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3D printing on steroids - Harvard's Wyss Institute creates ultra fast switching 8 material 3D printer

Source:
Nature (paywall)
Harvard Wyss (quote source)
 

Summary:
Wyss Institude's new Multimaterial Multinozzle 3D printer can switch between 8 different materials at up to 50 times a second and can easily scale from single to dozens of nozzles.
 

Media:

 

Quotes/Excerpts:

Quote

Most commercial printers are only able to build objects from a single material at a time and inkjet printers that are capable of multimaterial printing are constrained by the physics of droplet formation. Extrusion-based 3D printing allows a broad palette of materials to be printed, but the process is extremely slow. It would take roughly 10 days to build a 3D object roughly one liter in volume. A new technique called multimaterial multinozzle 3D (MM3D) printing developed at Harvard’s Wyss Institute...and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) uses high-speed pressure valves to achieve rapid, continuous, and seamless switching between up to eight different printing materials.  Each nozzle is capable of switching materials at up to 50 times per second, which is faster than the eye can see, or about as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings. “MM3D’s combination of multinozzle arrays with the ability to switch between multiple inks rapidly effectively eliminates the time lost to switching printheads and helps get the scaling law down from cubic to linear, so you can print multimaterial, periodic 3D objects much more quickly.” The key to MM3D printing’s speedy ink-switching is a series of Y-shaped junctions inside the printhead where multiple ink channels come together at a single output nozzle. By operating the printheads using a bank of fast pneumatic valves, this one-way flow behavior allows the rapid assembly of multimaterial filaments that flow continuously out from each nozzle, and enables the construction of a 3D multimaterial part. “Because MM3D printing can produce objects so quickly, one can use reactive materials whose properties change over time, such as epoxies, silicones, polyurethanes, or bio-inks,” “One can also readily integrate materials with disparate properties to create origami-like architectures or soft robots that contain both stiff and flexible elements.” MM3D printing can also be used to create more complex objects, including actuating robots. The research team designed and printed a soft robot composed of rigid and soft elastomers...that enable the soft “muscles” to be compressed sequentially by a vacuum, making the robot “walk.” Importantly, current MM3D printheads can only print periodic (i.e., repeating) parts. But the team envisions that MM3D printing will continue to evolve, eventually featuring nozzles that can extrude different inks at different times, smaller nozzles for greater resolution, and even larger arrays for rapid, single-step 3D printing at a wide range of size and resolution scales. 


My Thoughts:

As if 3D printing wasn't expensive enough, you can now 1-up your neighbor's fancy 5 material 3D printer with an 8 material printer! While I don't think most consumers (yes, consumers, not those of you reading this who spend $100 a month on filament) would be interested in buying a printer with this currently, it's definitely interesting to see how 3D printing is progressing.

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being that one kid that spends 30+ mins daily at my school's makerspace(mainly 3d printers), i'm really interested in this, and i want to see it be built on.

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3 minutes ago, Goldilock said:

Hmmmm.....useless/s

 

Seriously tho, even metal 3D printing is only good for prototyping.

Depends on the scale and type of metal 3d printing.  GE uses metal 3d printing in its aircraft engines and Koenigsegg uses it in some of their turbo and exhaust systems because it isn't possible to machine the parts.

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I was a bit disappointed. “Material” and color are different things. PEEK or Delrin would be arguably different materials than styrene.  They have different properties and different uses.  Now a printer that prints metals and also prints flexible and non flexible plastics on the same piece?  That would be a thing.  The little pneumatic  rover had me hoping for a minute.  And that was just 2 materials.  Red styrene and blue styrene are the same material though

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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19 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

I was a bit disappointed. “Material” and color are different things. PEEK or Delrin would be arguably different materials than styrene.  They have different properties and different uses.  Now a printer that prints metals and also prints flexible and non flexible plastics on the same piece?  That would be a thing.  The little pneumatic  rover had me hoping for a minute.  And that was just 2 materials.  Red styrene and blue styrene are the same material though

Err, this does that.  It is printing with what appear to be epoxy/elastomer based materials.  Meaning the "inks" will range from soft rubbers to rigid plastics when cured.

