3D Systems Steps Into Multi-Material 3D Printing

By on December 28th, 2013 in printer

Tags: ,

3D Systems offers a very large suite of 3D printers, from personal to industrial, but none offered before has the capability of their new ProJet 5500x. What’s so different about it? 
The ProJet 5500x can print in multiple materials. 
To put that in perspective, the only other manufacturer that’s offered such a capability is Stratasys, through their Objet line that uses the Polyjet process. 3D Systems now includes MultiJet Printing (MJP) capability in the 5500x. 
This means that you can load two different kinds of materials into the 5500 and the print head will “precisely mix” them at the instant of printing. You can print mixes of hard and soft parts, mixes of colors, etc. This is a significant capability that is now offered by two companies. 
The 5500x currently can use three different materials: 
  • A rigid, ABS-like white material
  • A flexible, black rubber-like material
  • A Clear, polycarbonate-like material
This car was printed on the 5500x, including the soft tires. 
This is an example of mixing clear with a rigid plastic. 
Choose any two and start mixing! That is, if you can afford the USD$250,000 price tag on the 5500x. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!