Multicolor Un-Manufacturable Part

by mathgrrl, published

Multicolor Un-Manufacturable Part by mathgrrl Nov 3, 2017
3 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps


Design Tools

MeshMixer MakePrintable Tinkercad MeshLab

Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag


Thing Statistics

3286Views 258Downloads Found in 3D Printing Tests


This print-in-place impossible screw has two interlocking pieces that twist freely but cannot come apart! A great example of an object that can be made with layer-by-layer 3D printing, but not with traditional manufacturing methods.

Check it out in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jilYzgd4De0

The model is a remix of TheKre8Group's elegantly mind-bending Un-Manufacturable Part. We increased the clearance between the two parts, elongated the interior part with an extra twist, and added color to the inside twist for printing on full color 3D printers. We printed ours on the new XYZ da Vinci Color. The downloadable files also include models to use with dual-extrusion 3D printers and regular single-extrusion printers.

Modifying models to print in color has turned out be difficult with a capital D. For the full color model we used Meshmixer to "paint" the colors onto each vertex with the Sculpt tool. This sounds simple, except that the model started out with an overly sparse mesh on the top flat faces, which made the colors blend poorly and also act strangely when printed. After a lot of trial and error, including attempts at re-meshing with MakePrintable and MeshLab, we finally discovered that we could use "Make Solid" in Meshmixer to get a very nice overall homogenous new mesh around the object.

Here's a quick overview of the workflow we used to remix this model:

  • Thingiverse: Start with the Un-Manufacturable Part model from TheKre8Group
  • Meshmixer: Separate the two pieces into different files
  • Blender: Use displacement modifier to increase clearance on both pieces
  • Tinkercad: Cut out the center of the interior piece (so we can color just the top)
  • Meshmixer: Remesh using Make Solid, paint with Sculpt tool
  • XYZ: Slice so that interior piece prints with 50% infill, exterior with 20%
  • da Vinci Color printer: Print in one piece, with color added to each layer by the printer


Twitter: twitter.com/mathgrrl
Hacktastic blog: www.mathgrrl.com/hacktastic
Shapeways geekhaus store: www.shapeways.com/shops/mathgrrl

This design and all associated pictures and files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. If you want to use designs, images, or files outside of the terms of this license, please email [email protected].

Print to Order

Don't have a 3D printer, or want something fancy printed for you? We don't have this Multicolor Un-Manufacturable Part in our print-to-order store yet, but we have other cool stuff you can check out:

iframe width="310" height="300" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="//www.shapeways.com/fragments/product?spin=C9Q2N7L97" iframe width="310" height="300" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="//www.shapeways.com/fragments/product?spin=NYCRXAV6C"

More from 3D Printing Tests

view more

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Treatstock is an online platform that offers decentralized manufacturing services such as 3D printing and CNC machining for clients all over the world. We offer free and instant access to comparati...

App Info Launch App

3D print your favourite design with NinjaPrototype, a professional 3D manufacture with consistent quality and speed.

App Info Launch App

Very cool.
Q: So you are able to print the bottom side in color?

yes, somehow that happens too. I guess the layers are really thin so the color shows through pretty well even though technically it is over that bottom layer.

Looks absolutely awesome!

Glad you like this remix! Your original model is one of the best I've seen this year, very elegant.