MIT demos sub-$10k 3D printer that can spew 10 materials at once


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This is pretty cool, but I hope someone else is figuring out how to build a machine which can deconstruct and recycle things made of multiple kinds of materials. How cool would it be if the Maker movement managed to solve the landfill problem?


So the one example they actually show and mention is the “lens”. It’s terrible, it will not function as a lens.

It’s great to build cheap attention grabbing printers but what we really need are cheap QUALITY printers.


Gonna be hard to get to “quality” (whatever that means in your product requirement niche) without building a lot of incrementally more capable printers.


It would be great if “spew” came to become an accepted technical term for the characteristics of 3d printers. Product success would hinge on spew rates, and the recycling of the spew stream would be a big consideration in choosing materials.


Totally agree, but only if we pronounce it properly: like a 10 year old pointing his finger and laser blasting away at something, anything. “Yes, the new AB49 7-in-1 printer reduces the SPEW! rate by over 30% from last quarter’s model and 50% over competitors!”


Well I can spew ten materials at once too, but only if it’s my lunch.



Fischer-Tropsch, and it’s back in the hydrocarbon feedstock.

The ability of combining materials opens an amazing range of possibilities. We can already buy off-the-shelf filaments with good properties for rigidity (carbon fiber reinforced matrix), elasticity (Ninjaflex and others), magnetic properties (iron-filled polymer, and powdered iron can be used for e.g. motor cores), conductivity (albeit lousy, can’t rival metals yet but good enough for low-current signals), friction/abrasion resistance (nylon/polyamides), porosity (can leach with water, resulting in sponge that can be used for e.g. absorbing a fluid, or as a membrane…) and so on…
…and that’s just common plastics for fiber extrusion.

We can add various gels that carry collagen for scaffoldings and cells with nutrient matrix for their colonization, for printing replacement organs.

Or we can print from ceramics with different dielectric properties, and powdered sinterable metals… resulting in LTCC modules.

Or, in the realm of metals, we can have bronze for bushings, chromium carbide filled alloy for wear plates, and cheap iron alloy for the less important areas, coated with a layer of stainless steel. All in one part.

And that’s just the beginning.


Cool video, except for the part where they say they can print with 10 materials but don’t show examples with more than two…


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