Mixing Masterbatch for the Filastruder

For my first custom color filament on the Filastruder, I decided to do a key lime. This was mainly because I had some color shifting key-lime pie pigment left over from another project that I wanted to try. I’d also ordered a bunch of masterbatch pigments from OSPrinting. Here is the formula I used:

Key-Lime Pie

  • ABS Natural (2 cups)
  • ABS masterbatch @ 32:1
    • 85% Yellow (2.5 teaspoon)
    • 15% Blue (0.5 teaspoon)
  • Paint with Pearl – Key-Lime-Pie @ 96:1 (1 teaspoon)


This is mostly showing the filament that was created at the beginning. All that yellow came out before it hit the first green granule. The color still wasn’t solid but it looked a lot less yellow.

We’ll have to see how well this prints but I think the size of the granules isn’t small enough to disperse the color when the ratio gets really low. The blue component  in this color is at a ratio of about 1 in 192. First of all, it is hard to measure a consistent 1/2 teaspoon amount of masterbatch. And since the ganules are so big the extruder might only encounter a single blue granule every 10 or 20 feet of filament.  I suspect the smallest ratio of masterbatch color to use is probably about 1 in 100. But it might work out after the 3D printer’s effector mixes the plastic up a little more.

Here are the first two prints with the filament.  I tried picking something to be used outside in the sun to see how the color changing flakes would react. This is an adapter that screws onto a 2 liter plastic bottom and turns it into a water rocket.  The color changing additive doesn’t seem to be visible at all or at least it’s very subtle. I’ll probably try making this color filament again to see if I can tell any difference.

Update: I should have done this first but I just extruded some plain ABS and printed with it and the quality of the print was much better than this custom color. I don’t recommend mixing in the “Paint with Pearl” additive with the ABS plastic. The color-changing doesn’t work, you have to print it hotter and the plastic is much more brittle. I’m still going to try to do Key-Lime Pie again but I’ll just use the masterbatch pigments. 

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Posted in Filastruder

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