Matt Belo, Marketing Coordinator and Brand Manager at Toronto’s Objex Unlimited 3D Print Studio, explores the fascinating world of colorjet 3D printing in this first of several month-long articles on 3D printing. In the first instance, graphics and 3D printing enthusiasts will find these articles helpful.
ColorJet Printing (CJP) creates photo-realistic 3D models in full color using additive manufacturing. There are various applications, including concept models, marketing materials, natural models (such as humans, animals, geographical/realistic images, 3D selfies), artistic projects, and architectural designs. 3D models printed with these printers have stunning realism.
Colour printing versus full-colour CJP
Traditionally, color 3D Printers use multiple print cartridges containing single-color materials. The number of cartridges these printers can use limits the number of colors you can print, and your model can only hold five colors if you have five color cartridges. Using ColorJet printing, you can create very complex coloring – such as gradients, textures, patterns, and skin tones – because the colors are mixed in the printer. With CMYK, you can print millions of colors.
CoreTM and Binder material are the two primary components of ColorJet Printing. Gypsum-based Core materials and plastic-based Core materials are available. For the first layer, the printer’s print bed starts at its highest position. Print beds are spread with core powder using a roller. The printer selectively jets colored ‘Binder’ material across the print bed after applying a thin layer of powder to the print bed. The core material will solidify as a result.
In the same way, a color jet 3d printer combines ink; the different Binder components combine to form millions of colors. Binder is applied to a new layer of Core material and used to attach it to the layer below. The process repeats itself once the Binder is applied. The result is a full-color, three-dimensional model after several thousand layers (depending on the model’s size).
Process of finishing
The color printing process requires extracting the finished part from a bed of unused powder. In this way, the models are self-supporting; the new core material supports any overhangs within your print in the print bed; this, in turn, increases the accuracy of your print. know everything about colorjet 3d printing eliminates the need for any support material. Models are highly fragile when unfinished, so you must be careful when extracting parts from powder. To make your position more robust, dip your piece in cyanoacrylate (superglue) after removing it, blowing off excess core material (recycled back into the machine).