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3D printing is about to reach the next level — which is in 'true color'

CAD BLU founder and CEO Rich Motto has 20 years of experience in additive manufacturing – that’s 3D printing to the layman.

“There are people out there that think that 45 billion dollar market we're going after now will go to a 10 to 12 trillion dollar market in manufacturing,” Motto told Yahoo Finance.

In the years since Charles Hull invented 3D printing in 1983, the technology has proliferated to a wide array of consumer and commercial industries: from synthetic sushi to Funko’s pop culture memorabila to Laika’s pipeline for stop motion animated feature films.

A CAD BLU and Mimaki 3D color print. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Motto’s company CAD BLU is the only U.S. dealer for the Mimaki 3DUJ-553, a machine Motto feels is poised to revolutionize the 3D printing process for some industries.

“There's a lot of people who do 3D, monochromatic parts and paint them. Hasbro, and Leica, and people like that, said Motto.“And now they're seeing that they can save a lot of labor and get true color and do things that they couldn't even do before.”

“True color” in this case refers to the ability of the printer to accurately Pantone match more than 10,000,000 colors. And as with any new technology, there can be a steep learning curve.

“We're finding that people aren't used to using real full color, and this is a different animal,” Motto noted.

‘Do I have to tell you my vision, because then everybody will go there?’

A CAD BLU and Mimaki 3D color print. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Some of the most exciting applications of the true color printing technology are in the field of medical prosthetics, specifically prosthetic eyes.

“Instead of now they're painting them all up, they can do a scan and hopefully we could reproduce it from the other eye so it matches.”

What does that future market look like in Motto’s estimation?

“It's gonna be customization to the masses, faster printing, more materials and better properties, and starting to move in to the manufacturing process.”

A CAD BLU and Mimaki 3D color printed face. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

There’s also plenty of details of the new project that Motto was refrained from divulging just yet.

“Do I have to tell you my vision, because then everybody will go there?” he said with a smile.

In any case, Motto believes it’s only a matter of time before this technology becomes ubiquitous.

“We started with black-and-white TVs,” he said, “and now everybody has high resolution color TVs."

WATCH MORE: How Funko takes a 'fast-fashion approach to pop culture'

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