With the shear number of 3D printers we have seen seek funding on platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, it’s hard to keep track of which printer is which. A majority of the machines are very close to one another, with a lack of innovation preventing them from standing out in the crowd. There are printers, however, which come along every now and then, which really do stand out. These are typically machines which utilize new processes, to either cut costs, or improve upon the status quo.
Fused Deposition modeling printers have, for a long time, primarily been able to only print in one or two colors, separately. There is a company called BotObjects which claims to be able to print in multiple colors, but there remains a lot of of skepticism around many of their claims.
Because of the lack of color, the aesthetics of fabricated objects on typical FDM printers can be rather bland, when compared to printers utilizing other technologies such as selective laser sintering and stereolithography based jetting. One London man, named Felix Chan, is looking to change all this with a printer that certainly does stand out from the crowd. Chan is trying to raise £50,000 over the next 29 days on Kickstarter to launch the production of his 3D4C full color 3D Printer.
The 3D4C FDM-based 3D printer utilizes four different cold-end extruders, to send four different filament colors(CMYK) to a larger hot-end extruder for melting and blending, prior to its exit onto the build platform.
“Over the past few years, the 3D printing industry is booming drastically, but still at the infant stage, like the copier industry when only Black & White copiers [were] available,” stated Chan on his Kickstarter campaign. “I wondered why nobody [would] make a full color printer 2 years ago, so I started to develop one. After almost 2 years research and development, finally, we are proud to present our 3D4C printer to the world.”
By mixing the four different filaments, the printer can literally print in millions of different shades and colors, allowing for a whole range of new printing applications via fused deposition modeling. Below are the general specifications of the 3D4C printer:
- Build Envelope: 250 x 250x 180mm
- Filament Type/Size: PLA or ABS (1.75mm)
- Layer Resolution: 100-500 microns
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm or 0.8mm
- Printing Colors: CMYK color blending
As for the price, those who back the printer early enough can pick it up for just £850 ($1,445). Chan expects the first 3D4C machines to begin shipping to Kickstarter backers sometime between December of this year and March of 2015. Let us know what you think about this new 3D printer, and whether you are considering backing it in the 3D4C forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below showing the printer in action.
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