If you want high-quality full-color RGB continuous color 3D prints, one of the premiere options is 3D Systems’ ProJet series. But now an unusual message may indicate something may be changing.
We received a notice from 3D Systems offering a rather large discount on the ProJet 4500 color 3D printer. They are offering this highly capable 3D printer at a USD$15,000 discount. That’s almost 25% off their list price, and a very generous discount for such an expensive machine.
The 4500 uses 3D Systems’ newest color process, which requires no post processing. The previous process, used by the ZCorp models, involved sometimes messy post processing by dipping the print into various liquids to solidify and bring out colors. The 4500 has no such requirement and prints are ready as soon as they emerge from the machine.
But now the 4500 is on sale. Why could this be?
There are several possibilities:
- The printer isn’t selling as well as expected and 3D Systems hopes to raise interest.
- Other existing models in the ProJet line occupy the same market niche and therefore the 4500 may no longer be required.
- A replacement for the 4500 is about to be announced and 3D Systems wishes to push out as much of their 4500 inventory as possible in advance of the announcement.
It’s that final possibility that piques our interest. It has been almost 2 years since the 4500 was announced, in a small explosion of new products at the 2014 CES event.
Perhaps 3D Systems has been refining their color process in their secret underground labs and is nearly ready to release something new? It’s possible, particularly with increasing competition for color 3D printing capabilities from MCOR, whose entirely different paper process can also produce very nice color 3D prints.
The 3D Systems discount expires on September 14th, shortly before the major industrial 3D print trade shows begin. These events, taking place from late September to January, are where product announcements most often take place.
This could happen. Or it may not and our Kremlinology-style analysis is bunk.