Thursday, August 31, 2017

Da Vinci Full Color 3D printer

Recently, Da Vinci contacted me and invited me to be a part of their beta test group for a new type of 3D printer. Da Vinci is a company that, while I've know about, I haven't had any desire to posses one of their machines. Not that there was anything wrong with their 3D printers per se. They were reportedly solid machines that did the job well. The just had one glaring problem that made me feel that their printers weren't for me.
Two words: Chipped filament.

I mean, I understand the idea from a business perspective. Under charge for the hardware and make it up by over charging for the consumables. The problem is making money through convincing people to burn through consumables ends up making decisions that aren't always in the best interest of the consumers.

So what could Da Vinci offer me that would convince me to put up with their chipped material? On top of that, signing an NDA, which always merits an eye-roll from me? On top of that tell you all about it the moment I'm able to even though I don't actually have one of these 3D printers in my possession? Yet.

Three words: Full Color FFF.

Not full color as in being able to change layer color, or having 4 colors of filament that feed into one nozzle but still somehow still can't blend. No, this is full color, changing at will to whatever hue you want. In the past this was only possible with material binding, resulting in a print that was aesthetically pleasing, but inaccessible for the home market and lacking any usable strength.

So how did they accomplish this? While I don't have a test printer in my hands just yet, my understanding of the process is that they print with a transparent filament, then go over each layer with an ink-jet like printer to color the edges. So technically, if I understand correctly, the color sits between the layers, and it gets transmitted through the optics of the material. What does this mean for smoothing the prints with a brush-on eposy afterwards? We'll have to find out when I get my unit. Yes, I'm getting one. I think I have to.

For the record, I totally had this idea a long time ago. Well, not this idea, but a similar idea of adding pigment to the filament just as it came out of the nozzle, which is nothing like this idea, and probably wouldn't have worked with the heat problems, but I am totally claiming to have had this idea before they did. Even though I didn't.
Personally this means I'm going to have to learn to add color data to my prints, something I've not ever needed to know before. The possibilities this opens up, though, could be totally worth it.

I will have more information coming as soon as I have a unit to test, but until then you can check it out and pre-order at

#ColorYour3DCreativity #XYZprinting #daVinciColor #Color #3Dprinter #3Dprinting #3Dmodel #3D

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