• The secret to the "Multifab," as the researchers are calling it, is that it uses 3D-scanning techniques from machine vision. This means it can self-calibrate and self-correct, including a feedback loop that can detect errors and correct its path. One advantage to its 3D scanning prowess is that it can scan 3D geometries and print around them -- for instance, printing an case around an iPhone you place in the printer.
  • Multifab isn't extrusion based, either -- it mixes droplets of photopolymers which are sent through inkjet printheads similar to those used on your cheap printer in your office. It's a computationally-intensive process, but it allowed MultiFab to print with 10 different materials. 
  • MultiFab was developed from off-the-shelf parts and the total cost of materials was $7000 -- meaning if this technology were to be commercialized it might not be prohibitively expensive. One exciting possibility opened up by MultiFab is that it will allow people to 3D print complex components, such as circuits and censors, opening up the door to fully printed complete products with significantly less assembly.


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