Multinozzle 3D printer quickly switches between multiple inks (video)

November 21, 2019

Multimaterial multinozzle 3D (MM3D) printing - developed at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering 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, enabling the creation of complex shapes in a fraction of the time currently required using printheads that range from a single nozzle to large multinozzle arrays. These 3D printheads themselves are manufactured using 3D printing, enabling their rapid customization and facilitating adoption by others in the fabrication community. Each nozzle is capable of switching materials at up to 50x per second, which is faster than the eye can see, or about as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings

The printhead can accommodate multiple nozzles, each of which can print up to eight different materials. A series of branched channels distributes the inks to the nozzles. Photo credit: Lori K. Sanders