Make: Volume 88 — Digital Fabrication 2024

Paper printers can print in color, why not 3D printers? Well, now they can! New multicolor and multi-material 3D printers are more approachable than ever — and they’re good!

In this issue of Make: we go in depth with the latest multi-filament 3D printing systems from Bambu Labs, Prusa Research, and others to show you how to get the best color 3D prints. But even though you can print multicolor pieces, should you? From waste towers to orientation issues, we walk you through the pros and cons of printing all-in-one color pieces versus assembling separate color parts. Then, get the download on next-level resin printing that can produce pieces in literal seconds! Next, take a look at HueForge, a surprising technique for 3D printing full-color reliefs that look like digital paintings. And, can AI make ready-to-print 3D objects? The answer is … Kind of!

  • Plus, 21 projects for you to make, including:
  • Craft a cuddly companion robot that moves and lights up through sight and touch
  • Make a DIY mobility walker for cheap
  • Create a highly customizable alarm clock with a pixel display
  • Build a ham radio antenna out of an actual tin of ham!
  • Make a giant LED Ouija board and send spooky messages via Wi-Fi
  • Turn a hardwood cutting board into a gorgeous end table
  • Design your vinyl cutter projects for fast weeding and application
  • Make a simple animatronic robot with AI that knows how to follow your face
  • And much more!

Table of Contents


From the Editor's Desk

Tips, tributes, tidings, and tweets from readers like you and members of our worldwide community.Page 06

Welcome: Indie Makers

Amateur, pro, or passion project, it’s all about the freedom to choose what you make.Page 08

Make on Earth

Amazing builds from around the globe.Page 10


The Magic Is Back by the Bay

Makers came together again for a revamped Maker Faire Bay Area on the waterfront in Vallejo, California.Page 14

3 Modes of Making

Try the trifecta of teaching maker skills: imitation, modification, and innovation.Page 20

Micro Recyclers

Save the world and have fun making stuff with the Precious Plastic community.Page 24

Digital Fabrication 2024

The Rise of Color in 3D Printing

True multi-material machines are here — and they’re good! Bambu Lab and Prusa Research lead the way.Page 28

To Multi or Not to Multi?

Pros and cons of producing multicolor prints in one go versus printing separately and assembling.Page 34

Filament Painting

Extrude full-color images — even with an ordinary 3D printer — using HueForge’s clever software.Page 36

3D Printing in Seconds

Instant prints! Layerless, all-at-once resin printing is a reality with the astonishing CAL system.Page 38

Opportunity Activated

One maker’s journey taking 3D-printed medical casts from possibility to production.Page 42

Makey Mark

Try a new benchmark print with a familiar face.Page 45

Slices Are Ready

Hungry for features? Sample the latest piping-hot slicer software for 3D printing.Page 46

Can AI Make 3D Prints?

Kind of! Text-to-3D-model generators are here, but not optimized for printing.Page 50

Pultruder Alert

Make your own filament from recycled PET soda bottles — using salvaged printer parts.Page 52

Diode Power

New diode lasers rival CO₂ laser cutters for power — and last far longer.Page 56


DIY Graffiti Projector

Make a handheld graffiti gobo projector, and let them read the lighting on the wall.Page 58

Build-a-Bot (Cuddly Edition)

Code and sew a plush, interactive, wearable companion robot.Page 64

Personal Pixel Device

Build your own highly customizable pixel display with speaker, for a cool clock and much more.Page 74

Summoning Super-Size Spirits

Make a massive LED Ouija boardand send spooky secret messages.Page 82

Hamming It Up

Turn a can of ham into a functional ham radio antenna.Page 88

Watchful AI Owl

Make a simple animatronic robot with AI that knows how to follow your face.Page 92

Rising to the Acacia

Target hack: Turn a hardwood cutting board into a gorgeous end table in minutes.Page 98

Walk This Way

Mobility walkers can be expensive. Build your own personalized, strength-tested version for less.Page 100

Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Weather Bird

Make a science toy that forecasts the weather.Page 106

Skill Builder

3D Printing Ceramics

Whether it’s clay, filament, or even resin, here’s how to go from the 3D printer to the kiln.Page 110

Fine Finishing for Fused Filament

Getting that silky smooth surface finish on 3D prints.Page 116

Speed Weed

How to design vinyl cutter projects with strategic extra cuts for fast, easy weeding.Page 118



Gear up with the latest tools and kits for makers.Page 124

Over the Top

The Longest Piano in the World

At almost 20 feet, the Alexander Piano is a one-of-a-kind wonder.Page 128