Although the things that can be done with 3D printers are certainly amazing, many 3D-printed plastic items still have a certain "look" to them. This is largely due to the fact that each item is all one uniform color. That apparently no longer has to be the case, however, as 3D Systems has unveiled its ProJet 4500. The company describes it as "the industry’s only continuous tone full-color plastic 3D printer."
The 4500 utilizes a plastic build material known as VisiJet C4 Spectrum, which is said to be flexible and strong. Items are built on a pixel-by-pixel basis, with each pixel potentially being any of "almost one million" colors. This means that the finished one-piece item can consists of multiple colors of plastic, those colors either sharply bordered or blending into one another.
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Additionally, it is claimed to be two to five times faster than other plastic 3D printers, plus it incorporates an automatic recycling system for the waste plastic. It can be operated remotely using an app on a smartphone or tablet, and prints objects up to 8 x 10 x 8 in (203 x 254 x 203 mm) in size, at a resolution of 600 x 600 DPI.
Details are still scant on exactly how it works and how much it costs. Judging by its size and weight (600 lb/272 kg), though, it's clearly an industrial machine ... so don't go planning on putting one on your desk.
If you do want to a multi-color plastic 3D printer of your own, however, botObjects' ProDesk3D model should be shipping soon.
A little more information on the ProJet 4500 can be seen in the video below.