Printing in pixels?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GarySG, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. GarySG
    GarySG New Member
    So, I was watching a video of an objet printer earlier, and it displayed them using white and black plastics materials, as well as a support material in a single print. That alone, is pretty damn amazing. Not only that, but they were able to combine the white and black on some of the sections of the part to produce a seemless gray color. So white, black, and every shade of gray in between is possible to be printed in one part, in theory. This got me thinking..

    If they were able to add one extra material option, and you made the colors RED, BLUE, and GREEN.. could you not use them in the same way a computer monitor uses pixels? To produce full color prints out of plastic by combining the different colors together in the model, and the color wouldn't just be surface deep, so it wouldn't have the draw backs that full color SS has.

    It would be understandably more difficult to design a part for this though, you'd need to have different bodies inside the file that were assigned the individual colors, most likely. So the STL format, and other common ones alike would be inept. Or, you could just use the files that store the texture as well, and the shapeways computers could sort out where the different color plastics would go based off of the texture map.

    Anywho, I know this is lengthy, but the applications for objet printers seem unlimited!
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Yea, that tech has been around for a little while. How to do the file is the issue.
  3. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Good point Gair.

    Both printers are using inkjet so I don't see why Objet hasn't implemented this in color. It must be something related to patent issues I would think.
  4. Wahtah
    Wahtah Well-Known Member
    You would need 5 colors to 3D print full color: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, White and Black.

    It's like a color inkjet paper printer, except that doesn't need white because the paper is already white. Paper printers also don't really need black, because the colors are transparent and can be layered on top of each other. Doing this would cause blurry, murky text so black is added as a separate color. If you want to 3D print color through and through you'll need non-transparent colors, so you'll have to have separate black.

  5. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    I think what you meant was red, blue and yellow, since those are the primary colours from which all others are derived. So, yes, in the future we could be using those - with black and white, or the standard could be CMYK as wahtah alluded to.

    Whichever, I hope it comes soon.

  6. GarySG
    GarySG New Member
    I used red, blue, and green as an example because those are the colors used in computer monitors. But someone above had a good point, that black and white would also need to be included. Although I'm not sure if there is a difference in application between using red, blue, and green/yellow VS using magenta, cyan, and yellow.
  7. mygadgetlife
    mygadgetlife Well-Known Member
    Red, blue and green as used by computer displays - well, any colour display - are using an additive process. For example, you get yellow light by mixing green and blue light.

    Printed materials use the CMYK process, a subtractive process where nominally white light is filtered by the inks before it reaches your eyeball. For example, to get red, mix cyan and magenta (maybe yellow?) to filter out everything but red.

    As mentioned above, this is how FCSS is printed. In theory, with a small enough nozzle, you could have a printer that delivers CMYK coloured material mixed in such a way as to appear full colour - but the 'dots' of material would have to be really tiny (the size of a retina display pixel) to make the model appear anything but grainy.

    I have no doubt that it will happen (the same way people talked about colour laser printers when the first laser printers hit the market).