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US company unveils multi-material colour 3D printer

The printer combines three coloured materials – cyan, magnenta and yellow – to print out as many as 46 colours into one model.

Image: Stratasys.com

STRATSYS IS KNOWN for its MakerBot range of 3D printers, but it has launched what it says is the first coloured multi-material 3D printer.

The Object500 Connex 3, which is designed for both manufacturers and industrial designers, allows you to print out as many as 46 colours into one prototype model.

It does this through what it calls “triple-jetting technology” which combines droplets of three base materials to produce parts that can take any shape, reducing the need for painting it and printing out separate parts.

The process is similar to that of a 2D printer in which three coloured materials – cyan, magenta and yellow – are combined to create numerous colours. The rubber and plastic materials used means it can be used to produce shapes that have any degree of flexibility or rigidness.

The company believes that the product will help manufacturers produce items faster and will be a “significant time saver” by allowing companies to figure out the flaws behind a product before it’s officially released.

The marketing manager for Stratasys, Bruce Bradshaw, told the BBC the printer would help reduce the time it takes prototype designs to be printed by 50 per cent.

The printer will cost over $300,000 (€220,000) and is available to purchase today.

Read: What you need to know about 3D printing >

Read: The five tech trends that will help shape 2014 >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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