BBC reports: [edited]
The world's first multi-material full-colour 3D printer has been launched by Stratasys, the owner of the MakerBot range of printers. It features "triple-jetting" technology that combines droplets of three base materials, reducing the need for separate print runs and painting.
By incorporating traditional 2D printer colour mixing, using cyan, magenta and yellow, the manufacturer says multi-material objects can be printed in hundreds of colours. While the base materials are rubber and plastic, they can be combined and treated to create end products of widely varying flexibility and rigidity, transparency and opacity, the company said.
Stratasys marketing manager Bruce Bradshaw told the BBC: "This will help industrial designers reduce the time it takes to bring prototypes to market by 50%."
Duncan Wood, publisher of specialist 3D printing magazine TCT, told the BBC: "This is groundbreaking stuff. Being able to produce single products incorporating materials of different rigidity and colour has been the holy grail of 3D printing to date.
It will cost about $330,000 (£200,000).