You might recall the very mysterious ProDesk3D printer from botObjects that is said to be an inexpensive, full color personal 3D printer.
A grand claim indeed, as no one can yet explain how an inexpensive 3D printer can manage multi-color printing. Many current 3D printers are multi-color in the sense of "switching" from one color to another, but none can produce arbitrary RGB color mixes; you'd have to purchase a ProJet x60 commercial 3D printer to do that.
However, TechCrunch reports on an exclusive view of the device provided to them by botObjects. Their videographer, Steve Long, was able to check out the ProDesk3D up close and ask questions about the machine.
We, like many others, are terribly interested to find out exactly how this multicolor capability actually works. Here's what TechCrunch said:
It has an aluminum body and two print heads, hidden by a plate, that can print 25 micro layer thickness. When the printer changes color it moves the head to the side and purges the old color and brings in a new one. “Print head will in a single layer print out all parts of a certain color on that particular layer – green, for example- then purge, and go on to the next color and fill in the rest, etc,” he said.
So now we know how it works. It is NOT a RGB 3D printer. It is a "multi-monocolor" 3D printer like many others. But there is a very interesting twist: evidently they've figured out how to automatically switch color filaments within a single extruder.
While the "color" output of this printer will differ imperceptibly from other 2, 3 or 4 headed "multi-monocolor" 3D printers, there is a benefit provided by the ProDesk3D: fewer extruders could mean lower cost for the same capability.
On the other hand, we suspect the act of purging and reloading filament on each color switch could make 3D printing slower.
More specs required, definitely.