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Structural color printing and evaluation based on 3D printing

Jundong He (Packaging Engineering Institute, Jinan University, Zhuhai, China)
Xinguang Lv (Packaging Engineering Institute, Jinan University, Zhuhai, China)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 5 January 2023




The purpose of this study is to modify the FDM 3D printer to print with polystyrene (PS) microspheres as the printing material, thus enabling bottom-up structural color printing and evaluating structural color printing.


This study chose a range of different heated bed temperatures to determine a suitable temperature for accelerating the self-assembly of photonic crystals and printing structural colors on various substrates. In addition, this study enhanced the structural color by doping PS microspheres with different contents of Acid Black 210 dye and evaluated the color-enhanced structural color by eye and spectrophotometer under different light sources.


The results show that the modified 3D printer can be used for structural color printing, and 50°C is determined as the heated bed temperature. There are significant differences in structural colors when printing under different color backgrounds and material substrates, and corresponding suitable substrates should be selected according to the application. The doping of PS microspheres with varying contents of dye results in different color levels of structural color. As with pigment colors, the visual perception of structural color varies when viewed under different light sources.


This paper proposes to print structural colors low-costly, analyze structural colors under substrate and light source conditions, and expand the structural color gamut by enhancing structural colors, which has positive implications for further research on structural colors as printing colors.



Conflict of interest. The authors declare no potential conflict of interest.


He, J. and Lv, X. (2023), "Structural color printing and evaluation based on 3D printing", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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