The productivity and creative benefits of adding 3D printing to almost any model-making business are clear, but the cost and complexity of the process can often be a barrier. By Jordi Drieman, 3D Application Specialist, Mimaki Europe.
With the launch of Mimaki’s complete and affordable 3D printing solution - comprising the Mimaki 3DUJ-2207, 3D Print prep Pro software and the 3DCS-322 post-processing unit – the end-to-end 3D printing process is now easier to implement and operate than ever before, making the dream of adding full colour 3D printing now a reality.
However, with so many entrepreneurs, model-makers, and creatives happily working with 3D printers that either offer limited or no colour at all, why change this process?
We’ve seen this throughout history - when new innovations are made more accessible, some find it hard to understand why they need to change the way they are working. The fact is that full-colour professional 3D printing can enable a wealth of new ground-breaking revenue opportunities or simply add significant value to an existing business that currently 3D prints in one colour. With the availability of a cost-effective, complete 3D printing solution, businesses and entrepreneurs should not be asking ‘why’ but ‘when’ can I incorporate incredible, accurate colour and shading to my 3D models and these are the reasons…
Colour can give you a competitive edge
For those producing intricate, detailed scale models, figurines, collectables or product prototypes, colour range and accuracy provides a clear differentiator for your business. Whether producing figures from the latest video game, a prototype for new perfume packaging, or scale models of a client’s yacht, finishing the model with hand painted colour and detail is time-consuming and expensive. Adding high-quality, full-colour 3D printing streamlines the process and still delivers a high-value model.
Colour can unleash creativity
Creatives, more often than not, use colour in their artwork and designs. To be able to 3D print their concepts in the colours they intended not only provides a quick and effective way of conveying a prototype concept to a client, for example, but allows designers and artists truly unlimited creativity. Printing on-brand colour prototypes also preserves brand integrity, even from the concept stage.
In addition, the Mimaki 3DUJ-2207’s compact design makes it small enough to fit into your office elevator and therefore, install in your office space or design studio. Creating 3D printed models right there, in the space that you are brainstorming ideas, adjusting iterations, or pitching your designs, provides added efficiency and dynamism to the creative process.
Colour can be critical
There are 3D applications where colour is crucial to ensuring a true representation of what is being printed. Mimaki’s technology, with 10 million colours achievable, provides the range of colour needed to accurately reproduce the most complex of models. Medical professionals, researchers or educational organisations using 3D printing to deliver anatomical models or even prosthetics that truly match skin tones, require exceptional colour fidelity. Such is true for Mimaki customer, Università di Firenze (University of Florence), who chose Mimaki’s technology to print models of the human heart and help students recognise its structure during a surgical or anatomical dissection.
Of course, while the affordable 3DUJ-2207 can enable businesses to open the full-colour, 3D printing door to all the opportunities mentioned above, if/when you are producing high numbers of 3D printed models, the larger print area and higher speed of the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 should also be considered. This system offers the same extensive colour range for high-quality model-making on a production scale. For details of Mimaki’s full 3D product portfolio, including the new 3D Print prep Pro software and 3DCS-322 support material removal system.