Earlier this year, Stratasys introduced the world to the first and only full color multi-material 3D printer – the Objet500 Connex3. The Objet500 Connex3 builds on the Connex technology introduced in 2007. With Connex technology, a single part, or any collection of parts in a build, can have dozens of distinct material properties ranging from rigid plastic to rubber-like and opaque to transparent. Connex 3D Printers achieve this by jetting two base model materials, in varying combinations, to build a part.
The Objet500 Connex3 takes the technology to a new level by adding the capability to print with 3 materials instead of two. This opens up the possibility of printing in a wide variety of colors and digital materials. The recent addition of flexible materials to the Connex3's color palette is sure to be a game changer.
How it works:
The Connex3 uses a print block containing eight print heads: two for each material, including supports. This leaves six print heads for three model materials. The print heads deposit material droplets in a pre-defined pattern to create combinations from as many as three base materials.
The rigid palettes
Color: As with 2D printing, users load a combination from CMYK, which stand for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. When desired, users can also add white or clear. Because Connex3 supports three base materials, users have the option of using any three of the following: VeroCyan™, VeroMagenta™, VeroYellow™, VeroBlackPlus™, VeroWhitePlus™ and VeroClear™.These combinations offer 14 color palettes, each with 45 or 46 hues for a total of 630-640 different colors/materials.
The flexible palettes
Color: Users load either TangoBlackPlus™ or TangoPlus™, and then have the option of using any two of the following: VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow. With TangoPlus, users have the option of three 72-color palettes, which feature a wide selection of Shore A values. With TangoBlackPlus, users have the option of three 68-color palettes, also with a range of Shore A values. That is a total of 420 additional colors/materials.
Information in this article appears in the White Paper – Objet500 Connex3: HOW TO MAXIMIZE MULTI-MATERIAL AND COLOR POSSIBILITIES – Published and written by Stratasys
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.