The pace of advancement related to additive manufacturing and 3D printing techniques has been literally amazing.  Today, printing technology provider Stratasys announced what it describes as a new historical milestone and game changer in 3D printing.

The company announced the introduction of the Stratasys J750,a multi-color, multi-material series of 3D printing technology. According to the announcement, this printer allows product designers to choose from more than 360,000 different color shades plus multiple material properties ranging from rigid, flexible and opaque or transparent. Printed product prototypes can now include a vast array of color combinations, materials and material properties in the same part.

The provider claims that the new technology can streamline the overall time that new  products are initially designed, prototyped and brought to market. New technology includes features that minimize material changeovers by utilization of larger material capacity and by keeping most-used resins loaded and ready for printing. A streamlined workflow is also incorporated.  According to the company, simulated production of plastics can be 3D printed in half the time of the company’s prior printers.

Initial industry applications are related to consumer focused product supply chains. As noted in the photo of the press release, the notions of a custom made consumer product printed in multiple colors or materials is at-hand.

From our Supply Chain Matters lens, the implication of this announcement is that the pace of technology development in 3D printing techniques continues beyond initial limitations with continuing implications for more accelerated time-to-market and new product introduction cycles.