Devin Montes, Make Anything: how to 3D print full color with a single extruder

Devin Montes, a product designer and maker popularly known on YouTube as Make Anything, has developed a way of 3D printing colorful objects using a single extrusion 3D printer.

In his latest video colorful phone cases, styled in the paintings of Van Gogh, Keith Haring and Kandinsky, are used to demo the new, innovative technique.

Three multicolored phone case designs by Devin Montes/Make Anything. Image via MyMiniFactory
Three multicolored phone case designs by Devin Montes/Make Anything. Image via MyMiniFactory

Maker movement

As a maker, Montes fits into the category of hobbyists that push the limits of at-home tinkering, using desktop 3D printers and CNC machines. According to his MyMiniFactory profile, Montes is the author of nearly three hundred 3D printing projects and, on YouTube, he has amassed a following of 316,985 subscribers. 

His portfolio of projects includes the doodlephone, specially designed phone for children, Emma, a smart system to help Alzheimer patients, and ‘Pendulus’, which, according to Montes: 

“Demonstrates the beauty of a simple chaotic system as an insight into the beauty created from the entropy of our universe”

The double pendulum of the Pendulus is held by a 3D printed knob, and the bouncing LED light is installed in a 3D printed battery pack.

The Pendulus by Devin Montes. Animation via David Montes/Youtube
The Pendulus by Devin Montes. Animation via Devin Montes/Youtube

As of the time of writing this article, the most popular video on the Make Anything channel is the Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion // How it Works with 3.8 million views. In 2017, we also invited Montes to live stream the second annual 3D Printing Industry Awards for the very first time.

Colorful 3D printed phone cases 

In Make Anything’s latest video, Montes 3D prints three colorful cases for the OnePlus 6 phone using PLA filaments. The phone case models include a replica of the colorful Starry Night by Van Gogh, a surrealist painting by Wassily Kandinsky, and a work of American pop artist, Keith Haring.

After failing to 3D scan the phone to make a case, Montes designed the phone case in Fusion 360 in two parts, the body, and a 0.2 mm back panel. The colorful paintings were traced with the help of Adobe Illustrator, a design software, and pasted onto the back panel in Fusion 360. 

Finally, the color of the phone cases via a single extruder is made possible by some smart slicer handiwork. In the slicer software, Montes separated different colors to be printed and generated separate .gcodes. Each .gcode file was printed using the desired color. At the end of each printed file, Montes had to load a different color. Once, the colored back panel was finished, the phone case was printed over and around the color prints.

Montes used XTC-3D epoxy on the Starry Night case and Polyurethane spray on the Kandinsky case to seal it, and give a more polished finish. 

The files of these cases are now available to download at MyMiniFactory.

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Featured image shows the Starry Night phone case by Devin Montes. Image via MyMiniFactory.