New BotObjects Video: The Color 3D Printer Revealed

By on March 1st, 2014 in printer


Continuing with their stealthy media campaign, BotObjects have released another video showing their new ProDesk30 in action. What did we learn? 

The video shows the ProDesk30 in operation, 3D printing a small object. There is no commentary or captions, other than some folks chatting. But here’s what we see:

The filament supply system, as we had suspected, includes six spools.Material spools include the base colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White. And one more spool contains support structure filament. All of the spools appear to be encased in what might be proprietary cartridges and are clearly labeled as PLA. Whether the ProDesk30 prints ABS, we don’t know. 

The cartridges are labeled: 

  • PLA Yellow Single Cartridge PRD101-PLA Y1
  • PLA White Single Cartridge PRD101-PLA W1
  • PVA Support Single Cartridge PRD101-PVA S1
  • And so on.

The support material is PVA, a dissolvable plastic that enables the printing of complex geometries. Are other support materials possible? We don’t know. 

The machine seems to make sounds similar to what we’ve heard many other 3D printers make, although it doesn’t seem to be particularly quiet. But the ProDesk30 is about colors, not silence. 

The ProDesk30 includes a small readout panel, seemingly capable of text only. In the video, it reads: 

8200/200 55/55

We really have no idea what this means. It could be temperatures, filament capacity or even the name of the print file. But regardless, it’s not very clear, other than indicating that something is indeed printing. 

The complex printhead shown at top actually does have six filament feeds leading into it, confirming our notion that the color mixing occurs at the melt head. A rotating element atop the print head suggests that a mechanism rotates to engage individual filament colors by software control. In other words, the printhead can select any of the six filaments to effect color switching. It’s definitely a unique approach. 

Our concern is the rapidity of color switching, as the printhead will clearly have the previous color already melted in the extruder. We expect to see rather blurry transitions from one color to the next. However, we’re quite surprised to see this sample print, which appears to show a pretty quick transition. BotObjects must have a way to suck out old colors before pushing through the new color. 

Via YouTube