So far, we have talked about the printing process where the color comes from the material.
You can print objects in red using red filament with the filament printer, or mixed black and white powder with the material jetting printer to print grey.
But what if you want to print in full color?
The full color process uses gypsum powder, which is the white mineral that is also used to create plaster. The 3d printer separates the gypsum powder into thin layers, the printer uses the inkjet module to deposit liquid binder essentially glue onto the surface bonding the powder layers together.
The uncolored models are often white color, but the printer can also deposit ink at the same time using CMYK inks, just like an inkjet printer.
The color on the model like this doesn’t run all the way through, it is only printed a couple meters deep on it’s surface.
The gypsum-based models have a beautiful color, but sometimes they would be some of rough when finished.
There are some variations in the materials that are available depending on the powder usages.
From powders that build decorative prints and used on presentation models to the powders that can create flexible prints.
If you want a full-color print, you can commonly find this kind of printers through the printing service.
There are also smaller printers that are available, they bring full-color printing within reaching of small businesses and even individuals, they created for product designers, architects, or anyone who wants to show up full-color prototypes or models.
Remember that the common SDL format that is used for many 3d printers doesn’t include color information. So if you design it for a full-color printer, you need to use another format, either X3D, VRML, WRL, or PLY formats, to make sure that your files include full color.