Mimaki brings photo-realistic colour to 3D printing with unique 3DUJ-553 UV LED solution

Mimaki has announced the launch of a brand new approach to 3D printing with the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 UV LED printing solution. This is the world’s first 3D printer with over 10 million colours, enabling the production of colour-realistic signs, prototypes, parts, products and other 3D printed applications that eliminate the need for time-consuming hand painting of 3D printed objects..

“As the 3D printing market continues to grow, Mimaki has capitalised on an opportunity to bring a truly unique solution to the market,” says Ronald van den Broek, General Manager Sales at Mimaki Europe. “Other 3D printing solutions have two primary issues when it comes to creating 3D printed objects. First, they cannot produce objects in photorealistic colour. This often requires that objects be hand painted, a time-consuming and expensive prospect. Secondly, most 3D printed objects require removal of stabilising fixtures before they can be used. This again takes time and risks damaging the object. With the Mimaki 3DUJ-553, both of these barriers are eliminated, since it can print photorealistic colour, choosing from up to 10 million different colours. And its water-soluble support material can easily be washed off without damaging the object. This enables the cost-effective production of exquisite 3D printed products with elaborate finishing. We believe this printer will be warmly welcomed by professionals in many industries, from signs & display graphics to education, healthcare, manufacturing, architecture, construction and more.”

Mimaki has a long history of bringing innovative inkjet printing solutions to the market, for the printing of everything from banners and dimensional signs to textiles and direct print to cylindrical objects. Exclusively distributed in the UK and Ireland by Hybrid Services, company director, Phil Thomas states “Mimaki has used its significant knowledge and expertise in the development of the 3DUJ-553 full-colour 3D printer and we fully anticipate it satisfying even the most exacting professional requirements for full-colour modelling of 3D objects of all types.”

The 3DUJ-553 uses a highly precise laydown of ink droplets coupled with a choice of three dot sizes for modelling of colour gradations with reduced granularity. These 3D printed objects are also durable enough to withstand post-processing such as overcoating and attachment of screws and other fixtures.

“We showed this as a technology demonstration at drupa 2016 to rave reviews,” Van den Broek comments. “And we have shown the printer and/or objects it has printed at a variety of shows and events since that time. Prospective customers tell us this is exactly the 3D printing solution they have been waiting for, and we expect to see fairly rapid uptake once it is commercially available by the end of this year. Customers will also be able to take advantage of Mimaki’s excellent service and support infrastructure to get up and running fast, and to ensure uninterrupted production to the fullest extent possible.”

The details: Focus on colour

  • More than 10 million colours. With its UV LED curing method, the 3DUJ-553 is able to produce objects layer by layer and apply a final UV ink coating of approximately 22 microns using CMYK, white and clear inks, producing a finished object of exquisite quality. UV LED curing also applies minimal heat to the object. The printer exhibits fast start-up times and minimal power usage, reducing the overall running costs.
  • Extended colour gamut. This full-colour modelling approach is able to achieve 84% of the FOGRA 39L colour gamut and 90% of the SWOP gamut. A white ink layer results in objects featuring brilliant colours.
  • Colour profiles. The 3DUJ-553 is the world’s first 3D printer to take advantage of colour profiles. This means not only accurate colour from the printer but also allows the development of simulation profiles for accurate viewing of colour on a PC monitor. This ensures accurate colour specification before printing even begins, saving time and reducing waste.
  • Add translucency with clear ink. Using clear ink adds an additional effect to 3D printed objects, especially if the object will be backlit. The combination of clear and CMYK inks opens the door to increased designer creativity.
  • Excellent post-process performance. The inks used by the 3DUJ-553 contain an acrylic resin that produces hardness equivalent to ABS resin. This means that overcoating, drilling and attachment of screws can be accomplished without damage to the object. It also adds superior weather resistance, surface smoothness and strength to the object.
  • Water-soluble support material. The 3DUJ-553 uses a water-soluble support structure which can be easily washed away with water. This enables removal of the support material even on very delicate objects, without the need to cut or scratch away support material as in other 3D printing processes.
  • Camera for monitoring of modelling status. The 3DUJ-553 has a monitoring camera that enables users to observe modelling status, reducing modelling losses.