Multi-color 3D printing is still a fresh enough development that when a new multi-color 3D printer comes out, we can’t help but be excited – especially when it’s a machine that offers a whole new twist on the technology. Most multi-color desktop 3D printers – at least the affordable ones – require multiple extruders, which typically means both more bulk and higher cost. Plus, there’s the simple fact that 3D printers are costly in general, meaning that makers who have purchased standard single-color printers are left with bad cases of printer envy every time a new multi-color model comes out.
It’s no surprise, then, that Mosaic Manufacturing had such a hit on their hands with last year’s introduction of the Palette, a device that allows users to turn just about any single-color 3D printer into a multi-color, multi-material machine, without adding multiple extruders. The Palette, which pulled in $231,803 CAD in a Kickstarter campaign – well over its goal of $75,000 – utilizes a patented method called SEEM (Series Enabled Extrusion of Materials) Technology, which automatically cuts one strand of filament and fuses it with the next whenever the .gcode specifies a new color or material. Thus, users can print a single piece with up to four colors or materials with a continuous strand of filament coming from only one extruder, while a closed-loop feedback system includes clean and precise layer deposition.
The Toronto-based Mosaic Manufacturing has now announced that the Palette is coming to the United States market via a partnership with San Leandro, California 3D printer manufacturer Type A Machines. The company, which manufactures the popular Series 1 and Series 1 Pro FFF 3D printers as well as the printer networking tool Print Pod and a growing selection of specialized materials, will be the first outside printer manufacturer to offer the Palette via their online store.
“Many have attempted to solve the challenge of printing with multiple filaments, Type A Machines included,” said Andrew Rutter, Type A Machines founder and CEO. “Mosaic has created the first real solution that solves the immediate need for high-quality multi-color printing, while opening the door to new multi-filament applications with the Series 1. We are excited to be the only printer manufacturer offering this significant advance in multi-filament printing.”
The Palette will be bundled with new Series 1 and Series 1 Pro orders, as well as separately for those who already own a Series 1. Shipments are expected to begin in January 2017, with a retail price of $999. The Series 1 bundle will include full documentation as well as the additional parts needed to connect the Palette to the printer.
“The partnership between Mosaic Manufacturing and Type A Machines brings real world answers to the challenges of multi-filament printing,” said Chris Labelle, co-founder and COO of Mosaic Manufacturing. “We see extrusion as one of the most important aspects of 3D printing and admire the focus Type A Machines brings to creating robust, high-quality machines — including the exceptional G2 extruder — for the industry’s most demanding market segments.”