Stratasys has unveiled the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D printer, a product which allows manufacturers to mix both materials and colors when printing objects.
The 3D printer manufacturer's latest offering could potentially have implications for design, manufacturing and supply chains, as the product has taken 3D printing to the next level -- allowing the combination of base materials with "virtually unlimited" combinations of rigid, flexible, and transparent color materials in a single print run.
Using similar color materials to an inkjet printer -- cyan, magenta and yellow -- this combination method means that manufacturers won't have to assemble parts or paint goods separately within a supply chain, bringing products to market faster and making production more efficient.
Waterloo, Wisconsin-based firm Trex Bicycle served as a beta tester for the printer and was able to manufacture and test bike chain guards and handlebar grips in various colors prior to production. Mike Zeigle, manager of Trek’s prototype development group, said the printer removed "traditional, time-consuming" processes and gave design teams more flexibility in the use of color in products.
Stratasys said the printer was likely to be used in the consumer, automotive, sport and fashion industries.
The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D printer is available for purchase from Monday.