Multi-Color Filament: 7 Approaches

3D printing with multi-color filament can be approached in different ways, seven in particular. Stratasys was leading the way until, well, they weren’t. After their patent’s began to expire, other manufacturers jumped in the multi-color filament game with different solutions to this industry demand. Now, there are several fundamental approaches to the technique we think you should know about, with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Take a look at the options and decide which approach is best for you.


This was Stratasys’ initial approach to the problem. The idea is to have a single nozzle, but with a mechanism at the hot end to select between the two incoming filaments. The machine would print in model material for a while, and then tip over a block to engage the other filament.


  • Extremely reliable; has been used in Stratasys equipment for literally decades

  • Single hot end consuming energy

  • nozzle is always aligned to the print

  • Disadvantages:

    • Only two input filaments can be accommodated

    • Available only from Stratasys, as far as I know”



Grab the other six approaches to Multi-Color Filament 3D printing here.

Categories: Design & Process