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$350 Colorpod Converts FDM to Full-Color Powderbed 3D Printer

by • March 27, 2016 • No Comments

  • But there have been numerous attempts to bring full-color 3D printing to the desktop, the innovation is yet far of widespread and low-cost. The closest solution already on the market is the $5,995 full-color ARKe paper 3D printing device of Mcor. Other than that, color-mixing extruders are slowly producing their way into the market, via brands like ZMorph and XYZprinting, but are yet far of achieving the full spectrum of colors desired by consumers and prosumers. Lunavast, of Japan, has put together an informative box for full color dying of FDM prints that has a few future. I in addition met a talented PhD team in Taiwan that is working on their own full-color FDM process, that appears quite promising. Most not long ago, I was introduced to a new DIY development called Colorpod, published by one of 3DPI’s community writers.

    colorpod color 3D printing

    What the inventor of the Colorpod, Aad van der Geest, has created is not a filament process, but an inkjet powder device that can be introduced onto RepRap-style 3D printing devices at a low cost. For a proposed price of $350, the Colorpod fundamentally converts desktop FFF machines into inkjet powderbed 3D printing devices. By combining a CMYK inkjet cartridge with a powder funnel and a roller, the Colorpod deposits powder and ink onto the print bed preceding flattening the material with the built-in roller. The Colorpod uses two USB ports connected to the printing device and the desktop, one for managing the mechanics of the printing device and the other for managing the inkjet cartridge.

    As it turns out, van der Geest claims to have been working on this project since the 1990s, around the time that MIT was initially developing the powderbed process that may some day become ZCorp’s full-color 3D printing process. This innovation was and so transferred to 3D Systems upon the acquisition of ZCorp in 2012. Colorpod is now open to beta testers in the Netherlands and can be created on the market for purchase by the end of the year.

    Van der Geest is in addition thinking growing the project to apply a much like inkjet technique to FDM processes. And, as we’ve seen of companies like Lunavast, such a method may be what finally brings true full-color capabilities to desktop FDM.

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