In an article appeared today (January 29, 2014) in The Guardian newspaper, Stuart Dredge wrote, “From jet parts to unborn babies, icebergs to crime scenes, dolls to houses: how new technology is shaking up making things”1. Mr. Dredge was speaking about 3D printing technology. The heart of this technology is the 3D printer itself.
Stratasys, a company headquartered in Minneapolis, USA is the manufacturer of 3D printers. It recently announced the launch of Color Multi-material 3D Printer, the first and only 3D printer to combine colors with multi-material 3D printing. According to the press release2, by using cyan, magenta, and yellow, multi-material objects can be printed in hundreds of colors. The technology is based on proven Connex technology. While the base materials are plastics and elastomers, they can be combined and treated to make finished products of wide ranging flexibility and rigidity, transparency and opacity. Designers, engineers and manufacturers can create models, mold, and parts that match the characteristics of the finished production part. This includes achieving excellent mechanical properties. According to the manufacturer, print job in the newly revealed printer can run with about 30 kg of resin per cycle and prints as fine as 16 micron layers for models. No wonder why some call the new Color Multi-material 3D printer a groundbreaking stuff.References:
1. www.theguardian.com.technology/2014/jan/29/3d-printing-limbs-cars-selfies (January 29, 2014)
2. http://investors.stratasys.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=821134 (August 3, 2014)