MIT Researchers Develop 3D Printer that Can Print with 10 Different Materials Simultaneously

MIT 3D printer

The MultiFab 3D printer

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory say they’ve developed a multi-material 3D printing platform, called MultiFab, that can use up to 10 different materials to print, making it easier to 3D-print more complicated objects. In contrast, most 3D printers can only use one material (plastic) at a time.

The researchers also say their 3D printer features a machine-vision system that provides self-calibration of print heads, 3D scanning, and a closed-feedback loop to enable print corrections. The machine-vision system also enables 3D printing over auxiliary parts.

The MIT 3D printer is said to achieves a resolution of at least 40 micrometers by using piezoelectric inkjet print heads adapted for 3D printing, and the hardware is said to be low cost (less than $7,000), since it’s built exclusively from off-the-shelf components. The researchers also say the MultiFab’s architecture is modular, and that user can quickly add, remove, and exchange print heads.

For more information and a video describing the technology, visit the research group here.

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