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All You Need To Know About Rainbow PLA Filament

Aug 09,2023 | 3D4Create

I. Introduction to Rainbow PLA

Unlike standard PLA which is a single solid color, rainbow PLA changes between colors layer by layer to create dazzling patterns and fades. The color variegation gives prints an eye-catching aesthetic perfect for decorative pieces and gifts.

Rainbow PLA opens up new and simple opportunities for multicolor 3D printing. Let’s look at how it’s produced and best practices for utilizing this unique filament.

Spectrum Splendor PLA Filament - 1.75mm Rainbow Multicolor Spool

Rainbow Silk PLA Filament


II. How Rainbow PLA is Made

The key to rainbow PLA’s magic is in the filament production process. Standard PLA pellets of different colors are mixed together in specific ratios before extruding.

Manufacturers vary the ratios and blend of colors from one meter of filament to the next to create colorful transitions throughout the spool.

Special additives are also mixed in to produce shimmering pearl-like effects and sheens when printed. This enhances the rainbow finish.

The resulting extruded filament has distinct but gradual color changes from yellow to red to blue to green and back as it progresses. The contrasts and transitions in color create the vibrant rainbow patterns.


III. Printing with Rainbow PLA

The printing process for rainbow PLA is the same as standard PLA. Recommended settings include:

  • Nozzle Temperature: 190°C to 220°C (according to the recommended temperature range for the filament you are using)
  • Heated Bed: Optional, 50°C to 60°C (based on your printer and filament usage instructions)
  • Print Speed: 40-80 mm/s (slower to enhance the quality and glossiness, especially on the outer walls)
  • Cooling Fan: 100% (high cooling accentuates color shifts)

Cooling is especially important with rainbow PLA to help solidify and seal the layers quickly as colors change. Print cooling also accentuates the vivid transitions between hues.

Rainbow Silk PLA Filament - 3D Printing with a Color Gradient

Printing settings are very important for usage of rainbow PLA (photo: 3dwithus)


IV. Best Uses for Rainbow PLA

Some examples of exciting prints with rainbow filament include:

  • Vases, lamps, and pen holders
  • Figurines, busts, and color-shifting sculptural prints
  • Jewelry pieces like rings, bracelets, and pendants
  • Badges, logos, and signs with gradient effects
  • Spin art and fidget toys that blend colors
  • Wearable prints like rainbow earrings, headbands, phone cases

The rainbow possibilities are endless! Any model with smooth color transitions will come out with stunning effects in rainbow PLA.

My print using the cheap rainbow pla from Amazon : r/3Dprinting

3D Print Using Rainbow PLA (photo: Reddit)


V. Design Tips for Rainbow PLA

To make the most of rainbow PLA:

  • Optimize print orientation to show off color gradients
  • Prioritize smooth contouring and flowing lines
  • Use vase mode or spiral vase infill for seamless color blending
  • Insert pauses if specific color transitions are desired
  • Sand and polish finished prints lightly to enhance sheen

Proper design consideration enhances the psychadelic rainbow patterns.

The Best Rainbow PLA Filament of 2022 - FacFox Docs

Design carefully to generate better results(photo: facfox)


VII. Conclusion: Give Rainbow PLA a Try

Rainbow PLA filament opens up a whole new realm of multicolor 3D printing on standard FDM machines. With its color-morphing abilities, you can create everything from rainbow jewelry to art sculptures with stunning gradients. Use these tips to make rainbow magic with your next print!



1. What causes the rainbow color effect in rainbow PLA?

The rainbow effect is created by continuously varying the ratio of different colored PLA pellets that are mixed and extruded into the filament. The blending and transitions between the distinct PLA colors results in the rainbow pattern.

2. What temperature should you print rainbow PLA at?

Rainbow PLA prints very similarly to standard PLA. Recommended nozzle temp is 190-220°C. The bed can be heated to 50-60°C but is often not necessary if printing onto surfaces with good adhesion like PEI or BuildTak.

3. Why is my rainbow PLA filament not sticking to the print bed?

Make sure the bed is clean and free of oils. Level it properly and adjust height to optimize first layer squish. If still not adhering, try an adhesive like glue stick or blue tape, or switch to a more adhesive surface like PEI instead of glass. Slow down first layer speed as well.

4. Is PLA safe for cosplay costumes and props?

Yes, PLA is considered non-toxic and food-safe, making it very common in cosplay. PLA is easy to paint and sand if post-processing is needed. A rainbow PLA helmet or armor piece can add great color effects to a costume!


See also:

All You Need To Know:  Silk Filament for 3D Printer

How Do Filament Color Influence 3D Print Strength?

Getting the Best Results: Optimal 3D Printing Temperatures for PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Nylon


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