Full-color 3D printing isn’t new. There are plenty of 3D printers on the market that offer this capability.
The problem is that most of them are far too expensive for the average home user to afford. That’s set to change thanks to a company called ColorPod.
Their new 3D printer add-on promises some big benefits.
More about the ColorPod Add-On
First and foremost, understand that the ColorPod is NOT a printer. It’s an add-on for your existing home 3D printer.
So, you’ll need to have purchased one before you can use the add-on. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks.
ColorPod is a very powerful, very cool addition that transforms your average desktop 3D printer into a full-color machine that uses inkjet technology to take your prints to the next level and beyond. It’s more than capable of creating results comparable to those that can be achieved through commercial-grade printers, like those offered by Z-Corp.
The way it works is a little bit different, though. The process goes something like this:
The printer layers colored powder onto the print bed.
It’s then flattened and colored with ink. Then the print bed is lowered and the process moves along once more.
The ColorPod needs to connect to your PC to work and it needs two USB ports. One of those is used to control the inkjet cartridge and the other one is responsible for the rest of the mechanics in the 3D printer.
It features an FDM-based nozzle, but it doesn’t actually use it. Instead, the nozzle is a host responsible for controlling the stepper motor.
You’ll also be able to use pretty much any file format you’d like, including OBJ and STL. As a note, the add-on doesn’t ship with all the required pieces, but the ones that aren’t included in the box can be 3D printed on site to save money.
You’ll also discover that the ink cartridges are readily available through pretty much any big box store that sells ink for HP printers.
While ColorPod might be the first such add-on to hit the market, don’t expect it to be the last. The 3D printer revolution that finally allowed affordable FDM models to make it to consumers will take hold here, as well, and there will be many other full-color solutions available.
However, don’t expect to see the ColorPod on the market anytime soon. The company is just now going to beta testing, so it could be some time before the final version for consumers is available.