If you have been in the 3D printing community for any amount of time you likely know who Mosaic is. If you don’t, it makes the Palette 2, an add-on for your 3D printer that allows you to use multiple different filaments through a single extruder. On Tuesday, March 30 2021, Mosaic announced its update to the Palette series, the Palette 3 and 3 Pro, as well as two new products called the Element and the Array.
The Element and the Array
As a commercial endeavor, it can be hard to 3D print on a large scale. Often the cost doesn’t decrease the more you print like other manufacturing processes and the man-hours can actually increase as you build your empire. Mosaic seeks to change that by automating the printing process with its new system, the Array.
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The Array is built from four Element HT 3D printers and a robotic system that replaces the build plates after each print is finished. This means fewer man-hours spent changing prints and more time actually printing. Each Element 3D printer has a commercial version of the Palette material handling system, called the Palette X, allowing them to print with eight different materials or colors, including exotic filaments like PEEK and Ultem. The Array isn’t for hobbyists either. This is a serious piece of equipment that will cost nearly $60,000 to get you started.
Array’s impact on manufacturing comes from the benefits of enabling 3D printing for scaled applications. Flexible output, mass customization, faster turnaround times, and unrestricted part geometries are now able to be accessed in production volumes of hundreds of thousands of parts per year. – Chris Labelle, COO, Mosaic Manufacturing
The Element HT 3D printer itself has a 355 x 355 x355mm (14 x 14 x 14 inches) build volume and features high-end features like a nozzle capable of 500 degrees Celcius and a build plate temperatures of up to 120 degrees Celcius. This means you can print exotic filaments like PEEK and Ultem without having to modify your printer. It also comes with the Palette X integrated into the design, making it even easier to print different filaments or different colors of the same filament.
The Element HT will be available for $9,999 starting in November 2021 with a low-temperature configuration starting at $5,999 available at the same time and both will have the integrated Palette X as standard.
The Palette 3
The Palette system works by feeding different materials, or different colors of the same material, into a splicing system that cuts them and welds them together into a single strand. This strand can then be fed into your existing 3D printer, like the Prusa Mk3 and, with the help of some software magic, create a multicolored print straight from a single extruder.
The Palette 3 builds on the successful Palette 2 by integrating the Canvas Hub directly into the unit. This means everything is far more automated and allows for less user error in the process. The Palette 3 comes in two flavors, the standard and the Pro version. The standard version will allow you to mix and match four different filaments, while the Pro version will allow for eight.
The palette 3 and 3 Pro will be available at a preorder price of $499 and $699 respectively, rising to $599 and $799 when it hits regular stores.