Jun 19, 2017 | By Benedict

Mosaic Manufacturing, a 3D printing specialist based in Toronto, Canada, has today introduced Palette+, a 3D printing device that enables multi-material printing in single-extruder FDM 3D printers. Palette+ is an upgraded version of Palette, Mosaic’s flagship product.

3D printers with multiple extruders are becoming increasingly common these days, as more and more makers look to benefit from the many advantages of multi-material printing: printing soluble support structures, printing multicolor objects, and printing structures with both flexible and rigid areas (to name just a few).

But what about 3D printers with just one extruder? Some of these machines are still fantastic 3D printers in other respects, and surely don’t deserve to be left behind just because other machines have doubled down on extrusion. It was for this very reason that Canadian 3D printing company Mosaic Manufacturing created a device that can turn ordinary, single-extruder 3D printers into machines with multi-material capabilities.

The original version of that device, Palette, was released last year, and we actually got a chance to go and have a look at the cool 3D printer add-on in action at Mosaic HQ in Toronto. Now, however, Mosaic has released the second version of the multi-material device.

The upgraded 3D printing device, called Palette+, keeps the useful, one-of-a-kind “splicing” functionality of the original while adding new material compatibility and increased reliability—while somehow knocking $200 off the price. Palette+ costs $799, a reduction that has been attributed to Mosaic’s improved manufacturing and testing efficiencies.

New material compatibility combinations on Palette+ include PLA/PLA, PETG/PETG, PLA/TPU (select flexibles), and PLA/Scaffold (select water-solubles). These combinations allow makers to carry out a whole new range of 3D printing projects on single-extruder 3D printers.

“One of the most frequent requests we received from Palette owners was compatibility with soluble materials,” Mosaic wrote in a blog post. “Today, we’re happy to announce that Palette+ works with select water-soluble support materials. We searched for a high-quality, widely available water-soluble filament, and we found it in Scaffold from E3D’s spoolWorks. Scaffold is the first water-soluble material that is compatible with Palette.”

But there’s more than just new material compatibility in Palette+. At the heart of the new 3D printer add-on is a new filament splicing technology, which enables the combination of different materials in a single print. This new splicing technology purportedly creates “stronger, more consistent splices, which leads to substantially more reliable performance and a better user experience.”

“Both Palette and Palette+ accept multiple filaments, cut them into precise segments, and use heat to splice filaments together into multi-segment strands of filament (which are fed to your printer in real time),” Mosaic explains. “Palette does this by pressing a carefully crafted heating element directly against filament (we call this open splicing). By contrast, Palette+ features new splicing technology that we call closed splicing. In this paradigm, the heating element never makes direct contact with the filament. Instead, a hot element heats an enclosed chamber that houses the filament.”

As part of the Palette+ launch, Mosaic Manufacturing has also partnered with Robo 3D, the 3D printer company behind the Robo C2, Robo R2, and other machines. The deal will see Robo 3D customers given access to printer-specific onboarding for Palette+, providing them with a unique, tailored experience and easy access to multi-color, multi-material technology. “Mosaic and Robo 3D together aim to bring Palette+ to new segments of the 3D printing market,” Mosaic says.

Palette+ will start shipping in late July. It is compatible with most 1.75mm FDM 3D printers that use .gcode/.x3g print files and accept non-proprietary filament. The launch will coincide with the release of Chroma 2.0, an updated version of Mosaic’s 3D printing software for Palette+. Mosaic says the biggest change to Chroma is its new G-code processing engine, but there is also improved onboarding, better print generation tools, and new material profiles.

Makers can find out if their 3D printer is compatible with Palette+ by filling out a survey.



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories



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Feign wrote at 6/22/2017 11:09:58 PM:

A double mobius strip with the soluble support still on it. In the video, they wash the white stuff off and reveal the actual finished print.

Tom McBaum wrote at 6/22/2017 4:30:01 PM:

What is with that hideously ugly print in the top photo?

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