XYZprinting’s full-colour 3D printer ‘paints’ your builds as it makes them

The XYZprinting da Vinci Color is the world’s first full-colour desktop 3D printer, announced at IFA 2017.

3D printing has revolutionised industrial prototyping, and it’s great for persevering arty-crafty types who really don’t mind getting stuck in at the deep end. But getting a print that looks remotely ‘finished’ has been a long way off – until now.

The XYZprinting da Vinci Color is the first desktop 3D printer to build in full colour. It uses a separate CMYK inkjet print head to spray each layer of specially developed transparent PLA plastic as it’s extruded by the FDM 3D-printing head. It even colours the base of the model.

Related: A guide to 3D printing

This process allows for a range of 16 million colours to be used on a single build, without needing any additional filament colours or to change reels mid-print. The build volume is a reasonable 20 x 20 x 15cm.

As an artist’s tool, this printer has enormous potential. I got a chance to take a look at the da Vinci Color well before launch, and the results were pretty amazing. Colours were slightly muted, but excellent in their range and seemed almost slightly holographic in places. Detail was truly impressive. Sadly I wasn’t allowed to take any photos.

The XYZprinting da Vinci Color will cost €3599, with 600g of the transparent PLA costing €39 and a pack of four 20ml ink cartridges weighing in at €65. Hopefully we’ll have a full review of it soon.

Is this what you’ve been waiting for before taking the plunge into 3D printing? Let us know on Twitter @trustedreviews