Pantone entered into an agreement with FiberForce Italy to bring Pantone colours into the world of 3D printing.

There are lots of reasons companies want 3D printed items in their corporate colours and for those colours to be portrayed accurately. With some systems, white materials are used, which then can be painted. But this can be an expensive and time-consuming process. What if the items could be printed in the actual target colours?

This partnership between Pantone and FiberForce sets the industry on that path. FiberForce has just released its first range of solid filaments in a subset of Pantone colours. According to Francesco Berton, FiberForce CEO, “These initial filaments are based on a PLA compound. Later this year, we plan to release a second range of materials, including Smart ABS and Glass Fiber Reinforced nylon. We also plan to add a flexible filament range by the end of 2019.”

While only a subset of Pantone colours is currently available from FiberForce, the company plans the release of 16 additional colours and states that this is just the beginning. FiberForce is choosing the colours to be released based on sales data and customer feedback collected over the past four years. These Pantone-compliant filaments will carry a slightly higher cost than non-Pantone filaments, but the company states the pricing is still in line with the average cost of high-quality filaments made in the US and Europe.

Director of Partner Business Development, X-Rite and Pantone, Iain Pike, said: “We do a lot of work in materials licensing for Pantone colours, ranging from ink firms to companies producing embroidery thread, vinyl materials, plastics, and textile dyes. This is the first time we have licensed colours to a company dedicated to the 3D printing industry, and we hope to expand further into this application.”