Co Print’s ChromaPad: Multi-Color 3D Printing with 20 Filament Choices

By on September 19th, 2023 in Hardware, news

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The Series-II ChromaPad [Source: Co Print]

Co Print announced “Series II”, a significant upgrade of their high speed multicolor 3D printing system.

The Istanbul-based company doesn’t make 3D printers, but instead produces powerful accessories that can make them substantially more functional.

Their core feature is the ability to swap filaments during a print job. This is reminiscent of Prusa’s MMU, but instead of being physically installed on the 3D printer and replacing many components as Prusa’s design does, the unit is external. That means it can easily be moved between 3D printers without having to modify them.

However, it works only on Bowden-style 3D printers, of which there are many on the market.

Series II is comprised of three components:

  • The ChromaPad, a set-top box that controls the activity
  • ChromaHead, a new toolhead designed for higher performance and reliability
  • CX-1 Extruder, designed for better grip on the filament

The ChromaPad is the most interesting of the three, as it holds the most functions. It acts as a kind of set-top box to control 3D printers, but provides additional functions beyond the basic features of the 3D printer itself.

One of the key features is that its firmware is a modified version of Klipper. This enables the ChromaPad to power 3D printers at much higher speeds because Klipper is able to account for vibration and compensate.

The folks from Co Print explained that the move to Klipper allowed them to completely revise the user interface on the ChromaPad, which should be easier to use.

The new ChromaPad retains its ability to perform multi-color 3D printing by swapping filaments. However, instead of “merely” seven filament choices, the new ChromaPad can support twenty!

I wasn’t sure how this works, so I asked Co Print’s Ömer Fatih Arman. He explained:

“Yes, our first product, Multi-Filament Module, was able to run 7 filaments and currently we increase it to 20 filaments in the new system. The working principle will be like that; We have a multi-color card module inside that ChromaPad that allows you to control 4 external extruders, so default will be actually, 1 direct drive extruder + 4 external extruder. But, we allow users to add extra multi-color card modules to their system, if a user wants to force the limits, they can buy additional multi-color cards and plug 5 cards to the system which will create 4×5, total of 20 filaments.

Other than that, you can control 8 printers in a default system but it will be in a single color. So this is designed for printer farms. Users will be able to see all the prints in different printers, durations/problems, speed etc. As mentioned above, if you buy the multi-color card module, you will be able to add up different colors to different printers too, so, the limit is you 🙂

Also since Pad is running based on a software, it will also grant control from mobile access, users will be able to control their prints and printers from their mobile devices too.”

This is evidently a very flexible system that can be used in multiple ways. However, it doesn’t seem possible to use 20 filaments on a single job — but who would want to do that anyway?

I asked about how the components are bundled, and which ones are required. It turns out they are all sold separately to allow customers to devise an arrangement that suits their needs.

The ChromaPad looks to be a very interesting 3D print accessory, but it’s not quite available yet. Co Print intends on launching it via Kickstarter some time later this year, possibly in November. Pricing has not yet been determined.

Via Co Print and Kickstarter

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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