We Are Learning 3D Printing Through Our Personal Experience…
It seems that 3D Systems has acquired the 3D printer maker botObjects and plans to use that company’s technology for multi-color 3D printing by combining 5 different colored thermoplastic materials. The first full-color 3D printer by 3D Systems that uses FFF/FDM technology to extrude thermoplastic material will be the CubePro C and the device will apparently be on display on CES 2015. botObjects pioneered the first 3D desktop printer using PlasticJet Printing (PJP) that offers true full-color 3D printing, significantly expanding the palette of possibilities for what designers, artists and engineers create, from prototypes to products. botObjects also invented a proprietary 5-color CMYKW cartridge system, capable of mixing primary printing colors on the fly to generate vibrant color combinations and gradient transitions.
The botObjects ProDesk3D will be folded into 3DS’s new CubePro C printer family and deliver a true full-color experience at a price of $4990 USD, so actually not way too affordable for home users. The new CubePro C should be capable of printing down to 25-microns layers at deposition speeds of up to 175 millimeters per second using durable PLA and ABS print materials with PVA support material. Until the company expands its manufacturing capacity, the CubePro C will be available in a limited release, with plans to expand distribution later in 2015 and currently there is no yet official release date set, but that will most likely follow soon.
CubePro C 3D Printer Key Features:
– Full-color, CMYKW Plastic Jet printing with color mixing and gradient color
– Cartridge system mixes colors on the fly
– Material choices include PLA, ABS and PVA soluble supports
– Build volume of 8.25 x 9.25 x 8.25 in. (210 x 235 x 210 mm)
– Compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems
– Layer thickness: 25 microns in HD mode, 100 microns in SD mode, 200 microns in Draft mode
– Print speeds up to three times faster than comparable printers
– Proprietary cartridge systems of individual or multipacks. Multipacks include the CMYKW base colors and PVA dissolvable supports
– Convenient setup with auto-leveling, auto-calibration and an automated print environment
– Simple USB connectivity
– Get the most of your investment with a cartridge recycling program and printer warranty
– Immediate limited release; global release later in 2015
It seems that while the basic specifications will remain the same, the CubePro C 3D printer will come with a lower build volume as compared to what the original design from botObjects promised. Also there is currently no price information about the special color cartridges with filament that the device uses coming form 3D Systems, but a full 6 cartridges with the colors plus a sixth PVA support one was priced at $135.95 USD, so we can expect a similar price. The CubePro C is definitely going to be an interesting option for people that want to have more affordable multi-color 3D printing using device that relies on common thermoplastic materials such as PLA and ABS.