As we wrote the other week, some startling 3D prints were put on display in Paris' Pompidou Centre. Startling not only because of their intricate shapes and elegant coloring, but also because they were apparently produce on an Objet 3D printer - but Objet does not sell a color 3D printer. When confronted, Objet declined to say anything other than that it's "experimental".
What's going on?
We found the answer at Rapid 2012 by speaking to Objet representatives, who said that the art objects were printed on a regular Objet Connex 3D printer. The difference was merely in the materials used. Evidently their experiment is with new, unannounced colored print materials.
But how were they used to create those vivid colors? The answer, it turns out, is quite simple. Objet's technology is capable of mixing two materials together. Up to now this capability has been used to 3D print objects with hard and soft components in an single print operation. Amazing stuff for sure - but what if the two materials had the same rigidity but were different colors?
Sure enough, when we re-examined the photos we took at Centre Pompidou in person last week it is now quite clear what happened. Each of the prints is actually composed of only two colors or mixes of the two.
When will these new colored materials be available? No comment on that from Objet, but we suspect they'll show up not too long in the future.