default 0.2mm quality settings, and click the slice button. After slicing is done the Prusa slicer will detect a logo and ask you to apply automatic color change. Unless you have a reason to do this manually click yes. Your printer will usually have only one extruder so this color change means that you will manually need to change the filament.

Making two colors with a single extruder needs a filament change. Prusa slicer detects this automatically
Automatic color change detection works really well

For me this automatic process worked perfectly. It will create a color change event which you can see in the layer bar on the right side. If you want to do this manually you can always move the slider to the position of the color change and click the small plus icon.

How to manually create a color change

Now you can just export the gcode file and upload it to your printer. I have set up my slicer in a way that I can automatically upload and print via Octoprint running on my Raspberry Pi. Pretty neat.

During the print the process will pause when it reaches the color change. You will need to manually switch to a new filament here if you do not have a printer with multiple print heads. It does not take much time though.

Plant labels in action

This way I can print labels for any plant and quickly (print takes around 25 minutes each) create new ones. Pretty neat and very well looking in my opinion. The color change is very easy to do with Prusa Slicer and makes the end result that much better.

Strawberry (german Erdbeeren) label in action