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38 minutes ago, KarathKasun said:

Err, this does that.  It is printing with what appear to be epoxy/elastomer based materials.  Meaning the "inks" will range from soft rubbers to rigid plastics when cured.

Hmm.. can it push metal filled epoxy?  Like JBweld kinda stuff?  How about laying glass or carbon fiber into the plastic?  That could be a thing too.  A thread might be even easier than a liquid and could make for some frightening strength.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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4 hours ago, Goldilock said:

Hmmmm.....useless/s

 

Seriously tho, even metal 3D printing is only good for prototyping.

We are already over that stage.

Medical implants, already various other automotive and aerospace manufactures and even my small company I'm working in uses 3D printed parts for final products.

BMW uses additive manufactured parts in the i8 Roadster, Bugatti even used it for a titanium brake caliber (though I don't knoe if that is an official option to spec) and various air crafts are using topology optimised parts afaik. In my company, we use additive manufactured covers for example and plan on expanding for structural important parts.

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8 hours ago, 19_blackie_73 said:

We are already over that stage.

Medical implants, already various other automotive and aerospace manufactures and even my small company I'm working in uses 3D printed parts for final products.

BMW uses additive manufactured parts in the i8 Roadster, Bugatti even used it for a titanium brake caliber (though I don't knoe if that is an official option to spec) and various air crafts are using topology optimised parts afaik. In my company, we use additive manufactured covers for example and plan on expanding for structural important parts.

*old fart fist bump @Goldilock  *.
 

that’s happened to me like half a dozen times to me just on this forum this week.  It’s why I’m here.  I need more of it.

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9 hours ago, 19_blackie_73 said:

We are already over that stage.

Medical implants, already various other automotive and aerospace manufactures and even my small company I'm working in uses 3D printed parts for final products.

BMW uses additive manufactured parts in the i8 Roadster, Bugatti even used it for a titanium brake caliber (though I don't knoe if that is an official option to spec) and various air crafts are using topology optimised parts afaik. In my company, we use additive manufactured covers for example and plan on expanding for structural important parts.

One example i love is the Rutherford Engine on the Electron Orbital rocket. all of the high pressure components are 3D printed in metal

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On 11/17/2019 at 8:51 PM, Goldilock said:

Hmmmm.....useless/s

 

Seriously tho, even metal 3D printing is only good for prototyping.

On 11/17/2019 at 8:56 PM, justpoet said:

Depends on the scale and type of metal 3d printing.  GE uses metal 3d printing in its aircraft engines and Koenigsegg uses it in some of their turbo and exhaust systems because it isn't possible to machine the parts.

 

Uh huh. And Adam Savage used one of those to print this:

 

savagebuilds-eos5_resize_md.jpg

 

 

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??

 

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On 11/17/2019 at 11:51 PM, Goldilock said:

Seriously tho, even metal 3D printing is only good for prototyping.

Don't you think it's just a matter of time ? Sometime new technologies don't achieve what previous tech can do, however that can change once it matures.

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On 11/17/2019 at 8:51 PM, Goldilock said:

Hmmmm.....useless/s

 

Seriously tho, even metal 3D printing is only good for prototyping.

You would be surprised how many companies use 3d printing for FAR more than just prototyping. Saying it is only good for prototyping is just plain wrong. In many cases 3d printing can be far superior in both strength and cost.

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7 minutes ago, bob345 said:

You would be surprised how many companies use 3d printing for FAR more than just prototyping. Saying it is only good for prototyping is just plain wrong. In many cases 3d printing can be far superior in both strength and cost.

I would say even a few years ago his view was the correct one.  I do know of some companies that only 3d print their products and have done it for some time.  They’re all specialty and the stuff is all plastic though.  It is possible to make small runs of things that would be obnoxiously complicated and expensive to mold even in large numbers.  It’s a rapidly advancing technology.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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And here I thought I was fancy with two nozzles...

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