It’s undeniable that FFF (fused filament fabrication) 3D printing has revolutionized making. The ability to quickly fabricate mechanical parts is indispensable, but most makers are limited to printing in just a single color with whatever filament they have on hand. The new da Vinci Color Mini makes it possible to print across the whole color spectrum, and is currently in the crowdfunding stage on Indiegogo.
While full-color 3D printing has been around for many years now, virtually all of the printers that have that capability have been expensive powder-based inkjet types. Most consumer 3D printers use the FFF printing process, which utilizes filament that’s manufactured with color. The da Vinci Color Mini, like the larger da Vinci Color before it, uses a CMY inkjet to add pigment to the filament as it’s being extruded. Both models can use that technology to print objects with millions of colors, the new da Vinci Color Mini is just a smaller and more affordable model.
The da Vinci Color Mini has a build volume of 5.1 x 5.1 x 5.1 inches, which is on the small side, but still enough for most common projects. It has a touchscreen interface, and popular features like auto-leveling and wireless printing. There is even an available add-on laser engraving module. Everything is controlled with proprietary software that handles the coloring, and which included 3D modeling software. Printing in color requires special PLA that is $35 for a 600g roll, and ink cartridges that are $70 each for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
At retail, the da Vinci Color Mini will cost $1,600, but early bird backers can get one for $999. The campaign is running for two more months, and rewards are expected to ship in December.