3D PRINTER MAKER of the Makerbot line Stratasys has unveiled a machine that it claims is the "world's first" multi-material full colour 3D printer.
Unveiled at the Solidworks World 2014 convention in San Diego on Monday, the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer has been designed to "change design, engineering and manufacturing processes" by using coloured plastic in the more traditional inkjet form of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.
"The Objet500 Connex 3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer is the only 3D Printer that enables colour 3D printing with virtually unlimited combinations of rigid, flexible, and transparent materials as well as digital materials - in a single print run," Stratasys said in a post on its company blog.
The 3D printer is also makes possible functionally complex models with desirable mechanical properties such as tensile strength, elongation at break, and multiple hardness values.
"Now designers, engineers and manufacturers can 3D print complex prototypes and moving parts without assembly or painting and bring products to market faster and at a lower cost," the company claimed.
For example, the company claimed that the printer is able to print 3D glasses using an "opaque Veroyellow" material for the frame, a rubber-like black "Tangoblackplus" material and a translucent yellow tint for the lenses, all in one print job with no assembly required.
This means that you could design a new pair of swim goggles, for example, and once you have an initial design, you could print a pair of the goggles in colour, including the tinted lenses, plus flexible parts without needing to print other parts and assemble them later.
The company has also demonstrated printing multi-coloured shoes and bicycle helmets in single print runs. µ
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