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I just found out that Shapeways is offering full color 3D printing using a Zcorp 650 3D printer. This isn’t painted, but rather embedded in the materials (there are binder, powder and five inkjet color cartridges used at print time). Haven’t tried it out yet, but it looks pretty good. The alien here is about $70 and stands 15.5cm high.


From the Shapeways site:

The process itself works by a printing head incredibly similar to a inkjet printing head depositing a powdered plaster material and also adding color to the print. The material used is a powdered plaster. Traditional issues with the Zcorp process are flaking, lack of structural strength and a ‘washed out’ look.

To combat this lack of strength Shapeways uses a rapid thermoset composites. These add significant strength to the 3D printed parts as compared to traditional Zcorp finishing techniques such as infusion with cyanoacrylate (Super Glue). Additionally a unique machine is also used to apply the composite materials using a resin infusion method. Compared to traditional Zcorp parts the Shapeways Full Color 3D printed models and parts will be stronger and have brighter clearer colors.


John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works at Disney Research and writes for Make and Boing Boing. He is training for American Ninja Warrior. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.

  • Tim

    0:12 – Why would you need to rapid prototype LEGO?


    • johnrdupree

      Maybe the were prototyped *for* LEGO.
      Then again, LEGO probably has plenty of rapid prototyping gear.

  • charlie

    To make parts that LEGO doesn’t

  • Anonymous

    And inside, too!

  • Anonymous

    Video shows the process of 3D printing. The video shows also some good 3D printing materials. and how does it make. I got very good information about 3D printing. Thanks for sharing this information.