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ColorMod Technology Enables 3D Printing Components To Change Color After Printing
Mar 16, 2018

Massachusetts institute of technology of computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory (CSAIL), researchers have developed a process, a 3D printing unit can change the color after printing, this is called ColorMod methods depend on the special 3D printing ink and UV sensitive.


CSAIL researchers at the Massachusetts institute of technology in material manufacturing progress there are some very startling, including the ability to generate conforms to certain features needed for 3D software system can print microstructure, as well as from stamp pad out of the 3D printing hydraulic robot.

The lab's latest achievement is not surprising, because it allows users to print color changes in 3D.Conceptually similar to a 4D printed object - changing the printed shape after exposure to certain elements - the printed matter produced using the ColorMod process is not the final form when removed from the build board.


The researchers used their special ultraviolet sensitive biological dye to completely repaint 3D printed plastic objects in more than 20 minutes.As research progresses, they hope to speed up the process.

But how does it work?So, according to the CSAIL team, it only needs to upload the 3D model to its ColorMod software, which allows it to select a color pattern for the object.Once the object is printed in full color, the team will expose it to ultraviolet or visible light (or part of it).

Parts of 3D printed objects that are exposed to ultraviolet light become colored, while parts exposed to visible light (such as the projector light) lose their color and become transparent.These reactions are special light response inks made from basic dyes, photoinitiators (which harden ink during printing) and light adaptive dyes (which bring the color of basic dyes).


Discoloured ink samples

The researchers hope their ColorMod technology will work with 3D printed plastic, and will eventually be applied to textiles and clothing.

"To a large extent, now people consuming more than 20 years ago, and they are responsible for a large number of waste," electrical engineering and computer science and mechanics department X Consortium Stefanie Mueller commented, assistant professor of career development."By changing the color of the object, you don't have to create a whole new object every time."

A specific application of this technology is 3D printing accessories, which can be matched and customized according to the user's wearing condition.CSAIL also recommends that retailers use the technology to customize products on the spot.Want the belt to be blue instead of green?ColorMod may be the answer!

Punpongsanon added: "this is the first 3D printed photochromic system with a complete printing and recoloring process, which is relatively easy for users."3D printing is an important step forward in dynamically updating and printing objects in an economically efficient way."