Stratasys Intros First Multi-Material Color 3D Printer
Stratasys’ Objet500 Connex3 can print with three materials at once, from flexible to transparent plastics, and produce hundreds of colors.Stratasys has introduced what it says is the first 3D printer capable of simultaneously printing with three different materials and a number of colors, saving users from multiple print runs. The result, says the company, is the ability to produce parts with “virtually unlimited combinations of rigid, flexible and transparent color materials as well as color digital materials,” as well as a significant time savings. The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer, like a 2D printer, is able to use three color materials—cyan, magenta and yellow—to create hundreds of color options. It also features six color palettes for new rubber-like colors that can range from opaque to transparent, enabling it to better address markets such as automotive, consumer, fashion and sporting goods. The Objet500 is able to print using a number of PolyJet materials. These include transparent plastics, which are ideal for medical applications or form and fit testing of things like eyewear; rigid and opaque plastics, ideal for sales and marketing exhibition models, silicon molding and more; Polypropylene, ideal for reusable packaging, automotive components and snap-fit applications; rubber materials, ideal for creating soft-touch coatings or non-slip surfaces; high-temperature plastics, for hot-air or hot-water testing or models that require either a perfect surface quality or must endure in strong lighting conditions; and a Digitial ABS family of plastics, which is ideal for, among other tings, mobile phone casings or engine parts. “I believe our new [printer] will transform the way our customers design, engineer and manufacture new products,” Stratasys CEO David Reis said in a Jan. 26 statement. “We will continue to push the envelope of what’s possible in the a 3D world.”
Stratasys customer Trek Bicycle has trialed the new printer, and manager Mike Zeigle says it’s changed the way the company manufactures its bikes.