Xioneer’s Affordable Dyeing Station

By on November 15th, 2022 in Hardware, news

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The Vortex EZ 3D print dyeing system [Source: Xioneer]

Xioneer announced a new dyeing system, The Vortex EZ.

In recent years Xioneer has made a name by supplying a variety of unusual 3D print materials and accessories. These include exotic soluble support materials for high temperature materials (VXL), an advanced automated support structure removal station, filament drying cabinet, and more.

Now they’ve added an entirely new product to their line of equipment: the Vortex EZ dyeing station.

A dyeing station is used to color an otherwise natural (white) 3D print to a desired tone. The print types typically requiring dyeing are made on 3D print processes that produce porous prints, including MJF, SLS, SAF, SLA and even FFF. Most typically dyeing is done for white SLS prints.

In theory dyeing is pretty straightforward: mix water and some dye in a pail, dunk the object in the mix. In fact, many years ago I saw this taking place at Shapeways.

But of course, things are far more complex than that. The game for companies doing production is to ensure the color is EXACTLY the same for each and every batch. This means precise control over dye quantities, thermal conditions, timing and more.

As a result, there are some quite expensive post processing systems on the market that address all of these needs. These systems can do all of the above, and do so at scale.

What about other operations that don’t have production requirements? Or a large budget? Are they out of the dyeing business, or have to resort to pails from the hardware store?

No, the Vortex EZ addresses that need specifically. It’s a low-cost device that provides a reliable environment for dyeing 3D prints of many types.

It has a dyeing chamber basket size of 450 x 260 x 255 mm, which should be sufficient for most 3D prints. The tank itself can accommodate up to 38l of solvent (or water), and can maintain a consistent temperature setting between 30-85C.

The Vortex EZ is able to handle a wide variety of materials for dyeing, and Xioneer lists ”PA, PU, TPE, Acrylic, Polyester, ABS, PEEK, PEI, PP, PC” as “recommended”.

The Vortex EZ is designed specifically for dyeing, as it includes a number of useful features:

  • Adjustable temperature
  • Steam protection feature
  • Stainless steel tank (the “Stainless” is important when dyeing objects)
  • Silent operation with brushless motor

The most important feature, however, is the price. Xioneer lists the Vortex EZ at €1420 (US$1430), which is vastly lower than many 3D print-specific dyeing solutions.

If you’re starting a small 3D print dyeing operation, you might consider looking at the Vortex EZ.

Via Xioneer

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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