Sep 1, 2017 | By Benedict

Inkjet printing specialist Mimaki has announced its 3DUJ-553 UV LED 3D printing solution, billed as the first 3D printer with “over 10 million colors.” The 3D printer eliminates the need for the hand painting of printed items.

While you’re unlikely to find truly high-quality color 3D printing on consumer-level 3D printers, color printing is developing fast in the industrial market. Claiming to offer “a brand new approach to 3D printing,” Japanese company Mimaki has just become the latest name to throw its hat into the ring of color 3D printing.

With the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 UV LED printing solution, Mimaki says users will be able to print with over 10 million colors, giving them the capacity to make color-realistic signs, prototypes, and various printed products.

“As the 3D printing market continues to grow, Mimaki has capitalized on an opportunity to bring a truly unique solution to the market,” commented Ronald van den Broek, General Manager Sales at Mimaki Europe.

That solution consists of a new UV LED curing method, which provides the 3DUJ-553 with the ability to produce objects layer by layer before applying a final UV ink coating of approximately 22 microns using CMYK, white, and clear inks. This full-color approach is able to achieve 84 per cent of the FOGRA 39L color gamut and 90 per cent of the SWOP gamut.

And these colors can be very precisely controlled too. Included with the 3DUJ-553 3D printing package is an advanced simulation software package that allows users to see a realistic representation of their colored object before printing. “This ensures accurate color specification before printing even begins, saving time and reducing waste,” Mimaki says.

“Other 3D printing solutions have two primary issues when it comes to creating 3D printed objects,” said van den Broek. “First, they cannot produce objects in photorealistic color. This often requests that objects be hand painted, a time-consuming and expensive prospect. Secondly, most 3D printed objects require removal of stabilizing fixtures before they can be used. This again takes time and risks damaging the object.”

There are more exciting features on the 3DUJ-553 as well. For one, Mimaki has enabled the use of clear inks, which allow users to incorporate varying degrees of translucency to their 3D printed parts. But Mimaki has also worked to make these materials as strong as they are visually impressive: the acrylic resins purportedly produce hardness equivalent to ABS.

Other useful features include precise laydown of ink droplets and a choice of three dot sizes for modeling of color gradations with less granularity, while the printer also uses a water-soluble support structure which can be easily washed away with water, minimizing the time required for post-processing.

Finally, the 3DUJ-553 also includes a camera for the remote monitoring of print jobs.

“We believe this printer will be warmly welcomed by professionals in many industries, from signs and display graphics to education, healthcare, manufacturing, architecture, construction, and more,” van den Broek added.

Time will tell if that prediction is right, but any new offering in color 3D printing should be welcomed with open arms.

Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer specs:

  • Printing technology: UV curable inkjet
  • Build volume: 508 × 508 × 305 mm
  • Minimum layer height: 22 microns
  • 3D data format: STL, OBJ, VRML, PLY, 3MF
  • Colors: 10 million +



Posted in 3D Printer



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