In the beginning, personal 3D printers had but a single extruder, meaning you could print only one color at a time. Finally, after years of research, some manufacturers brought out machines with two extruders - and BFB had an amazing three extruders.
Now there's a proposal from ORD Solutions of Canada to produce not a four, but a FIVE extruder machine. It would enable printing of five different colors in the same print job - or four colors with one more used as a support material.
With so many extruders there are other possibilities not practically available in other machines, such as reserving one extruder with a large nozzle size for much faster interior fills.
The team suggests they're providing numerous other improvements to the device, making it more reliable and robust.
One interesting feature is the build volume. It's a startling 11.1" x 10.65" x 6.5". But the secret is that if you are adding a lot of extruders, you'll actually lose some of that volume because, for example, the extruder furthest right cannot reach all the way to the left.
The cost of this device? Well, that's a bit of a story, because the price depends on the number of extruders you select. It's not just "model 1 or model 2"; here you must select from one to five extruders - plus the shipping varies by destination. You'd best check the pricing chart on their page at the link below.
We're curious to see how multi-headed 3D printing works out. If it does, we could imagine more complex versions of this approach being developed, offering more colors or more resolutions or more materials.