A Closer Look at How 3D Colour Printing Could Change the World

By Leslie Horn on at

3D printing has been largely limited to working with single-colour creations, but recently designers have started to explore more colourful results. Objet500 Connex3 is the latest along those lines, a machine that can print in 46 hues and multiple materials.

It also has the ability to print in several different materials to make a prototype with moving parts, whether they're super strong photopolymer or your run-of-the-mill ABS. The cool part is all these components—from the colours to the materials—can go straight into a single printed item, without post-production assembly from you. Some of the examples Stratasys has shown off is a multi-hued American football helmet with both facemask and helmet, or a shoe with a soft interior and a stronger rubber outsole.

The Connex3 is a CAD-based system in an industrial-sized setup, and it's probably very expensive for just your regular old hobbyist. Price wasn't listed on the site, but if you're interested in getting a quote, you can enquire here. While you might not see these more specific features in say, the next version of a MakerBot Mini, a machine like the Connex3 is pretty safe evidence that 3D printing is finally getting ready to ditch Kansas for Oz. [Stratasys]