Color Mixing on the Connex3

By on January 28th, 2014 in printer

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Stratasys’ latest 3D printer series, the Connex3, is able to produce a wide variety of 3D objects with multiple properties. As we posted earlier, the technology permits rigid, color, transparent and flexible materials to be produced within a single 3D print operation. 
The Connex3’s can hold and print three unique materials simultaneously, with some 45 possible combinations available with each combination of three materials during a print run. 
But Connex3 tech is definitely not an RGB free-for-all. You cannot simply 3D print any imaginable color combination. There are significant restrictions, but in the end we’re certain you’ll agree the Connex3’s constraints are far outweighed by what it enables. 
While some color combinations appear straightforward “stepped gradients” such as used in this shoe, other color combinations can be quite complex, such as this multicolored bike helmet. 
We expect to see simpler color combinations when flexible or transparent materials are used – simply because those materials will reduce the number of possible colors. 
These yellow sunglasses, for example, illustrate this phenomenon. The print operation to produce them likely used a rigid yellow, transparent for the lenses and flexible for the arm hinges and squishy parts. Note that the lenses are tinted yellow, because that’s the only non-transparent and non-flexible color loaded during the print. 
It’s apparent that using the machine will require some very careful thought on the selection of materials and colors. The Connex3 technology at first may seem restrictive, but it’s really not; there are over 500 possible mixed materials available!

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!

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