Multi-material 3D printing breakthrough claimed

Written by: Laura Hopperton | Published:

Cambridge-based design consultancy TTP has taken the wraps off a new 3D print head that is capable of producing printed products from more than one material.

As well as traditional metals and plastics, the Vista 3D print head can dispense or print a range of chemical materials, ceramics, and even biological cells - paving the way for everything from toys, medical devices, aircraft parts and even diagnostic test strips to be printed at the touch of a button.

"Our latest breakthrough will change the face of manufacturing over the next ten years," claimed TTP's Dr David Smith. "No longer will organisations need to bulk buy or wait for items to be restocked, companies can simply print off the products they need, when they need them."

The patented technology relies on a breakthrough method in droplet injection, and is capable of printing large (50┬Ám+) particles and more viscous and volatile fluids.

According to TTP, the open print head architecture and nozzle motion to eject fluids make it possible to digitally print commercially attractive materials such as those mentioned above.

Dr Smith continued: "From a medical perspective, the opportunities are endless, from printing out a diagnostic test to ultimately printing off an organ that can be used in the human body."

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