Thursday, 6 December 2012

New hope for full color reprap 3d printing

It's going to happen someday, the question is when? When will we have full color 3d printing at home at only a fraction of the cost of a professional 3D printer like the $34,000 one that staples are going to use?

Adrian Bowyer - the genious who started the reprap project seems to be hard at work making this a reality. Below is one of his first test prints will a mixer nozzle of his own design:

This is currently only black and white, but the system works by using 2 seperate motors to push different colored filament into an extruder nozzle. I do however foresee a problem which Brian Benchoff exlained nicely on his blog:

'While it may be only black and white now, it’ll be a very interesting development once five extruders are loaded up with cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and white filament. Yes, it is now theoretically possible to print full-color 3D objects on a RepRap. While we’re not looking forward towards having to upgrade our one-motor extruder to a four- or five-motor model, the possibilities for desktop fabrication are becoming amazing.'

In order to provide full color we're all going to have to buy a set of 5 motors each with its own extruder. This takes up space and makes the printer much more expensive due to the motors. I'm also unsure as to whether  the current generation of electronics are up to the job.

Personally I can't wait! I want to print full color high resolution objects like Staples will in their shops. Do you think we'll be able to beat them quality wise?

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