Detailed Setup Guide

Welcome to your new Palette!  Let's get started.

Palette can enable your printer to do two kinds of prints: (1) layered prints, and (2) prints with precise color changes.

layered demo print
Above: A layered print.
print with precise color changes
Above: Prints with precise color changes.

These steps will help you get started with your first layered Demo Print:

Step 1. Unboxing
Step 2. Positioning the Teflon tube clip
Step 3. Assembling the Scroll Wheel
Step 4. Positioning Palette, the Scroll Wheel, and your printer


Prints with precise color changes require a few more steps:

Step 5. Setting up Mosaic Chroma Software & Calibrating Palette
Step 6. Slicing for Palette
Step 7. Printing

Let's jump in!

Step 1. Unboxing

For unboxing, see the Palette Quick Start Guide video below from 0:00 to 0:30.

One you've unboxed your Palette & accessories, move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Positioning the Teflon tube clip

This step is for direct-drive printers only. Skip to Step 3 for Bowden printers.

The Teflon tube clip is used to secure the Scroll Wheel's Teflon tube to your printer's extruder.

If the included Teflon tube clip does not securely attach to your extruder, send us an email at and we can provide you with .stl files for you to design and print your own.

For positioning the Teflon tube clip, check out the GIF below: 

Once you've positioned the Teflon tube clip, move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Assembling the Scroll Wheel

The Scroll Wheel is an important part of Palette's closed-loop feedback systems. It tells Palette how much filament your printer uses. Palette then uses this information to adjust the filament.

Here's an assembled Scroll Wheel for direct-drive printers:

Scroll Wheel for Direct Drive

Here's an assembled Scroll Wheel for Bowden printers:

Scroll Wheel for Bowden Printers

Note: For printers with Bowden extruders, use the small Teflon tube included in the Palette Tool Kit instead of the long Teflon tube (without magnet).

small Teflon tube for Bowden printers

For Scroll Wheel assembly, check out the video below from 0:44 to 1:12.

Once you've assembled your Scroll Wheel for your printer, move on to Step 4.

Step 4. Positioning Palette, the Scroll Wheel, and your printer

This part is really important! Positioning Palette or the Scroll Wheel incorrectly can result in weak splices and failed prints.

First -- here's how your printer works with Palette and the Scroll Wheel:

Palette, the Scroll Wheel, and your printer

So -- Palette makes the filament. The filament goes through the Teflon tube with the magnet and into the Scroll Wheel. The filament comes out of the Scroll Wheel's other Teflon tube (which, if you are using a Direct-Drive printer, clips into the Teflon tube clip) and feeds into your printer's extruder.

Here are the steps to positioning.

Step 4a. Position the Scroll Wheel on your printer.
Step 4b. Position your Palette next to your Scroll Wheel.
Step 4c. Make sure the tubes don't bend too much.

Let's take it one step at a time:

Step 4a. Position the Scroll Wheel on your printer.

For Bowden Printers:

This step is relatively straightforward for Bowden printers.

Find a square of Velcro in your Palette Tool Kit.

Use this Velcro to secure the Scroll Wheel in a position that allows the small Teflon tube to feed filament into your printer. Leave about 1-2cm of space between the tube and your filament loading area, like in the picture below.

Once you've placed your Scroll Wheel, proceed to Step 4b (positioning your Palette).

For Direct-Drive Printers:

This part is a bit more tricky for direct-drive printers. The Scroll Wheel's position must not constrain your extruder's movement. 

Clip your Scroll Wheel's long Teflon tube into the Teflon tube clip on your printer's extruder.

Keep the tube clipped in. Find a spot for the Scroll Wheel that allows your extruder to move freely to each corner of the bed without excessively bending the Teflon tube.

See below for examples of optimal Scroll Wheel placement with different printers.

Once you've found the right spot, find a square of Velcro in your Palette Tool Kit. 

Use this Velcro to secure the Scroll Wheel in place.

Above: The Scroll Wheel is secured with Velcro, and the extruder can reach each corner and edge of the bed without excessive bending in the Teflon tube.

Here are examples of optimal Scroll Wheel positioning on 4 different kinds of printers:

Above: Printrbot & similar (print bed moves in the X-axis or Y-axis, and the extruder moves in the other two axes. The drive that moves the extruder in the Z-axis also moves in the Z-axis with the extruder.)

Above: Series 1 Pro from Type A Machines (and other printers with square beds). Extruder moves in X-axis and Y-axis, and the bed moves in the Z-axis. 

Above: Wanhao Duplicator i3, Prusa i3, and similar. (Bed moves in Y-axis, extruder moves in X-axis and Z-axis).

Above: MakerBot Replicator 2 and similar (extruder moves in the X-axis and Y-axis, and the bed moves in the Z-axis). The optimal Scroll Wheel position is often on the back side of the printer near the top/center.

Once you've found the right spot for your Scroll Wheel, proceed to Step 4b.

