Stratasys unveils multi-material color 3D printer

The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer could have implications for design, engineering and manufacturing

Stratasys, a 3D printer marker focused on manufacturing, on Monday launched a color system that can use multiple materials.

The name of the printer---Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer---doesn't quite roll off the tongue, but could have implications for design, engineering and manufacturing.

While 3D printing is capturing the imagination of consumers to some degree, the real action in the sector revolves around manufacturing and the supply chain.

According to Stratasys, the Objet 500 Connex3 can combine base materials as well as mix and max rigid, flexible and transparent ingredients in one run. Those capabilities mean that manufacturers won't have to assemble parts or paint goods.

As for the color, Stratasys' printer uses color materials similar to an inkjet printer. Cyan, magenta and yellow are combined to bring flexible materials color.

Trex Bicycle, based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, was cited as a beta tester and used the Objet500 Connex3 to manufacture and test bike chain guards and handlebar grips before starting a production run. Trex was among the early adopters of the Objet 500 and used the 3D printer to test parts and refine the riding experience.

Ultimately, Stratasys said these color 3D systems are likely to be used in the automotive, consumer, sporting goods and fashion industries.

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