Polish company aims to revolutionize the 3D printing industry with full color 3D printers, that utilize a unique patent-pending CMYK color technology.
When it comes to consumer level 3D printers, we are still stuck printing with only a few colors per print. Even if you have one of the fancy 5-extruder systems, these printers are very limited in scope, and unable to mix colors in order to come up with custom combinations. Artists and designers wishing to integrate multiple colors in a precise manner are still stuck having to come up with creative ways of doing so. In most cases, they are relegated to having to spend money to use an industrial level 3D printer. While we have seen a few multiple color FFF (fused filament fabrication) based 3D printers hit the market in the past year, there has yet to be a full-color solution, nor a high quality full-color stereolithographic printer.
A Polish company called OVE plans on changing this with their introduction of both a full-color FFF based 3D printer, as well as an industry first full color consumer level stereolithographic DLP 3D printer. The printers both utilize a revolutionary, patent-pending CMYK injet printing system.
“Basically it’s all about modified UV-curable CMYK inks,” Tomasz Pluciennik of OVE told 3DPrint.com. “We call our printers multi-process, because 3D and 2D printing processes are used alternately, to create full colour 3D layers. There is a similarity with the ZCorp (3D printing) process, but the difference is that our ink is not a ‘binder’. When not printing in colour it will be just a standard FFF or SL DLP printer.”
Utilizing both 3D and 2D inkjet printing technologies allows the company to create 3D printers which can print in just as many colors as your traditional 2-dimensional desktop printer. It will use the familiar CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key/black) color model to mix and match and create almost any color desired.
According to OVE, the stereolithographic printer will be the “fastest and most accurate full-color 3D printer on the market”. As a lot of you know, Stereolithography (SLA) works by using a direct light processing projector (DLP) in order to cure a liquid resin. When cured, it’s hardened, and this process is repeated in individual layers, one by one, until the desired 3D printed object is complete. Previously, consumer level SLA 3D printers were limited to only printing in one color, due to the fact that only one color of resin could be stored in the vat while printing.
OVE’s new 3D printers could possibly revolutionize the 3D printing space, moreso than any single printer that has hit the market yet, especially if they are priced within range of most people’s budgets.
“3D printing is our passion and we want to spread this emotion to others, not only professionals,” said Pluciennik. “In order to do that, the price tag should be acceptable for [the] prosumer market. The hardware cost is not prohibitive, but the technology is quite new and there are many things that need to be done including software. One thing I can say, is that we believe we [have] found the most affordable solution for full-colour 3D printing.”
OVE is reluctant to provide any release dates, as they don’t want to disappoint. The process of prototyping, and potential supply chain problems prevent them from being able to set a solid date for when these printers will be made available. “We’ve done a few prototypes, which proved our assumptions and patent claims. We’re working on production prototypes, along with software, and soon you will be able to track the progress on our website,” Pluciennik tells us.
The company plans to introduce their 3D printers via a crowdfunding campaign, one which could potentially be record breaking, if their product does what they say it does. What do you think? Could a combination 3D/2D method work to produce full-color 3D printed objects both using SLA or FFF technology? Discuss in the OVE 3D printers forum thread on 3DPB.com