Multi-Material 3D Printing


Philadelphia, MO USA. Date of Talk: 9/8/2014


Ready, Steven E.
Gregory L Whiting
Tse Nga Ng

Multi-Material 3D Printing

Digital manufacturing has garnered significant exposure recently with many announcements of new 3D printers, improved capabilities to print different materials, and the White Houses announcement of the creation of a Digital Manufacturing Institute. These recent developments in digital manufacturing are primarily focused on techniques that create individual parts for subsequent assembly, with the most sophisticated printers allowing combinations of several similar structural materials. Often 3D printing is used as a prototyping technique, and the final object is manufactured by conventional means. In order to expand 3D printing and making it more versatile, new processes are needed that are able to deposit different materials (plastics of different characteristics, as well as metals), along with embedded electronic circuits consisting of both printed and conventional components. The printed object could enable embedded mechanical, optical, and electrical functionalities, such as sensors in complex structures that are difficult to produce with existing manufacturing methods. Coupled with the printer is user-friendly design software that analyzes the design in order to determine structural weaknesses, model electrical and mechanical operation, determine materials compatibility and diagnose other aspects of the design which may cause fabrication problems. We have demonstrated a wireless sensor circuit for sensing pressure and temperature embedded into a shoe insert and various inductor and antenna structures. In our presentation we will show a collection of our latest demonstrators of integrated multi-material printed objects and outline future directions.

Additional information

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