ColorPod DualBox is an Add-on That Turns Desktop 3D Printers Into Color Powder 3D Printers

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[Photo: Hackaday]

As 3D printing arrived on the scene, surprising artists and designers with a certain level of self-sustainability in creation never experienced before, the hunger for more, more, more in terms of options became almost immediate—and mainly with a desire for more color. There have been forays into 3D printing with color and full-color 3D printers, but for the most part there has still been a wait while manufacturers have been busy developing a wide range of hardware, software, and alternative materials (in a basic array of monotones and colors) that can take on everything from construction to saving lives via tissue engineering. So far, color has generally taken a backseat while the important work was getting figured out.

We learned about the ColorPod though a few years ago, as a device for several RepRap Cartesian style 3D printer variants that allows for 3D printing in full color. In development by Aad van der Geest for years now, the device has evolved into a customized, streamlined workaround for having it all while 3D printing, and you can take matters further into your own resourceful hands by making your own parts for the DualBox add-on too—turning your FDM 3D printer into a full-color powder machine.

The bottom pulls itself up with threads that are wound around the axis of a geared stepper motor. (Photo: Hackaday)

Today, the versatile ColorPod works with most 3D printers, supports .stl and .obj 3D model files, and is accompanied by supporting software. Objects are 3D printed in full color as the unit dispenses colored droplets on powder in the DualBox add-on, comprised of two compact units: the feeder box, which moves up; and the model box, which moves down. Powder is dispersed from one box to the other in thin layers with a spinning roller, and cross sections are fabricated with ink and water on the powder.

Parts that come in the Colorpod dualbox add on set for $499 (Photo: Tindie)

Professional powder from gecko-3d.com is recommended by the developer for better accuracy in printing. 3D models can be printed up to 110 X 70 X 50 mm. For $499, you can buy the set to make your own DualBox, with components to include:

  • 500 gr gecko 3d powder
  • 1 HP45 cartridge filled with clear fluid
  • 2 plexiglass box cutout set
  • 1 plexiglass bridge part
  • 2 geared stepper motor
  • 4 bottom axis support
  • 4 box fixing plate
  • 10 nylon M3 screws 5mm
  • 1 servo modified for continuous rotation
  • 1 resistor 100k on connector
  • 1 resistor 820E on connector
  • 1 dyneema thread 1200 mm
  • 1 screw terminal
  • 1 geeetech sync cable
  • 1 endswitch conversion cable
  • 1 5V regulator with cable
  • 1 rubber band
  • 2 ball bearing with outside diameter 16mm
  • 1 stainless steel tube 210X20X2 mm
  • 1 supply cable male
  • 1 supply cable female
  • 1 fuse holder with 2A fuse
  • 2 M3 threaded rod 80mm
  • 1 M4 threaded rod 96mm
  • 1 metal spring
  • 2 M2 screw 20mm
  • 2 M2 screw 12mm
  • 4 M2 nut
  • 4 M2 washer

Other parts must be 3D printed to complete the set.

Build the basic container using sticky tape. Numbers are engraved on the outside of the container. Later you can make the final unit with super glue. (Photo: vouwbad)

With the advent of 3D printing, users were thrilled with the capability to design a 3D object and then be able to produce it on their own too, whether in a home workshop, professional, or industrial setting. While choices for post-processing and finishing could include intricate painting and detailing, quickly, the ability to print in more complex ways evolved with multi-materials and multi-components, full-color printers by HP and Mcor, and more. Innovations such as the ColorPod give users even more options for producing spectacular prototypes, parts, and artistic works.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

(Photo: vouwbad]

 

[Source: Aad van der Geest]
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