New, Faster 3D-Printing Process for Multi-Material Objects

University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering professor, Yong Chen, discusses the 3D printing technique demonstrated in his most recent paper, which he will present at ASME's 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. The technique improves on traditional processes by increasing speed and surface smoothness, and enabling printing with more than one material in varying composition ratios. Last year, USC Viterbi researchers improved an additive manufacturing-related process to speed up fabrication of homogeneous 3D objects from hours to a few minutes. Now, the team has successfully applied this more efficient process to the fabrication of heterogeneous objects that comprise different materials that cure at different rates. This new 3D printing process will allow heterogeneous prototypes and objects such as dental and robotics models to be fabricated quickly and cost-effectively.