Japan-headquartered Mimaki Engineering was founded in 1975, launching its first full-color inkjet printer in 1996. Not long after, the company established Mimaki USA, an operating entity that manufactures digital printing and cutting products around the world. In 2015, Mimaki announced that it would start developing its own full color 3D printer, which was previewed last spring. As of the summer, the company had entered the commercialization phase, and finally the wait is over, as Mimaki USA has installed its first 3DUJ-553 3D printer in the Americas.

The photorealistic, full-color, UV-cure inkjet 3D printer was installed at leading print technology company Pictographics in Las Vegas as part of a new venture.

Craig Miller

“Pictographics has expanded its market by becoming a total solution provider and by partnering with other solutions companies. This is our plan for 3D printing as well, and the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer is a key component in our business strategy,” said Craig Miller, President and CEO of Pictographics. “What sets it apart from all other 3D devices is its color – more colors, brighter, more vibrant. We looked at the market and tried to match the available technologies to what our customers need, and the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer was best suited for the detail 3D work we want to produce.”

When you hear the phrase full-color 3D printer, you may need to rearrange what you think that means when it comes to the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer. The UV-cure inkjet 3D printer, a fully ICC-compliant, color managed device, offers over 10 million color combinations for photorealistic output; it can also achieve 90% of SWOP colors.

“Color has always been a driver in the markets we serve. Mimaki Engineering has taken its years of experience in ink chemistry and deposition, and brought that to 3D printing,” Ken VanHorn, Vice President at Mimaki USA, said this past summer.

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer, based on patented technology, is a color-managed device that offers high-quality, precise 3D printing, and has numerous enhancements so it can produce realistic objects up to 20″ x 12″ with fine detail, high definition, and full color. The color-managed 3D printer gives users the chance to reproduce a significant tonal range, as well as use 2D and 3D technologies at the same time for photographic applications.

Because the 3D printer can produce color-accurate prototypes and objects without having to resort to manual coloring by hand, it can drastically decrease finishing times, and so can its unique, water-soluble support material. Mimaki USA’s support material offers easy finishing, and doesn’t use harsh chemicals, as it can be easily removed with water. This allows end users to create models with intricate designs and fine details, without causing the final design to change during the support removal process.

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer has a maximum build size of 508 x 508 x 305 mm, and features an onboard camera for live 3D printing status checks. In addition to a range of 10 million possible color combinations, the 3D printer also uses clear inks, which are necessary for creating translucent colors. Clear ink increases product variations, and on the Mimaki 3DUJ-553, they can be jetted independently for clear objects, or combined with colored ink for translucent ones.

Other specs for the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer include:

  • 600 kg
  • 2250 x 1500 x 1550 mm
  • Maximum build weight of 70 kg
  • 2 water-cooled LED-UV lamps for curing
  • Standard print mode of 800 dpi resolution and 32 micron thickness

Because it offers such a vast amount of color combinations, Mimaki USA’s photorealistic 3D printer is perfect for applications such as architectural elevations, modeling, prototyping, short run fulfillment, or sign-making.

This week, color 3D printing is in focus with, in addition to this installation, HP’s introduction of its first full-color Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing systems.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

[Images: Mimaki USA]

 

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