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The ColorPod Converts a RepRap-Style 3D Printer into a Full-Color Powder Bed Printer

by • March 20, 2016 • No Comments

The ColorPod device attached to an Ultimanufacturer 3D printing device.

The ColorPod device attached to an Ultimanufacturer 3D printing device.

Whilst there have been a few custom builds and hacked together machines, many powder bed 3D printing devices are generally considered commercial or industrial printing devices. Cost is most likely the biggest contributing factor to this thinking they frequently cost the same amount of money as a car. The innovation itself is just harsh to fit in a desktop desktop device, and there are not a lot of open source options on the market to easily manufacture one. But when it comes to the 3D printing community I’ve discovered that where there is a can there is a way, and the turn it intoers of the ColorPod are ideal examples of their creativity.

The ColorPod is an almany entirely 3D printable attachment for several RepRap Cartesian fashion 3D printing device variants that allow for the 3D printing of full-color objects via powder materials and a color inkjet printing device cartridge. The innovation was in fact turn it intod in the 1990s by Aad van der Geest as an alternative to the new at the time, and really costly, advancements with stereolithography 3D printing system. Over the years it has evolved and van der Geest has dramatically improved how the system works and turn it intod a few custom software to run it. He’s finally brought together all of the elements and turn it intod the ColorPod.

The ColorPod printing system.

The ColorPod printing system.

The ColorPod requires a effortless attachment to a standard desktop desktop 3D printing device, and the device does the rest. It begins just like any powder bed system, by laying down a thin layer of powder material, that is leveled via a spinning roller. So an inkjet attachment and a water attachment can be utilized to print the initially layer onto the powder, the printing device lowers the platform slightly and the system starts over again until the entire edition is printed into the powder material. So it just requires to be fished out of the pile of powder and harshened with a few super glue or hairspray, that in addition brings out the color.

One of the cooler aspects of the ColorPod is the fact that it is just an add-on to a FDM 3D printing device, not an actual modification. The FDM printing head on the printing device can go on to be functional, and usable actually with the ColorPod attached, that can be amazingly useful during the printing system. For smaller in size prints, the powder just requires to be placed down in a pile, and for the reason of the nature of powders it should remain relatively contained adequate to assist the edition. But for larger or taller editions the FDM portion of the desktop desktop 3D printing device can be employed to print assist walls around the powder so it can remain level during the printing system.

The color od and a few sampled 3D prints.

The color pod and a few sampled 3D prints.

Here is a few video of the ColorPod attachment being introduced to an Ultimanufacturer 3D Printer:

Most of the ColorPod parts are in fact completely 3D printable; just a few components like a circuit board and a couple of stepper motors require to be sourced. And the device uses a standard HP color ink cartridge to lay down the color and bind the edition together, so there is virtually no harsh customization work that requires to be done to the printing device it is attached to. It can be utilized with a variety of powder materials, which include wallpaper paste, plaster, dry paint powder, polyvinyl alcohol and actually sugar.

The custom-designed PC software was turn it intod to manufacture the entire system as effortless to use as a typical 3D print job. It is capable of printing both OBJ and full-color STL files, that can be sized and rotated as requireed. It actually comes with a full list of printing configuration options and slicing previews so any harsh editions can be optimized for printing. Combined with a edition turn it intod of a 3D scan, the ColorPod can actually manufacture full-color, 3D printed selfies.

Now kiss.

Now kiss.

Tiny vase is small.

Tiny vase is small.

Compact world.

Compact world.

The innovation is yet being turn it intod, and van der Geest has an entire list of next adaptations to the basic innovation that can expand the on the market uses. He is working on a system that allows for the ColorPod to lay down powder material to be utilized as assist for FDM editions that have harsh structures and severe overhangs. He is working to turn it into a system that can allow the inkjet attachment to color FDM prints while they are printing. Additionally, he is working to turn it into a selective laser sintering edition that can melt plastic powder materials together with a laser.

The just snags that may trip up a few users is the fact that the ColorPod requires two direct USB connections to a desktop, one of the printing device and the 2nd of the ColorPod device itself. Additionally, I can’t imagine that the powder materials are going to be effortless to store of getting all over the 3D printing device itself probably gumming up the works. But the ColorPod is yet in turn it intoment, and in fact van der Geest is looking for testers in the Netherlands, as well as interested parties to turn it into powder materials for use with it.

Today, van der Geest expects to release the ColorPod for sale by the end of the year for of $350. You can find out additional information of the ColorPod here. And you can learn additional of becoming an early tester by contacting van der Geest here.

Here is a few additional video of the ColorPod in action. Is this a fewthing that you may find helpful in 3D printing? Discuss in the ColorPod 3D Printer Converter forum over at 3DPB.com.