Color 3D Printing

There are now a number of processes, and different 3D printing hardware, that enable accurate multicolor 3D printed parts. However, for many years there were only two technologies that could produce full-color parts: binder jetting (color jet from Zcorp/3D Systems) and polyjet (material jetting from Stratasys). Both technologies are based on inkjetting at some level. In binder jetting the inkjetted color is applied on part produced from a powder bed. In polyjet, the resins themselves are colored and jetted. Both technologies have limitations: color jet has to use a rigid and delicate plaster material, which is only ideal for static models, while polyjet uses expensive photoactive resins, which tend to deteriorate over time.3D Systems’ Projet 660 and Stratasys’ J750 have represented (and continue to represent) the standard for color 3D printing.

As of 2019, there are now several more. One key new technology is HP’s multi-jet fusion, which is a mix between binder jetting and powder bed fusion. As such, this is the first technology that is able to produce full-color parts using end-use thermoplastics such as nylon. Competitively priced below $100,000 (and as low as $50,000), HP’s MultiJet 300 and 500 series systems could open up a new range of opportunities as they become more broadly available. Japanese company Mimaki, on the other hand, developed its own high-quality and high-resolution full-color material jetting system using a technological approach more similar to Stratasys’ (however the cost of the system is also similar).

Another new, and much more affordable, approach is based on the evolutions of filament extrusion (material deposition) technology. Rize developed a technology which combines filament extrusion and inketting to produce functional multi-color parts. XYZ printing brought a similar approach to its affordable desktop systems, by applying color through inkjet heads to filament 3D printed parts. Another small company, Mosaic, introduced an accessory which combines different color filaments to obtain the multi-color effect in parts 3D printed using several different 3D printer models.

  • ITV's Emmerdale trailer features 3D printed cast members. Europac3D used the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer to print the model stars.

    Cast members of ITV’s Emmerdale soap opera have been printed as full-color 3D printed models on the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer, for a trailer that aired in the weeks prior to the show’s 50th birthday episode, on the 16th of October. ITV contacted Cheshire-based 3D scanning and printing specialist Europac3D to…

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  • The Promised Land is generally intended as the land of Israel, which, according to the Bible’s Old Testament, God promised and subsequently gave to Abraham and several more times to his descendants. Metaphorically speaking, the idea of a Promised Land is also well suited for describing 3D printing’s potential, as…

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  • Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) and intraoral 3D scanner specialist 3Shape are introducing a new automated 3D printing color workflow using 3Shape’s Dental System software and the Stratasys J5 DentaJet 3D printer. Using an intraoral scanner and 3Shape’s software, dental labs can capture both color and geometric information of the patient’s…

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  • Stases cork stoppers, designed by WertelOberfell and printed in resin (that looks much like glass) using the Stratasys J55 PolyJet printer.

    Stases is a range of cork stoppers made for luxury spirits that celebrates the essence of the liquids contained within. The cork stoppers were created when WertelOberfell, a design studio based in Berlin and Munich, was tasked by Stratasys to design objects for the company’s J55 PolyJet printer, within the…

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  • 'Lost' Van Gogh painting brought to life using 3D printing. Two UCL researchers have used X-rays, AI and 3D printing to reproduce the artwork.

    Ph.D. researchers Anthony Bourached (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) and George Cann (UCL Space and Climate Physics), have worked with artist, Jesper Eriksson, and have used cutting-edge technology to recreate a long-concealed Van Gogh painting. It’s the latest in their “NeoMasters” series of recreations, a project they’ve been working…

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  • Minkeshi brings children's ideas to life using 3D printing. The toy figure project was started in Kobe, Japan, by a father and his sons

    Minkeshi is the toy design and creation project of a product designer father, and his two children, based in Kobe, Japan. While the was staying at home, he taught himself how to make toy figures using 3D printing. The father works as a writer, and also creates these original figures…

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  • SSYS 2Y22 Reflection Collection debuted by Stratasys. Featuring exclusive 3D printed garments, bespoke accessories and luxury goods.

    Stratasys has introduced the SSYS 2Y22 Reflection Collection. The collection was created using the new Stratasys J850 TechStyle 3D printer, curated by Stratasys and made possible through close collaboration with seven design groups. Reflection includes exclusive dresses and suits, daywear, and other 3D printed garments, lighting, luxury packaging, cosmetics, handbags,…

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  • Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printing, cutting, and 3D printing technologies, has launched its brand-new pure clear material for 3D printing, called MH-110PCL. Created with designers in mind, this new clear material offers increased transparency and is intended for use with Mimaki’s flagship UV curable, full-color 3D printer,…

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  • Mimaki Europe will present its latest technologies at Formnext 2021, offering a complete 3D printing solution designed to streamline and optimize 3D model production with increased automation. Featuring Mimaki 3D Print prep Pro cloud-based software service and 3DCS-322 post-processing unit, these new technologies aim to further accelerate the adoption of…

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  • Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Stratasys opened the PolyJet Design and Print Center at their location in Eden Prairie, Minn. The expanded facility is the largest on-demand PolyJet print bureau in North America and centralizes Stratasys Direct’s PolyJet capacity and expertise into one location. The PolyJet Design Center features…

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