Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is getting a new eight-color makeover. The PITTA 8-color 3D printing module for Ender3 V2 Stock Model and the Ender3 Pro 8bit/32bit Stock Model makes it possible to 3D print with eight different filaments.
While 3D printers offer a host of versatility, most hobbyist systems have one extruder, which limits the print to a single color. There are other machines on the market that have dual extruders and print in two colors. If you are looking for more heterogeneity in color, several add-ons are available for different printers.
Prusa desktop FDM 3D printers are regarded as some of the most innovative printers on the market. Prusa offers the unique Multi Material Upgrade 2S (MMU2S) add-on for their Prusa i3 MK2.5S or MK3S/+ machines, which enables your 3D printer to print with up to 5 colors at the same time by swapping filament. Aside from standard filaments like PLA, ABS or PETG, the MMU 2.0 also supports soluble materials like BVOH or PVA, giving it ever greater flexibility. The add-on also uses a direct-drive mechanism which makes the filament loading process more reliable and less susceptible to jamming. The retail price for the MMU2S is $299.00.
Of course, if you don’t own a Prusa, you can always manually swap filament by hand mid-print. This technique requires you to pause a job at a particular point and can also be tricky, as you need to cleanse your nozzle of any of the old material before resuming your print. It can be an easy solution for multicolor signs or plaques, but overwhelming for more complex objects.
The company Mosaic has been in the field of multicolor 3D printing since 2014 with its line of Palette products. The Palette 3 is engineered to strategically splice up to four filaments while the Palette 3 Pro can handle eight materials and reach up to 10% faster splicing and cooling speeds. The Palette 3 Pro can combine flexible and rigid filaments to produce high-quality and functional parts. Two of the key facets Palette 3 improves on are user experience and reliability.
With their Canvas Hub S integrated technology, you’re able to connect the Palette3 (Pro) to your printer, and access easier loading, connected calibration and a simpler printing workflow. The Canvas interface also allows you to heat up your printer, start prints and monitor your print jobs. The Palette 3 retails for $599.00 and the Palette 3 Pro is $799.00.
Which brings us to the latest entry, the PITTA 8 color 3D printing module for Ender3 V2 Stock Model and the Ender3 Pro 8bit/32bit Stock Model. The PITTA uses a slide selection technology with two motors for material selection and supply. It enhances Bowden tube connectivity, called TUBE GRIP, which prevents the tube from moving. This easy and effective Bowden tube configuration amplifies the extruding performance, prevents nozzle clogging, and diminishes tube damage. The PITTA is limited in a way that the other addons are not. Only PLA filament is supported for multicolor printing. You can use most materials for single material printing, such as ABS, Flexible, etc.
PITTA can be installed in three rather simple steps, which makes for a very attractive feature. The slicer software, CuPitta, is based on Cura, but it’s unclear at this time how much of a learning curve it will require to operate as no details were released regarding the software. PITTA is limited to just the Ender 3 models now, but depending on how much is raised through its Kickstarter campaign, various models, vendors and printing mechanisms (Delta, Core XY, etc.) will be supported. With up to eight filaments to choose from, you can design some truly stunning works of art. If funded, the retail price with be $570.00, with various discounts available if supported through the Kickstarter campaign.
Whether you are looking for four-, five- or eight-color prints, the add-on multicolor market is constantly expanding, provided you have the right brand of 3D printer.
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