Ingenious new CYMK 3D printer blends filaments to create a full spectrum of color

3D printing company ORD Solutions is back with its third (!) Kickstarter campaign — and this time it’s got something really special up its sleeve. Having previously raised funds for a 5 extruder 3D printer in 2013, and an updated version the following year, the additive manufacturing gurus now want to bring customers the world’s first affordable full color 3D printer.

“I’ve got a list of improvements I want to make to 3D printers and I’m gradually working down that list,” Chris Gibson, president and chief architect at ORD, tells Digital Trends.

With the RoVa4D, he may have crossed off everything on his “to-do” list in one fell swoop. That’s because not only does the new 3D printer feature a veritable feast of hardware improvements over previous 3D printers the company has built, but the ability to print in full color looks to be totally transformative to the printing process. “Your TV is full color, your cell phone is full color, your office paper printer is full color, shouldn’t your 3D printer be full color too?” the Kickstarter campaign asks. “We think so!”

One of the niftiest things about the RoVa4D is that it’s focused on making the 3D color printing world user friendly. Gibson admits that previous multi-material 3D printers ORD has built have sometimes proven tricky for newcomers, since they required people to split their 3D models into multiple parts so each can be printed in a different material. No such problem exist with color printing on the RoVa4D.

“If people have infinite colors to print from, that means that — according to the old way of doing things — they’d need to cut their model up into infinite parts to take advantage of it,” he says. “Instead of being a positive it would just make it into a problem. We wanted to make the software [for RoVa4D] really simple. You don’t need to be an accomplished graphic design artist in order to do full color prints. You simply take a single model and paint it on the screen. Instead of being tedious, it actually makes the process fun.”

As mentioned, it’s also an affordable process. The printer can be pre-ordered on Kickstarter for $4,500 CAD ($3,450), with an estimated shipping time of March 2017 — although if you’re really keen you can stump up a bit more to get an early unit by November.

Check out the campaign (which has already more than doubled it target amount) here. If it’s as good as it looks, you won’t regret it!

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