Untitled53We live in a high-tech world where many of today’s brightest minds are charging forward to use 3D printing to invent everything from interactive apparel to the bioprinting of cellular structures and blood vessels. The technology is indeed transforming the way we create and manufacture–offering a long list of benefits that are causing many to throw traditional processes out the window.

What some creative makers and manufacturers are discovering though, as the initial and euphoric excitement of 3D printing begins to settle in, is that traditional processes in combination with 3D printing can offer even greater benefit–and double the fun. The Lunavast Craftehbot is a perfect example. A machine that we’ve followed since its launch, it allows not only for the user to print with color affordably, but also helps to recycle a large population of discarded and long forgotten 2D inkjet printers.

large.cube.jpeg.b84d3e68982d14dbe5d693d4d906cfb8Created by a-z-ia.net Ltd., of Japan, this printer is the latest in their lineup, and is a DIY kit. Previously allowing for an attached and hacked 2D inkjet printer (which can be purchased secondhand, or from a-z-ia.net) to apply color comprehensively from every angle, 3D models are sprayed during rotation in a process called ‘‘Direct to Object’ technology.

Now, the Japanese manufacturer has announced a new method of 3D printing which can be used with the Lunavast Craftehbot as well, through color layer printing. With this new application, users should not only have more fun producing color 3D prints, but enjoy much greater ease and convenience as well. The 2D inkjet printer applies color as each layer is formed, producing 3D models with beautiful striations, as seen in the images and video below. This definitely offers something most other printers do not, and allows for more versatile experimentation with 3D printing and a variety of hues.

With ‘Direct to Object’ printing, users will find that they may have to divide objects into several pieces so that they can be properly ‘colored,’ and assembled afterward. While this function is still available, users will be now be able to add layer color printing to their repertoire with this kit, that also arrives with 1kg of while PLA 3D printing filament, 1kg of PETG support material, and a six-color set of Lunavest color ink, each at 100ml. An EPSON R230 inkjet color printer is required as well.

Untitled55Currently, a-z-ia.net is offering $500 off orders which are placed before January 20th, bringing the price down from $2499 to $1999; the product release date is February 25th. If you are interested in purchasing a CrafteHbot kit with the discount, just be sure to enter discount code craftehbotlaunch when checking out from the Lunavest online store.

Specs for the CrafteHbot kit are as follows.

  • 3D printing method:    Fused deposition manufacturing (FDM)
  • Color printing method: Direct to Object (Patent pending)
  • Build size ( X Y Z ):    Single color output: 200 x 200 x 200 mm
  • Full color printing:      150 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Layer height:              0.1-0.3mm
  • Build materials:          PLA/PETG/ABS etc.
  • Filament diameter:     1.75mm
  • Nozzle diameter:        0.4mm
  • 3D print speed:          50-150mm/s
  • Extruder:                    Bondtech QR Double drive gear(Dual extruders)
  • Hot end:                     E3D V6
  • Electronics:                RADDS + Arduino Due (32bit ARM Coretex M3)
  • Motor driver:              RAPS128 128step microsteps
  • Firmware:             aprinter
  • Inkjet printer:              Required separately
  • Maximum inkjet ink spray distance:     About 10mm
  • Inkjet ink:                     Lunavast 6 colors (CMYK/LC/LM)
  • Host software:             Repetier-Host + Inkjet control plugin
  • Color model processing software:      Blender
  • Operating system:        Windows 7
  • Weight:                       30kg
  • Dimensions:                130 x 70 x 70 cm

Discuss this new kit in the Lunavast 3D printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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