Step 4b. Position your Palette next to your Scroll Wheel.

Now, it's time to place your Palette next to your Scroll Wheel. 

Palette and the Scroll Wheel must be positioned close enough together so that the tube with the magnet can touch Palette, but far enough apart so that the magnet can travel at least 15 centimeters. Have a look below:

During prints, the buffer will expand and contract; the magnet will move back and forth. The magnet will hover around 15cm away from Palette, and will periodically return to Palette before being pushed back out again.

Step 4c. Make sure the tubes don't bend too much.

This is really important for successful prints!
Make sure filament does not bend too much when coming out of Palette, and when travelling through the Teflon tubes. To do this, you may consider:

- Repositioning or slightly rotating the Scroll Wheel
- Repositioning or slightly rotating Palette

This will help ensure that the splices are strong. Bending the tubes too much can weaken (and in some cases, break) them.

If you're experiencing weak or broken splices during prints, try to run Palette in Splice Demo > Without Printer mode. This mode will create splices without the Scroll Wheel and printer. If splices created using the Splice Demo > Without Printer mode are strong, then you may need to reposition your Scroll Wheel and printer. 

If you've completed the first 4 steps, try a layered print!

Layered print of a spiral

A layered print of spiral art.

A layered print of a skull

A layered print of a toy skull.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with Palette by attempting a layered print. To do so:

(1) Set up, position your Palette, Scroll Wheel, and printer.
(2) Ensure Palette is not plugged in via USB. Turn on Palette by plugging in its power supply.
(3) Use Palette's rotating dial to select Splice Demo > With Printer. Select a demo file (DEMO-2C, DEMO-3C, DEMO-4C). The number corresponds to the number of different filaments. DEMO-4C will use 4 filaments.
(4) Select a file and follow the instructions on the screen. Palette will produce filament. Load this filament into your printer.
(5) Start any print! Palette will make filament as your printer uses it.
(6) When your print is finished, press and hold Palette's dial for 1 second. This will initiate a "cancel" process, and Palette will clear itself.


Printing with precise color changes requires a few more steps.

Check out some of our prints with precise color changes on Instagram, like this license plate, these emoji keychains, and this corkfill and woodfill coaster.

Poker chips with precise color changes

Above: Poker chips with precise color changes.

a 4-color Charmander (Pokemon) print in progress

Above: A 4-color print of Charmander, the greatest starter Pokémon there ever was. Multi-color prints with precise color changes will also create a transition tower where your extruder will purge mixed filament. The transition tower will use less filament in layers with fewer transitions and will use very little filament on layers that have no transitions.

So -- you're ready to move on to multi-color prints with precise color transitions. There are just a few steps left:

Step 5. Setting up Mosaic Chroma Software & Calibrating Palette
Step 6. Slicing for Palette
Step 7. Printing

Let's jump right in.

Step 5. Setting up Mosaic Chroma Software & Calibrating Palette

First, download Mosaic Chroma Software from the resources page: Install it on your computer, and start the program.

Chroma will walk you through how it works and how to to calibrate your Palette to your printer.

For a 2-minute overview of the calibration process, check out this video:


What's happening in this video, and why is "calibration" important?
Palette needs to make sure that the right filament shows up at your printer's nozzle at the right time. But 3D printing is not a perfect science -- if a printer says it will use 10 meters of filament, it might actually use 9.7 meters of filament. Over time, small errors can add up and make the wrong filament show up at the wrong time.

That's where calibration comes into play. Calibration allows Palette to understand how much filament a 3D printer is really using so that Palette can adjust how much filament to produce. This is especially important at the start of a print before Palette's closed-loop feedback systems take over.

Step 6. Slicing for Palette

To get started, you'll need something to slice! You can model your own, or you can find multi-filament prints at the Multi-Filament Thingiverse group. Each different color/filament requires a different body.

Then, you'll slice your object. For more info on how to slice for Palette, visit the manual (in-progress): Slicing for Palette (pg. 37). Currently, Chroma is compatible with g-code from Simplify3D and Cura.

Step 7. Palette Printing

Here's what you need to know about printing:

  • Once your slicer is set up to slice for Palette, you'll slice your object and generate the G-code.
  • Then, you'll pull this G-code into Mosaic Chroma software. Mosaic Chroma software will generate two files: (1) a .MSF file for Palette, and (2) a new G-code (or X3G or other) file for your printer.
  • Save the MSF file onto the SD card that shipped with your Palette.
  • Prepare your G-code/X3G file for printing on your printer (e.g. place it on an SD card).
  • Insert the SD card into Palette. Ensure Palette is not connected via USB. Turn Palette on by plugging it into its power supply.
  • Select Multi-Color and select the .MSF file. Let Palette make filament.
  • Once there's enough filament to load into your printer, load the filament into your printer and start the print.
  • Enjoy!

That's it! If you run into any hiccups, don't hesitate to reach out:

Happy Palette printing!

- Your friends at Mosaic


3D Printing