The world of full-color FDM is an interesting one, with numerous companies working to establish the best method for turning the low-cost, but capable technology into a full-color process. And now, a new product has just come on the market from a-z-ia.net Ltd. that offers a unique color FDM process, in the form of a DIY kit called the Lunavast CrafteHbot.

Unlike the Spectrom extruder, which dyes filament as it enters the extruder, and botObject’s process, which melts CMYKW filaments within the printhead before extrusion, the Lunavast CrafteHbot uses a hacked inkjet system from a 2D printer to color prints after they’re printed. The patent pending process is described as “Direct to Object”, in that a 3D printed object is dyed as it is rotated from different angles.




From what I can tell, there may be several limitations to this technique. One is that a-z-ia.net requires users to hack 2D printers on their own to obtain the inkjet head to install on their device. Another is that the need to color the object after it is printed requires objects to be simple enough that they can be rotated and colored on each side, so it is not fully automated and the company says, “As the ink spraying distance of the inkjet printer is just within 10mm, in case the 3D printed objects have too complecated shape, they must be divided to several pieces so that the entire surface can be painted. Then, the all pieces can be assembled.”

For Makers that want to bring full-color printing to their desktop sooner rather than later, though, the Lunavast CrafteHbot could prove to be quite a capable device. The frame is made from aluminum for stability, while two Bondtech QR extruders and double drive gears are meant to eliminate drive slippage, and an Adruino Due with 32-bit CPU powers the device. The build size for single color printing is 200x200x200mm, reduced to 150x150x150mm for full-color, and a heated bed allows for the printing of PLA, PETG, ABS, and more. With a nozzle diameter of .4 mm, the CrafteHbot can print 1.75 mm filaments at layers as fine as 100 microns at speeds of 50-150mm/s.

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