Mimaki brings photo-realistic colour to 3D printing

by FESPA | 31/08/2017
Mimaki brings photo-realistic colour to 3D printing

Mimaki has presented a new approach to 3D printing with the launch of the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 UV LED printing solution, the world’s first 3D printer with over 10 million colours.

The 3DUJ-553 UV LED from Mimaki is claimed to be the world's first 3D printer that can model 10 million colours, eliminating the need for hand painting of 3D printed objects. Furthermore, it builds supports in a water-soluble material that is washed off rather than cut or prized from objects, so there is no risk of their becoming damaged.    

There are two primary issues when it comes to creating 3D printed objects, according to Ronald van den Broek, general sales manager at Mimaki Europe.

To produce objects in photorealistic colour "often requires that objects be hand painted, a time-consuming and expensive prospect," he said. "Secondly, most 3D printed objects require removal of stabilising fixtures before they can be used."

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 can eliminate both of these barriers, explained Mr van den Broek, since it can print photorealistic colour, choosing from up to 10 million different colours. "Its water-soluble support material can easily be washed off without damaging the object," he continued.

The printer employs the digital light processing (DLP) UV LED curing method to print the layers of ink droplets and apply a final ink coating at a minimum height of 22 μm, in CMYK, white and clear inks. It affords high precision in laying down the droplets as well as a choice of three dot sizes for the modelling of color gradations that are less granular.

The 3DUJ-553 enables cost-effective production of elaborate 3D printed products

The inks contain an acrylic resin that possesses hardness equivalent to ABS resin. Objects printed on the 3DUJ-553 are therefore durable enough to withst and post-processing such as overcoating and attachment of screws and other fixtures.

"We showcased the printer and/or objects it has printed at FESPA 2017 and events since that time. Prospective customers tell us this is exactly the 3D printing solution they have been waiting for, and we expect to see fairly rapid uptake once it is commercially available by the end of this year," Van den Broek concluded.

Mimaki expects the 3DUJ-553, which will be available in the UK exclusively through Hybrid Services, to attract particular interest from a range of industries including sign and display graphics, education, healthcare, manufacturing, architecture and construction for colour-realistic production of signs, prototypes, parts and products.

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