Formnext 2017 marks the first unveiling to the 3D industry of the Mimaki 3DUJ-553, the world’s first full-colour 3D printer capable of printing up to 10 million different colour combinations with ICC profiling. The company will also be showing the Mimaki UJF-7151plus UV LED direct-to-object flatbed printer to demonstrate their advanced UV inkjet printing technology, which serves as the base of their 3D technology.
“Making the leap from UV-curable 2D inkjet printing devices to 3D printing was a logical step for Mimaki,” said Ronald van den Broek, Sales Manager EMEA at Mimaki Europe. “Mimaki has dedicated significant R&D resources to our 3D development efforts, and the 3DUJ-553 is our first foray into the 3D market. We’re using a unique technique, based on our highly successful UV inkjet printing technology. This technology is already being used in a wide range of 2D UV flatbed and roll-to-roll printers that create signs, display graphics, promotional items and more.”
The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer jets successive layers of ink, which are instantly cured by UV light until the object is fully formed. Fine layers accumulate on the build tray to create one or several precise 3D models or parts. Where overhangs or complex shapes require support, the 3D printer jets a removable support material. It uses LED curing for reduced energy usage and is differentiated from other 3D printers in a number of aspects, including:
- The ability to print full colour objects with more than 10 million colours. Colour profiles can be used to ensure accurate and consistent colour. This means no overpainting is required, saving time and labour.
- It offers white ink, as well as a clear ink overcoat that adds vibrancy to the printed product. Its clear ink can also be combined with colour ink to create half colour transparent models.
- Its support materials can be removed with a simple water wash, eliminating the need to manually cut tags or other support structures.
- It features a maximum build size of 50 x 50 x 30 cm, larger than comparable 3D printers.
Drawing upon its many years of UV-curable inkjet printing in the 2D world, Mimaki has also equipped the 3DUJ-553 with its proprietary core technologies, including ink circulation system to prevent clogging and Nozzle Checking Unit (NCU). Printhead nozzles are automatically checked for any malfunction, with an effective nozzle substitution strategy that enables continuous printing, even if a nozzle is not operating correctly. In addition, the printer is equipped with an internal monitoring camera that enables operators to monitor the progress of the printing.
Combining 3D printing with 2D printing for added value
Also on display will be the Mimaki UJF-7151plus flatbed UV printer. Geared to on-demand printing of the very highest quality at industrial production levels of output, the UJF-7151plus is ideal for decorative printing on 3D models as well as multi-layer printing on diverse materials, ranging from plastics and glass to metal and wood. The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 is based on the same proven technology that Mimaki has successfully deployed to the market with the UJF-7151plus flatbed UV printer.
“As Mimaki moves into the world of 3D printing and additive manufacturing,” van den Broek added, “we are looking forward to our first participation in this important industry event. It’s a great opportunity to speak with attendees about the exceptional possibilities that our technologies bring to their businesses, offering quality, speed to market and reduced costs that will add competitive differentiation for both brands and manufacturers.”