Show a 3D printer to the layman and they’ll probably be impressed by what it can do, but he’ll also probably wonder why the prints are usually monochromatic. While multi-colour (and usually multi extruder head as well) 3D printers exist, they’re usually more expensive and/or complex. Luckily, the Palette can change that.

On the surface, what this machine does is very simple: it can merge up to four different strands of 1.75 milimetre PLA filament into a single, multi-coloured filament. This can then be fed into a single extruder head and, thanks to software that tells the printer how to use it, colourful 3D prints emerge.

The result is the ability to take any single 3D printer and turn it into a four-colour machine without the need to significantly alter or replace it.

Beginning life as a Kickstarter campaign, the Palette can now be bought outright from Mosaic Manufacturing. It will cost you $999 (R15 825), plus a minimum of 

If that’s too rich for your blood, and you don’t want to wait for the August 2016 shipping date, you can make your own. The software and firmware is open source (or, at least, that’s what the Kickstarter campaign page promises). We poked around on the their site to try and find that information and, while the resource page does give you something to work with, it’s not a lot. This may be one of those “information on request” kind of deals.

Finally, it’s mentioned in the video that 3D printer manufacturers have approached Mosaic Manufacturing to directly incorporate this tech into their printers. Apparently we could be seeing printers shipped in 2017 with a Palette system already inside.

[Source – Tested on YouTube]