The dream for 3D printing is to create any object we desire and if Cambridge-based design consultancy TTP‘s latest creation is anything to go by, we may be on our way to making that dream a reality. TTP has announced its latest 3D printing head that is capable of producing products from more than one material.
Currently 3D printers are stuck printing one material type, but TTP’s Vista 3D can create structures from metals, plastics, ceramics and even biological cells. This could mean that printing products as diverse as toys, medical devices, aircraft parts and even diagnostic test strips could become a reality in the future.
“Our latest breakthrough will change the face of manufacturing over the next ten years.” claimed TTP’s Dr David Smith. “The manufacturing process has remained the same for centuries with one company making products in a factory then shipping them out when orders are made. Multimaterial 3D printing will change this. No longer will organisations need to bulk buy or wait for items to be restocked, companies can simply print off the products they need, when they need them.”
TTP’s Vista 3D relies on a patented technology that uses a method of droplet injection and has the capability of printing large (50 µm+) particles and more viscous and volatile fluids. The open printhead and nozzle motion to eject fluid allows the Vista 3D to print more attractive materials for manufacturers.
“3D printing has already been hailed as the future of manufacturing and many household-name companies are already making use of the technology to cut costs, reduce inventory and improve development” said Smith.
He added “It will become possible to go to your local garage and have a new exhaust printed out there and then for you or to go to the hospital and get a custom implant created for you at the touch of a button.”
TTP’s technology already is compatible with a wide range of complicated fluids including suspensions of particles and active biological materials. The breakthrough in the technology gives way to applications that range from ‘printed’ electronics and protein arrays through to enzyme based test strips.
“From a medical perspective, the opportunities are endless from printing out a diagnostic test to ultimately printing off an organ that can be used in the human body.”
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TTP’s reputation for excellence in technology and product development means we are routinely invited to realise our clients’ most ambitious visions. Realising these visions often requires us to develop disruptive or leading technology, or to create innovative products. The impact of our successes typically extends far beyond commercial benefit to TTP and our clients. Our ideas, concepts and technologies have consequence far beyond what might otherwise be expected of an organisation of our size