3d Printing multiple materials with Objet

I just received a sample from Objet of the results of their new PolyJet Matrix(tm) 3d printing technology. Why is this important? This particular technology means that in one pass an object can be constructed of several types and forms of material. In the example sent through, a rendering of Zebedee from the magic roundabout the various components all feel very different. Given my original 3d print sample was a small ABS plastic box from a few year ago things have really come on.
Objet 3d print sample
The hat and nose are actually made of a rubbery substance and soft to the touch, the spring flexes when you push on the sides of it and the body and head have some intricate detail and colour to them (such as the tiny buttons on his front).
It was an Object printer that was used by the creators of the Coraline movie in a very interesting way too.

Objet.com 3d printer sample

There is a whole stack of information in particular on the entry level 350 printer here and you can follow @3d_printers on twitter.
I am even more convinced than ever of the impact of this sort of technology when combined with the digital design and distribution channels we have. It will continue to get cheaper, better and faster and as in my previous post about some uses of the printers we have a whole host of new business and entertainment uses to consider over and above pure manufacturing of products. This is akin to the differences in virtual world technology usage of mirror worlds and mirror builds compared to more expressive and unusual environments. Mix that all up with Augmented Reality applications and we have one very interesting leap and trends forming.
As experts in the field of design in this space also warn such as csven on ReBang there are responsibilities in learning to design these sorts of products. Making people aware of the opportunities in their product design profession will bring along safe usuable products.
Either way, like virtual worlds and Augmented Reality, 3d printing is not going away, in fact they are on a march together it would seem. So join the march I say :)

2 comments to 3d Printing multiple materials with Objet

  • Simon Cullum

    Hi,
    We need a material that is splashproof and a friend gave me your details and said you may be able to point me i the right direction.
    Can you print an image onto material? Is that something you do? If I send over a picture would you be able to repeat the picture on the material?
    It is for the tent part of a VW pop top campervan.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards
    Simon Cullum

  • Hi Simon. I am not really a printing firm :) The things I am writing about are new types of fabrication machines that make solid objects. It might be worth contacting objet directly http://objet.com/ though I am not sure their printers would make a single sheet for a tent part of a pop top campervan.
    The other alternative would be a local screen printing firm or regular printing compant I would have thought.
    One final thought would be a car customizer or modder firm if you have one nearby. They (if MTV is to be believed) tend to do lots of different and complicated one off mods for all sorts of vehicles.

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