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.

  • '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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  • Dream Drops, an Israeli company specializing in custom packaging, worked with Stratasys on the My COVID Hero project, bringing to life the action figures of heroes imagined and drawn by children during the pandemic, using Stratasys full-color polyjet technology My COVID Hero is an international competition organized by Stratasys in…

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  • Wanting to take packaging designs to the next level, the team at Stratasys offered to demonstrate how product designers and engineers could turn photorealistic, digital 3D images into real-life 3D printed models using the J55 3D printer. This is something that hasn’t been done previously, as the capabilities of both…

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  • Ronald van den Broek, will join Marketiger to be at the helm of the company’s next phase of expansion, alongside founder, Maikel de Wit. The full-color 3D printing specialist unveiled a 5-year plan to further expand its offering and accelerate the adoption of full-color 3D applications to the industry. Van…

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  • Stratasys today launched two new PolyJet 3D printers, the Stratasys J35 Pro, and the Stratasys J55 Prime, along with new software solutions for research and packaging prototyping. The company has accelerated its pace of innovation using PolyJet technology as designers and engineers work to bring new and better products to…

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