Creating a new design and seeing it come to fruition with excellence through 3D printing means enjoying a quality product—and often, euphoric triumph too. Additive manufacturing can be challenging, and it’s all too easy to end up right back at square one, repeatedly, without the proper amount of research into materials, technology, and the desired properties.

Color Plays an Important Role in Design

Because creativity can take so many different forms in 3D printing, choosing the best avenue can be a complicated process. And while it may seem that trying to add color narrows your choices, the surprising and wonderful truth is that because the accompanying technology is so powerful, chances are you will be in awe of all that you can do, layer by layer—and in vibrant color.

Color plays an important role in most types of design, whether for style, making a statement, or for use in functional devices like 3D printed sensors and housings. No matter what types of parts you are making though, color can also be critical to your business brand.

High Definition Full Color Material

As a multi-color material for 3D printing, High Definition Full Color elevates its namesake function to the highest level, also significantly enhancing the Shapeways platform of offerings. Because of the ability to use ten million colors, High Definition Full Color is in great demand by customers tapping into intense detail for even the tiniest features.

The range of colors includes a full spectrum of eye-popping color, achieved by using color profiles with specific data for characterization. High Definition Full Color allows for good pre-visualization of models, exact color matches as necessary, along with incredible shading and contrast that previously were not possible without meticulous hand-painting afterward.

Mimaki 3D Printing

Shapeways color prints are manufactured on the high-production Mimaki 3DUJ-553, featuring a build size of 508 x 508 x 305mm. While there are other color printers offering a variety of benefits too, the industrial-grade 3DUJ-553 is founded on Material Jetting (MJ) technology, employing eight unique piezoelectric print heads. Converting mechanical energy into electricity, the printheads deposit liquid photopolymer droplets to be cured with UV light. The eight printheads are capable of four different print modes, with seven different droplet sizes. Greater control drop size and drop placement means greater accuracy and resolution.


Architectural model 3D printed in High Definition Full Color material

Because fine detail can be so accurately presented, many customers choose High Definition Full Color for 3D printed gaming figurines. This material is famous for incredibly realistic skin tones and intricate details like facial hair on characters or feathers on animal figurines. Tabletop gamers can design and both collectible figurines and statuettes for remarkable customization, color contrast and gradations, and texture.

3D medical models printed in High Definition Full Color create realistic representations of organs such as the human heart or the brain with true-to-life color. Surgeons can improve on patient-specific treatment too with the help of more complex models in color, whether diagnosing and treating illnesses, visualizing rare or new procedures, training, or researching.

Architecture is another popular application for use with High Definition Full Color, allowing clients to see every tiny detail of a new home or office, or even large endeavors like luxury hotels on the verge of construction. Customized, tangible models in robust colors also encourage better communication and feedback—all leading to an acceleration in final project production.


Full-color models produced with High Definition Full Color are available in both standard and matte finish. Some staircasing may be noticeable in hard light conditions. Final parts can be coated, and hardware like screws can easily be attached for hanging and other requirements.  

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About Shapeways

Enjoy the benefits of advanced technology and a wide range of materials from Shapeways for 3D printing your creations with accuracy, complex detail, and no minimum or limits in terms of mass customization or single part orders. Shapeways has worked with over 1 million customers in 160 countries to 3D print over 20 million parts! Read about case studies, find out more about Shapeways solutions, and get instant quotes here.