3D print an object with all the colors of the rainbow? Sounds too good to be true! But that’s what the RoVa4D Full Color Blender is promising.
Full color 3D printing continues to be the holy grail of digital fabrication. Sure, it’s just about possible on the industrial scale — i.materialise have recently published a fascinating blog post on that very topic — but for consumers it’s proven a bit more elusive.
At the desktop scale we have dual extrusion fused filament fabrication (FFF), which allows for printing in two tones, but the technique has actually proven more useful in adding dissolvable support material for printing objects with complex geometry.
Canadian 3D printer manufacturers ORD Solutions are looking to raise the ante, however, with the RoVa4D Full Color Blender. Seeking funding on Kickstarter, the machine promises to fabricate blended multi-color prints in any possible color… using just five different filaments.
The RoVa4D takes its inspiration from the traditional print publishing technique of CMYK color, where the blending of different tones forms the basis for a vast palette of colors.
With such a clever innovation, it’s little wonder the campaign has already smashed their goal within days of launch. To date they’ve raised $35,781 (CAD) against the original target of $25,000.
ORD Solutions are the company behind the RoVa4D, and this isn’t their first crowdfunding rodeo. They found success with their MH3000 3D printer (with five extruders) in 2013, and again with the RoVa3D 3D printer in 2014.
The experience and feedback from delivering those two machines now leads to the RoVa4D 3D printer. The way it works is that it extrudes separate cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and white filaments into a single hot end, where they are blended together to form a single mixture (depending on the colors you need).
“This works similarly to your inkjet printer at home except that we also need white filament, since we aren’t printing on paper,” explain the makers.
If it works as advertised, it means that a single model can consist of multiple colors without any post-processing trickery. Moreover, the team boasts that you could also create hybrid materials with different properties:
“Not only can it blend CMYK+W colors to create any color in the rainbow, but our new 3D printer can ALSO blend PLA based materials, like hard and soft to create an infinitely variable hardness of material,” they explain. “Five different materials go into one hot end and they are mixed together to produce new material. Combining these together you can create hybrids of each one. It works the same as the color, but instead of creating a new color, they blend together and create a material with new properties.”
It all sounds very exciting indeed. And the machine itself looks like a feat of smart, compact engineering. Head on over to the Kickstarter campaign page to learn more, and mayhap you will bless them with your backing.
License: The text of "RoVa4D Full Colour Blender 3D Printer on Kickstarter" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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