Color Swatch Generator Tutorial: How to Prepare a 3D Printed Color Swatch and Use it for Color Matching

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In 2D and 3D printing, the color that comes off the printer does not always perfectly match the color you selected on screen. Color matching (a process of transferring a color across technologies and platforms to see how it will look) is often necessary.
3D-printing a swatch of colors can help you identify which exact color and transparency level you need to select on screen to get the results you want off the printer.
This tutorial describes how to use a 3D Swatch Generator and perform color matching for 3D prints, specifically on J750/J735 3D printers.

  1. Step 1: Go to the generator

    Access the following 3D Swatch Generator tool on the web. https://qwomg.github.io/3dswatchgenerator/

  2. Step 2: Input your color value

     Enter the value of the color you wish to print.

    You can use Hex, RGB, Lab, HSL, or CMYK values.

  3. Step 3: Adjust the settings

     If necessary, set the Saturation, Brightness, Hue, and Transparency.



  4. Step 4: Chose the type of swatch you want to print

      Select the type of swatch. The 3D Swatch Generator can produce three types of swatches:

    • Default swatch—swatch of opaque colors, or with user-defined transparency (1 printing pass).

    • Transparent Colors swatch—swatch that optimizes the transparency of vivid materials (1 printing pass).


    • 0-75% Transparency Big Swatch—a large swatch that reproduces the default swatch with a range of transparencies (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, a total of 4 printing passes)

     



     

  5. Step 5: generate the swatch

    Click Create to generate the swatch and color key (in Hex values). 

    This will generate a swatch of colors, and a color key underneath to tell you the value of each color



  6. Step 6: Print a reference page

    Print the web page. Use it for reference after you print the 3D swatch.



  7. Step 7: Download the swatch

    Click Download 3D Swatch

    A ZIP file containing a VRML file downloads to your computer (typically, to the Downloads folder).


  8. Step 8: Extract the downloaded swatch

    Extract the ZIP file.

    Make sure the WRL file and the PNG file you extracted are in the same directory.

  9. Step 9: Upload the swatch to GrabCAD Print

    Insert the WRL file into GrabCAD Print.

    The model appears in GrabCAD Print.



  10. Step 10: 3D Print the swatch

    Print the 3D swatch and identify the color that is the closest match to the color you wish to print.


    Note: If there is not a close enough match to the color you require then find the nearest color and repate the process adjusting the Hugh, Brightness and Saturation sliders (see Step 3)

    • For a more in depth explanation about hue, brightness and saturation search the interweb for HSB, HSL, HSV or see here
  11. Step 11: Find the right color

    Using the color key from the printed webpage (step 6), identify the Hex value of that color.

  12. Step 12: Apply the right color to your model

    Insert your model into GrabCAD Print and enter the Hex value obtained from the color key in the Print Settings menu.




  13. Step 13: Job done!

    Now print!

    And that is your model with the desired color.

     

    As always, leave us a comment or question if you have any in the Comments section below. 

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