[ExI] Full Colour 3D Printing - the next big thing?

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 01:10:07 UTC 2007

If I were a betting man (which I am not, no money you understand),
then I'd say this is indicative of a consumer level 3d printer
industry that'll arrive in around 5 years, and cause a bit of a
ruckus. I'd be worrying if I had a business manufacturing/distributing
little plastic knicknacks (toys? collectibles? how soon until
electronics can be included?):

Contex Z450 3D Printer

Or check out their site:

Color 3D Printing, Every Day
Now you can print 3D color models so quickly and affordably, you'll do
it every day. Introducing the IDEAL/Contex ZPrinter 450.
The IDEAL/Contex ZPrinter 450 makes color 3D printing accessible to
everyone. The lowest priced color 3D printer available, the
IDEAL/Contex ZPrinter 450 outputs brillant color models with
timesaving automation and an even easier printing process. It is the
ideal introduction to color 3D printing for a wide variety of
applications from product design, production prototypes, and
architectural and gis concepts to education, healthcare, and the arts.

Build full-color 3D models when you want, with the remarkable
IDEAL/Contex ZPrinter 450.

More Models

Experience the world's faster print speed (5X faster than all other systems)
Output models in hours, not days
Build multiple models at the same time by stacking and nesting parts
Support an entire engineering department or classroom with ease
More Communication
3D models and product prototypes are about communication, and nothing
communicates better than color. Color dramatically communicates
engineering product designs, vividly renders architectural designs,
and even brings animated characters into the real world.

Produce realistic color models without painting
Better evaluate the look, feel, and style of product designs
Add highlights to models with annotations like text, arrows, and texture maps
More Free Time
The IDEAL/Contex Zprinter 450 performs most operations automatically
so you don't have to, and it simplifies the rest.

40% less operator touch time for setup and model removal
Automated setup and self monitoring
Automated powder loading and recycling
New "snap-in" binder cartridges
Office Friendly
The IDEAL/Contex Zprinter 450 sets the stardard for office
compatiblity with breakthrough innovations that make it ideal for
everyday use in a standard office environment. It eliminates nearly
all of the hazards, waste, noise, and disposal issues that are
associated with typical rapid prototyping systems, and does so in a
remarkably compact footprint.


Most advanced powder-management system available on an inkjet 3D printer
Closed-loop powder loading, removal, and recycling
Continous negative pressure for containing airborne particles within
the envelope of the machine
Zero liquid waste to handle
Noise-suppression technologies for quiet, intrusion-free operation Safe

Similar to a common 2D inkjet printer
Eco-friendly, non-hazardous build material
No physical support structures attached to models, like other 3D
printers. And no need to remove those supports with dangerous cutting
tools or toxic chemicals

Greater control from ZPrint Software and printer
Automatic powder loading
Snap-in binder cartridges
Easily changeable print heads

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