Ireland-based MCOR Technologies added a couple of letters to their flagship color 3D printer, the Iris: H and D. It’s now an “HD Color 3D Printer”.
The Iris was previously one of the very few machines capable of full RGB color 3D printing, as most other machines provided only what we’d call “spot color”, in which particular sections of a model gained a specific color. The Iris’ SDL (Selective Deposition Lamination) paper-based 3D printing approach involves printing full color on paper with standard color ink before pasting sheets together to form a 3D object.
Full color, at least to us, means the ability to produce any color anywhere at full resolution, such that you could, for example, have photographic-level color textures on an object’s surface.
The MCOR Iris has been able to do that, but now its capabilities are increased with the Iris HD. So what’s different? There are a few key changes that make all the difference.
First, the Iris HD now includes a brand new, super-accurate carbide tip for slicing. This means the shape of each layer is more accurate, gaining increased resolution for pre-printed colors and decreasing the amount of ink required along the edge of each layer. The carbide tip also lasts longer, making machine operation more efficient - and it’s also available for earlier MCOR machines, too.
There’s also new software running the machine internally, which is specifically designed to increase cutting accuracy with the new tip though more advanced algorithms. MCOR says this should lower costs by 10-20%, although MCOR’s machines are already incredibly cheap to run, simply because their print material is plain paper.
Finally, the Iris HD employs a standard color map from the International Color Consortium, which should ensure photorealistic results.
This is huge news, as full color 3D printing options have been very scarce, and even when available, the coloration has been less than perfect. Now the Iris HD should take color 3D printing to the next level.
MCOR has not indicated the release date of the Iris HD, nor the pricing levels. However, we expect them to be not significantly higher than the price of the current Iris printer, which is approximately USD$40,000.