Table of Contents
- This manual is a WORK IN PROGRESS.
- SimplyColor3D® V3 is in Alpha.
- Expect bugs and frequent crashes.
- Save your work often.
- If working on multiple models -> close -> open the app -> before loading the next model, whether loading from the gallery or local disk.
- Save on exit does not work. Make sure you save before you attempt to close the app.
- Press the F1 key to open the help menu. It has quick links to this manual and the tutorial video.
Anywhere in the app that you see this icon you can click and watch a ‘how-to’ video.
Hovering over any button for 2 seconds will cause a tool top to be displayed.
SimplyColor3D® is an app that converts single color 3D models into MultiColor 3D models. Users can paint any 3D model in the app -> then convert the model into a MultiColor 3D model -> then download that model for MultiColor 3D printing. It works with literally every Slicer and literally every 3D Printer.
SimplyColor3D is a brand new thing. There is nothing else like it in existence. It’s not a slicer. It’s not like Canvas or Meshmixer. This means that you need to wrap your head around how it works with no other frame of reference. It’s a brand new class of 3D printing software. 3D model splitting NOT slicing.
Many people get confused about where SimplyColor3D fits in their 3D printing workflow.
Let’s compare the 3D printing workflow without VS with SimplyColor3D.
Standard workflow (3 steps)
- Download Thingiverse model
- Slice model
- 3D print model
SimplyColor3D workflow (4 steps)
- Download Thingiverse model
- Convert to MultiColor with SimplyColor3D
- Slice MultiColor model
- 3D print model
As you can see, SimplyColor3D is only one more step than the normal workflow. SimplyColor3D does NOT slice models. It is NOT a slicer. You still need to slice the model. The output from SimplyColor3D is compatible with ANY SLICER which means you can use it no matter what 3D printer you have. It does NOT give your 3D printer any new capabilities.
In short: SimplyColor3D converts any single color models into a MultiColor model.
Enter the same USER ID and PASSWORD that you use on BigBrain3D.com
Click anywhere off of the messages to close them.
This image points out the main features of the SimplyColor3D work environment
Controls and hotkeys
Paint: Left button mouse
Rotate: Right button mouse
Move: Middle mouse button
Zoom: Mouse wheel
Color Pick: Shift + left mouse button
Undo last action: ctrl+z
Redo last action: ctrl+y
Open Help menu: F1
Open 3D model menu: 1
Open Gallery: 2
Select Fill by region tool: 3
Select Paint brush: 4
Zoom in: =
Zoom out: –
If the pointer is away from the model when right clicking then the rotation will occur from the center of the model.
If the pointer is over the model then the rotation will occur centered on the nearest vertex.
Save models to the gallery
The location of saved models is specified in the settings, which by default is: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming/SimplyColor3D
Load models from the gallery
Save & Load models to the local computer
First open the ‘Load & Save 3D model’ menu.
Save 3D model will save a 3DPX file of the current painting project to the local hard drive. The file contains the color information and some application specific computations like fill region and subdivisions.
Export 3D model will save the OBJ model file with color information only. This includes any changes to the physical model such as remeshing.
Load 3D model will open a dialog to select a model from the local drive. Supported files are STL, OBJ, and 3DPX.
Repair & Remesh runs a process to correct the model in the case that it has defects like non-manifold edges.
Take a snapshot
The save location for snapshots is C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Pictures\SimplyColor3D
Background Selection: Pick the background to apply to the painting area
User preference: Set the folder location for gallery model files and prusa slicer.
Model Subdivision level: defines the smoothness of the paint brush (set before loading from disk).
Key bindings ‘Zoom to Cursor’: when checked the mouse scroll wheel zooms to the part of the model that the cursor is pointing to. When enabled, the ‘right mouse button rotate’ will rotate around the model vertex pointed at when the right mouse button was clicked, as indicated by the red cross. When unchecked, the model will rotate around it’s center.
Just like photoshop, different layers can be used to paint on the model. Flatten to combine the multiple layers into a single layer.
Change layer visibility: The little eye icon when clicked will make the layer visible or hidden in the model painting area.
Add new layer: will add another layer and make it active
Merge layers: Will merge all the painting from all the layers into a single layer.
Depth: When the model is split by color the depth of each split is determined by this value. If a thin feature of the model has a splitting anomaly then consider creating a new layer and reducing the depth.
Each painting tool has it’s own independent color which is pulled from the ‘Color Panel Current Color’.
Use the ‘Favorite colors’ palette to record colors for use between models; These colors will stay between model loads and application restarting.
When a color is added to the model it is automatically recorded in the ‘Colors in the model’ palette.
Fill by region
Fill by region is the main painting tool. It has numerous enhancements over the previous version.
There are 3 fill by region workflows now.
1)Standard: Angle select
2)Connect: Make your own regions by selecting edges
3)Smooth: Make a new region by smoothing a selected path
Show edges: Show/Hide yellow highlighted edges
Fill with brush: Turns the cursor pointer into a brush and allows selecting a large area at the same time.
A) Standard: Angle select
Select ‘Connect’ for standard region select by angle workflow.
Change the Angle lower to create more smaller regions and higher for larger regions.
Left mouse clicking on the region will fill it in with the Region Highlighting Color.
B) Connect: Make your own regions
Select ‘Connect’ + ‘Select edges’ to enable this feature. Mouse Left Click on vertex edges until a complete a full closed region is created. ctrl + left mouse click to unselect them.
This is not working properly on very high poly models.
C)Smooth: Make a new region by smoothing a selected path
Left mouse click to paint with the standard brush.
Global color replace
Global color replace: Replaces the ‘Color to Find’ with the ‘Target Color’ everywhere it is found in the entire model.
Island color replace
Island color replace: Replace the a connected island of color with the ‘Target color’. For instance the color replaced could exist on the model in multiple places, but only that color which connects will be replaced with the target color. A live preview is shown when the cursor is hovered over an area of color. WYSIWYG
There are 4 different types of stamps. They have features that are common amongst them.
Stamp button: Apply the stamp to the model
Transparency: the higher the number the more transparent. This can help align the stamp to the model surface.
Size: The higher the value the larger the stamp will be in relation to the current zoom of the view.
Rotation: Rotates the stamp image around it’s center.
Vertical & Horizontal Move: Allows entering exact values to perfectly aligning the stamp to the model which is more precise than dragging the image with the mouse.
Mirror: Will reverse the image left to right
Flip: Will reverse the image top to bottom
Re-Center: Will position the stamp in the exact center of the painting area.
Custom image stamps
Load a stamp from your local system and apply it to the model. Use the ‘Reduce Colors’ option to select from 2 to 10 colors for the image, which will be adjusted automatically. Most images are thousands or millions of colors and FDM printers cannot reproduce that many colors. This feature makes it much easier to reduce the color count for FDM printing.
Select from preinstalled stamps. Just choose the color and apply to the model.
Easily apply text to the surface of the model. Select the font -> Select the color -> stamp away!
For copying the paint from the surface of the model to another area. Could also be useful for reversing or flipping the paint on an area, or making patterns on the surface.
Split model (Aka: MultiColor conversion)
Splitting models is the step that converts a painted model into a multi-color model.
Check the box ‘After split open model in slicer’ to open the split model in Prusa Slicer.