Stratasys, the US 3D printing equipment company that acquired the Israeli company Objet 3D Printers in 2012 has revealed what it calls the world’s first multi-resin 3D colour printer. The Objet500 Connex3 incorporates up to 46 colours and three different resins, which gives users “exponentially more” creative options in terms of colour and mechanical properties, the company says. A single object can be printed out of several different materials, both rigid and flexible, without having to switch those materials during the process.
The Objet500 Connex3 uses a triple-jetting technology that combines three different colour materials, known in the printing industry as CMY—cyan (blue), magenta (red) and yellow. From these three basic colours, a virtually unlimited number of colours can be created.
In announcing the new printer, Stratasys said that while other 3D printers exist, there is none that allows the combination of materials and the brilliance of colour that the Connex does. Only the Objet500 Connex3 combines digital ABS, the strongest available photopolymer, with other materials “of your choice.” This allows users to create prototypes that contain both rigid and flexible, clear and coloured components, such as goggles with coloured frames and clear lenses.
This versatility streamlines the design process for manufacturers. Designers and prototype makers can “validate” their designs before showing customers. The machine is expected to be used mainly by prototype makers, especially in the consumer goods, automotive and architectural markets where “product realism” is often critical at the earliest stages of design. Bicycle maker Trek is already a customer.