Full-colour, multi-material 3D printing manufacturing services

Shapeways and Stratasys have partnered to make full-colour, multi-material 3D printing more accessible to designers and creators.

The companies say they are bringing the full potential of the Stratasys J750 3D Printer to a broader market, including customers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to use the technology due to lack of expertise, barriers-to-access, or economics. It is claimed to enable designers and engineers to build highly realistic prototypes with streamlined design-to-prototype workflows, decreasing both time-to-market and time-to-revenue.

Greg Kress, CEO of Shapeways, said: “The vivid colours of the Stratasys J750 3D Printer will enable the Shapeways community of designers, businesses, students, and artists to realise their brightest ideas and boldest ambitions in true physical form with full-colour, texture mapping and colour gradients.”

The J750 offers more than 500,000 colour combinations, accurate colour-matching, transparent to opaque colour gradients, and clear material with texture bringing to life the finest details. The PolyJet-driven solution creates parts that look, feel, and operate like finished products and eliminates the need for painting, assembly or heavy post-processing.

Shapeways will help design printable objects that fully utilise the printer’s capability, running the printers at scale, and delivering finished products that are ready to use or sell.

Pat Carey, senior vice president of sales North America for Stratasys, said: “With Shapeways, the unmatched capabilities of the J750 will now be made available to an entirely new community of designers and creators.”

Biologic Models is one of the first Shapeways customers to have unprecedented access to the Stratasys J750 printer. The company visualises protein data and 3D prints it as highly detailed models (pictured). These multi-coloured models help explain the nature of health and disease taking place on the molecular landscape and are a useful visual aid for educators explaining the properties of a specific protein.

Casey Steffen, founder and director of operations of Biologic Models, added: “Transparency and colour coding are necessary features to create the highest quality and most durable models. The J750 tackles these design and manufacturing challenges head on.”

Beta customers will be able to access the service before the end of the year, with a full launch expected in 2019.