3D printing has taken another step forward with the newly-announced Objet500 Connex3 3D printer, a machine from Stratasys which is able to 3D print using multiple materials and in a wide selection of colours.
The Object500 uses a new jetting technology called PolyJet which can use multiple materials to create composite materials. This could confer several properties on final printed objected, allowing them to be more flexible or rigid than is possible with more conventional 3D printers. Several colours can also be combined on a print run, speeding up the process of created a 3D printed object by eliminating the need to stop, reset and swap out printing material.
Speaking to the BBC, Stratasys’ marketing manager Bruce Bradshaw said “This will help industrial designers reduce the time it takes to bring prototypes to market by 50%.”
The only issue with this printer is the price, which will be around $330,000 (roughly R3.65 million). There’s no doubting that the printer is worth the cash spent on it but it does mean that all but the most well-heeled hobbyists will be excluded from experiencing its time-saving features.