I have an STL file from thingiverse. The model is of a rectangular lid with an engraving. I would like to print it using two different colors, so that the engraving would be in a different color than the lid base. In the model description, the creator explained that he simply switched the material mid printing.

However, I have a two-extruder printer, and I'd like to utilize it for this printing. What's the easiest way (tool) to select a part of the model and define that it should be printed using a different color?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What slicer are you using? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 9:37

4 Answers 4


You can also preview the gcode rendering layer by layer (if your software allows this), and insert a toolchange command at the layer where you want to switch colors.


One method is to use meshmixer to select the faces to be created in the second color and "detach" them without removing them from the model. Keeping the detached faces in place provides the appropriate alignment when brought into the slicer. When exporting the model for printing, check your preferences to ensure both segments are exported at the same time. The preferences (file) default to separate exports based on selection.

Some manipulation will be required with the extracted segments, as typically one is removing a zero-thickness surface from a manifold object. The videos I've seen usually create an extrusion towards the inner body to create a dimensional model from the extracted skin.

Even if you are not familiar with Meshmixer, there are a number of videos and tutorials explaining this feature. If you use the terms "meshmixer dual extrusion" you'll get loads of links in return. I narrowed it by adding "Maker's Muse" to the search, as his explanations are clearer than others.

I know that Slic3r and Simplify3D will support the correct positioning when importing the model, other slicers may require additional research to accomplish this objective. My search also appears to indicate that Cura will support such processing.

dual extrusion rabbit

The rabbit in this image was being prepared for two colors. I've seen the video but cannot recall why this image was presented, as the other pieces were eventually incorporated during one print. It's possible this image represents a single color print, based on the supports, but it is indicative of a partial process during the creation of a dual extrusion print.


After a bit tinkering, I finally managed to split the model to two STL files, then used Cura to print them each in its own color. I decided to post here the steps I followed, as simply as I could, hoping that it would help other beginners.

The procedure was quite simple, even though it took a while for me to figure it out:

Following the advice of this video, I used MeshMixer to edit the STL file I downloaded from thingiverse. I:

  1. Selected the areas I wanted to separate using the select tool (I had to change the tool "radius" so that it won't keep selecting unwanted faces of the model).
  2. In the same tool, I used the "Separate" command to create two objects from the one I had before. This showed the "object explorer" window.
  3. I clicked each of the parts in the object explorer window and exported them separately to STL files.

Then, using Cura, I followed this site, and performed the following:

  1. Loaded both models to Cura (order doesn't matter).
  2. Picked Print Core 1 for the first part and Core 2 for the second part.
  3. Selected both models (using the Shift key), then right-clicked and chose "Merge Models"
  4. Profit!
  • $\begingroup$ How did you learn that Meshmixer would accomplish your objective? $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 22:48

With OpenScad i would take the stl, and cut half of it off, but subtracting a block. That result I would save to a.stl. Then i would move the block to the other side of the model and subtract that piece off. The result i would save as b.stl.

My slicer is RepG. It has an option for merging two stl files and printing them dual.


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