Stratasys 3D printer first to create multicoloured, flexible materials

The world's first 3D printer capable of multi-material, full-colour 3D printing has been unveiled by MakerBot owner Stratasys.

The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer is a $330,000 manufacture-level printer that's aimed at designers and manufacturers who want to speed up bringing prototypes to market.

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Stratasys marketing manager Bruce Bradshaw told the BBC: "This will help industrial designers reduce the time it takes to bring prototypes to market by 50 per cent."

The triple jet technology uses droplets of three base materials, including rubber and plastic, much like 2D printing's multicolour system, in order to print flexible materials in hundreds of different colours.

While this is industrial-level printing right now, the technology will filter down to consumers. This is a huge step towards widening the range of products available to print from a 3D printer.

READ: 3D printing: Everything you need to know and when it'll be affordable