3D printing technology in MiRe leaves the objects fully colored, using a fine powdered material that resembles sandstone. Only the multicolor is material that provides full color objects at a good price. We recommend this multicolor material for demo models exclusively. The surface models has a sandy, granular look.
Multicolor costs 0.75 euro/cm³ (model volume).
The sandstone material is adhered and painted during the process of 3D printing. Because the material is going to be painted during printing process, the file which is uploaded to MiRe should also include information about texture. In MiRe we can print in 390,000 different colors. Multicolor prints are thus the fastest and cheapest way to achieve a full colored object. Multicolor objects can resist temperatures of up to 60°C (140°F) – beyond that the printed object’s properties can be substantially altered. Objects printed in multicolor sandstone material are also to some extend fragile (comparable to a porcelaine), therefore it is important to handle work with them with caution. The printed objects have a rough surface and are also relatively porous. Therefore, it is neccessary to protect prints from contact with water because it could lead to running of the colors or discoloration.
Typical use of multicolour prints
Multicolor material can be used for objects with more than one color and for models which don’t need to be functional. The only limitation of design which can be printed is your imagination. Models printed in multicolour are typically models you put on your shelf or on a desk such as architectural scale models, figures, and awards.
At 3D Spectrum, we use a Projet 660Pro printer which prints fullcolor. There are couple of necessary steps need to be undertaken before printing your models.
Before printing your design you have to create a 3D model using a program dedicated to 3D modeling. Two files must then be exported from the 3D modelling program, one with the physical shape and size of your object, the second one with the texture and color details. Both files can be uploaded to our website in the same .zip file.
Your 3D model and texture details are then sent to our 3D printers and prepared for printing in fullcolor material. Printing process will be in our Projet 660Pro by 3D Systems.
Object is 3D printed
Our professional printer Projet 660Pro is used to build your design with this material. Our printer builds up the object from bottom to top, layer by layer. A roller puts a thin layer of powder on a platform and a print head places tiny drops of glue at specific locations, printing a thin layer of your designed models. The platform lowers and the roller spreads another layer of powder. Coloring is completed by combining 4 different pre-colored glues to match the color desired. Once the printing process is done, the model is brittle, but is strengthened by putting it into superglue. A UV coating is sprayed on it to prevent de-coloration by sunlight.
Removing object from batch
Once the printing process is done, the object which is already printed out is after that carefully removed from the batch. The unused powder is then saved and recycled for the next print.
Gluing and cleaning
Unused sandstone which cannot be removed by hand is as the next step removed by pressurized air. The object is then dunked in a cyanoacrylate bath, which further solidifies the object and brings out the colours a bit more.
In order to protect model from strong light exposure, it is give an anti-UV varnish. You can also choose other varnishing options for your prints. If you do so, they would be applied during this stage.
Maintenance and uses
The only material that can be 3D printed in full colour is sandstone. Therefore sandstone is perfect material for figurines, avatars, 3D-scans or whatever that needs to be printed in full colour.
It is important to use caution when transporting or handling the object, because sandstone is as solid and breakable as for example porcelain. Given its fragile nature, the most effective way to use sandstone material is for ornamental objects, that aren’t handled much.
There are three finishing options available through 3D Spectrum:
- Raw: the object is only cleaned of excess powder. This finishing leaves a grainy, rough surface.
- Matte Varnish: the object is coated with a layer of varnish. This increases its resistance to humidity, water, and tumblings. This option leaves a matte finish.
- Glossy Varnish: the object is coated with a layer of glossy varnish. This increases its resistance to humidity, water, and tumblings. The finish has a shiny aspect.
Since the color of the model is 3D printed directly on the piece, you have to upload a file that includes volume and also texture information. In order to do so you can group the two files (volume and texture) into the same .zip file. You will upload the zip. file to our website, which interpret all necessary information within them.
The texture file can contain any of the visible colors at a finesse of 600 x 540 PPI, on the other hand small differences in particular colors might appear between the objects you print, such as blacks and flesh colors. As a result of the shape of your model and the pigment we utilize in our prints.
Multicolor object is much more appealing than just a single color model. As 3D software packages are more often creating multicolor models, multicolour 3D printing is a great choice to make.
The multicolor printed model must be handled with care. However reinforcing the model with superglue is done, the model stays fragile, and has difficulties to absorb shocks.
Take into consideration that the walls of your design need to be 1.5 to 2 mm thick and the details of imprints can be 0.5 to 0.8 mm. Long tiny parts such as thin fingers, tiny hair points, pins or antennas that are 0.8 to 1.5 mm and that stick out would probably not survive.
Thanks to the UV coating, the surface of models is granular but smoothed.