Multi-color PLA filament; Cura

i have flsun v400 and use tri-color PLA and Cura; my prints come out with different color sides; for example the front can be copper, the back green and the sides purple;
quite nice;
BUT how are these colors chosen ? why is the front copper ?
can i change these around ?
can i simply rotate the model in cura by 45 or 90 degrees and slice from that to alter which side gets which color ?

How tall are your prints? Short prints do not show the color changes very well. The amount of filament used on each layer is quite small. Changing the orientation on the bed will not help. Most filaments only change color every 7 to 10 meters or so, thus one color on top, one on the bottom and something else on the side. I make plaques for our local schools to give out and have the same problem. I am expecting some new filament from TTY3D to try. They claim that the filament has a “fast color gradient” about every 3 to 5 meters. We’ll see how it works. Good luck and good printing. Jim

Hi thanks for reaching out!

The orientation of the color will be decided by how it is oriented when inputted. Whatever color is facing the front when you put it in the extruder is what will come out at the front when printing.

You would definitely be able to re-orient the model in your slicer, you would just have to orient whatever side you want a specific color to be with where that specific color is on the filament.

Hopefully this is helpful,

here is what i found after trying the invert and reverse the model;
the model has a dwarf holding a guitar which goes from lower left pocket area to upper right shoulder;
unmanipulated the 3 color pla filament comes out as copper front, green back and purple sides;
what i did was flip the model head to toe then 180, then toe to head;
so now the guitar points from right pocket to left shoulder and the model appears in cura to have its back to you , instead of front;
the print did reverse the x coords, like i wanted and also reversed the colors;
now the front is purple, the back is copper and sides green;
nicer ;
might try 90 degrees instead of 180, or maybe 45

i am still puzzled how this works with the three colors;
each layer prints all three colors; single nozzle,single filament;
how does the routine ‘know’ when to change from one color to another** ?
does that suggest that the print speed may be factor ?

** and it is consistent for layers that use much more filamant than others

thats a fair enough question, The Tri-chromatic, as it’s called, is basically 3 different colours all stuffed into one 1.75mm strand. Because the manufacturing process its a very rigid process to keep the same colour on the top, the same on the left and the same on the right for lack of a better explanation.

When it gets spooled up the same stays true, The filament path itself is also very straight and does not allow for “rolling” of the filament and change the orientation of the filament. As it passes through he nozzle the same colours will always extrude on the same sides of the nozzle and only mix minimally during the extrusion process.

That is what gives you the cool effect. different colours will hide the other 2 based on the angle you are viewing it at. If you want a specific colour on the front you will have to do a quick test print and see what side your preferred colour will extrude on. Then rotate your model in your slicer to match your desired results. A little bit of a 2 step process but it’s still a very cool effect.

we have a filament expert @Aman_Bains that will drop in from time to time and share with us his knowledge. Maybe he may be able to explain a little tidbit of the process for us. He does own a filament Manufacturing facility and is one of the developers as well so he is busy.

I hope this demystifies some of the Trichromatic filament for you. BTW it’s also available as a Bi-Chromatic as well with only 2 colours.

Hi there,

When I first saw this filament I too was confused by how it worked so well. I watched this video by CNC Kitchen and it explained things very well. It goes over how the filament is produced as well as how it actually works. I have linked the video below, you may want to take a look! Even though the video is about dual color filament the general process as well as all of the ideas will be the same as with the tri-color stuff.


update: using the tri-color pla filament that i use ( i live in thailand, thailand e-merchant); i no longer believe that simply rotating an object ( e.g., front-to-back) will change the color schemes;
reason being i printed the exact same g-code, same printer, using the tri-color and the second came out much different than the first;
looks like this process is totally dynamic;
some might find that a plus, others a minus

HI @vernd

That’s interesting, I have always found it to be pretty reliable to rotate the object. I wonder why it’s not functioning that way for you. That one will have me stumped today…

I am however excited to hear that you are from Thailand and are using our forum… That’s awesome. I know there are some users on here around the EU, Thailand is the furthest I have heard of so far…

Hello there!

This is very interesting indeed! Every time I have used it it seems to maintain consistency. Does the color change around while you are printing the model, or is it only when you start a new print that the color shifts positions?

Maybe check the filament and see if the color splits stay straight throughout the entire roll of filament or if the splits rotate around. Does that make sense, seems kind of confusing when typed out haha. Basically I am wondering if the filament is consistent throughout the spool or if the position of the color changes on the filament on the spool.


หวัดดี ครับ, welcome here, thailand is a wonderful place i hope to go back again some day to explore more

i live in far tip-top north thailand; 5 miles from burma and am in the center of the golden triangle; laos is across the river, (mekong river); this is a great place to live or visit; we love living here**;

as to the specifics of my tri-color experience:

i am using a cepora tower model that is 3-sided; am using a FLSUN V400 printer (pretty nice printer);
3 attempts from the same gcode file; the slice uses 0.1 mm layer height, 200 mm/s; the base of the tower, which is about 85 % of the tower total bulk prints in about 22 hours;
the tri-color filament is copper-green-purple bought from our version of amazon;
the first and second attempts yielded different results , the ‘green-side’ has a wide copper band at it’s base in the 2nd attempt, in the first it was solid green; (wish we could attach photos here…); the 3rd attempt yielded the same as the first attempt; the bases are the same;
so am flummoxed; same input, same everything, different results…

** look me up if you seriously desire to visit (

ok i think i figured the 3 color erratic behavior out; just a theory…
the latest development involved printing a spiral tower, 12 inches high;
it was almost all only 2 colors of the three color filament; i inspected that filament before and after the print and it showed 3 uniform colors ON THE SURFACE;
my theory is that the tri-extrusion production process of that filament is not even; so a manufacturing issue;
this is all the same filament spool;
sitting as close to china as we are here, and so much of what we get is from there
and the spools say ‘made in china’, there is no way we can tell other than to guess;
so that’s my guess; the filament surface shows the three colors but the filament interior is not ‘3-color-even’;
maybe i need to back-away from my comment ‘no-way’; maybe just closely inspect the interior of a cut of that filament

that is actually a really good observation. I know the Tri-chromatic we carry here is very carefully monitored so there are equal amounts of each colour in every cross-section.

You are correct it would throw off the transition a lot if the other 2 colours are only “on the surface”

Good catch,

On another note I bet its much warmer in Thailand today there here in Canada, I was wearing shorts last week, Had to change back to Jeans… ??? what’s up with that

I think that one is called global warming meets Canadian spring :rofl:

Thanks for this info!

This is certainly an interesting idea, have you tried cutting the filament and looking at the cross-section? I’m curious what it looks like inside. Is the brand you bought it from reputable at all, or is it just a cheapo brand?


the shorts should never be out below 30*C IMHO

here in thailand we dont have winter, only wet and dry seasons; first 6 years i lived here i was in shorts,sandals always, only 2 hours total in long pants for a funeral; can get 95 fahrenheit in dec and jan easily

One thing I have found is that you have to make sure you keep good tension on the filament when loading otherwise it twist on the spool and will not give a uniform print. The other thing you will see is the filament might not have been wound uniformly, meaning the colours may shift mid print.