Last week we discussed the “value of functional prototypes” in rapid prototyping and today we are going to continue with a discussion about the color capabilities of the HP Jet Fusion technology.

Color Capabilities of HP Jet Fusion Technology

Color Capabilities of HP Jet Fusion Technology

There are many ways to improve the value of a prototype, but one that is often overlooked is the addition of color. With the HP Jet Fusion 580/380 Color 3D Printers, it is now possible to print fully functional, color 3D parts.

Adding color to prototypes is one way to test final part colors, but there are other ways to use color in prototypes.

“One application we see is in aerospace,” said Ken Burns, the Technical Sales Director for Forecast 3D, a custom manufacturing and 3D printing service bureau. “Color can be used to differentiate the functional and the placeholder parts in an assembly. Red would be a great indicator for this since it draws attention.”

Color also can be used to easily label or differentiate segments of a prototype, for example, in a part where fluids flow through different channels. Even simple text labels like a prototype revision number or the name of the designer who created the part can be incredibly valuable in offices where there could be dozens of similar-looking prototypes.

“Adding color adds an important visual context to a part,” Burns said. “Anything that allows customers to better understand their final part is useful.”

Color is just another tool to leverage when using HP 3D Printing for rapid prototyping.

“Color helps communicate: Whether it’s a visualization of FEA results, highlighting important features, or revealing suggested changes, color adds another layer of metadata that remains with the physical part,” says Boyes from SIGMADESIGN.

Stay tuned for our last segment in this series of rapid prototyping when we will discuss scaling to production.