Multimaterial Printing

Robot end arm effector printed in ASA and TPU

The 3ntr industrial 3D printers feature 3 nozzle extruders. From time to time, clients ask why three nozzles matter? Some ideas like fast material change over or printing models of more than one material come to mind. But the most intriguing design freedom is combining materials in multimaterial prints such as the robot end arm effector pictured above with ASA and TPU.

Take a look at the effector again. A rigid mechanically strong material such as ASA is ideal for firm mounting on a metal bracket. The softer material TPU provides a gentle touch for objects that may be painted or coated or require a soft landing. Labor intensive jigs and fixtures that needed two construction techniques become easier to prototype and produce in low volumes. In the picture below you can see vacuum holding fixtures, prototype shoe soles, and custom wheel-hub combinations.

What will you create with the design freedom of three nozzles?

Examples of ABS and TPU multimaterial models from Formnext 2018