Researchers at Harvard University have published a paper called “Microfluidic Printheads for Multimaterial 3D Printing of Viscoelastic Inks” in the scientific journal Advanced Materials.
The team includes Dr. Jennifer Lewis, CEO of Harvard spin-off Voxel8, that introduced their 3D electronics printer back in December last year.
The recently published paper outlines a method for multi-material 3D printing using a printhead for viscoelastic materials. The print head features two separated compartments, containing different types of “ink”, which are then extruded through one single nozzle. The materials are fed into the printhead using syringe pumps that are switched on or shut off to change materials.
There are endless possibilities of materials including metal or ceramic particles, polyelectrolytes, hydrogels or filled epoxy resins. So far this new methods has been used to create functional devices like 3D antennas, rechargeable micro batteries, sensors, structural composites.