M3D Launches Crane Quad Full-Color Palette Desktop 3D Printer

M3D begins a new era of color 3D printing with the launch of its Crane Quad 3D printer. Designed for enthusiasts, Crane Quad is the industry’s first multi-material desktop 3D printer that can produce true multi-colored objects.

“Our new Crane Quad desktop 3D color printer is a real breakthrough in 3D printing capability and affordability,” said Michael Armani, co-founder and CEO of M3D. “Its ability to print multiple colors and multiple materials simultaneously is a first, and it takes us one step closer to 3D printers being able to produce real-world objects that outperform traditional manufacturing, both in cost and performance.”

Historically, filament-based 3D printers have been limited to extruding with only one material at a time, which requires users to make complex hardware modifications or to manually guide different materials between layers to get even a few colors in a print. Thus, full-color prints are typically outsourced to services that lease expensive, industrial 3D color printers.

Through Crane Quad’s innovative technology, users can now print more than 50,000 colors by mixing up to four colors of standard 1.75 mm filament. From common base colors, users can create numerous color palettes covering most of the color spectrum. The base colors needed are CMYK: cyan, magenta and yellow with black, white or transparent as keys. In addition, Crane Quad allows users to print objects in any single color without the cost of owning dozens of traditional filament spools, and allows the physical characteristics of different materials to be fused into a single object with new properties.

“Just as M3D started the home 3D printing revolution in 2014, today we continue to drive the evolution of consumer color 3D printing with the introduction of Crane Quad,” said Armani. “For M3D, this launch is not just about introducing groundbreaking innovation – it represents our company’s commitment to the full-color 3D printing movement, and our dedication to providing consumers with the tools to get closer to the widespread on-demand use of 3D printed products that we know is the future.”

Crane Quad features an all-new QuadFusion™ 3D Print Head, which enables the printer to print and blend four filament colors. A first-of-its-kind, this direct-drive extruder can mix both colors and material type of most 1.75 mm filaments. The head is equipped with four motors, three fans, and a 0.35 mm mixing nozzle.

Crane Quad also includes a new open-source controller board, called the Duet 2 Maestro, which was co-designed and made in partnership with Duet3D. The board features five-axis motion control with unprecedented 256 microstep resolution, 120 MHz Atmel/Microchip ARM processor, and micro USB and micro SD card ports. Its Ethernet connectivity enables a user-friendly webhost interface, which works natively on any web-enabled device.

Pricing for Crane Quad starts at $399. The first batch of orders is expected to ship in August.

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