New Technology Makes Color 3D Printing Easier Than Ever
3D printing has been quietly revolutionizing both healthcare and major manufacturing industries for a number of years now. The reason for the success of 3D printing is that as an overall industry it has adapted to the needs of smaller businesses developing smaller relatively inexpensive desktop models. Until very recently, these printers, while extraordinarily useful, were only able to produce designs in one color.
The reason for this limitation is very simple. The 3D printing process is accomplished by sending a filament through a machine that will heat and melt it so that it can be used to create the object that needs to be printed. The heated filament is fed through a single nozzle which moves about the printing area to create the custom object. Early attempts to add color to the process involved attaching more nozzles to the printer mechanism and feeding the color filaments through each nozzle separately. Unfortunately, this would increase hardware and operating costs substantially, and present the added problem of melted filament dripping from the nozzles that were not actively printing as the machine worked.
Fortunately, a company called Mosaic Manufacturing has come up with a way to efficiently add color to 3D printing applications with their new accessory system named, “The Palette.” The Palette is an add-on device that measures the right amounts of colored filaments needed and is compatible with most desktop 3D printers. It cuts and fuses colored filaments into a single strand which is then fed through a single nozzle. This eliminates dripping issues and keeps hardware and operating costs low.
This makes color 3D printing process simple, precise, and cost-effective which will surely lead to greater innovations in this industry. The Palette is currently being promoted via a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, and Mosaic Manufacturing hopes to have this system released to supporters by January of 2016.
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