Friday, September 12, 2014

A New Multi-Material 3D Printer Can Print (Almost) Anything


Until now, if you wanted to become a maker and 3D-print all your household items, because stores are for suckers, you had to get a different printer for each material you planned on using. Ceramic bowls required a ceramic printer, chocolate bars required a chocolate printer, plastic cups required—you get the idea. But a company in Mexico says it's working on the world's first modular 3D printer, which will be able to print just about anything out of, well, anything.

The printer, called the Modular MM1, is still just a prototype, but its creators, MakerMex, say that it can print ceramic, chocolate, batter, rubber, plastics, clay, and even wood fiber and Play Doh (OK, maybe that one isn't so impressive). 

The MM1 with a wood filament 3D printed object, some plastic, and some rubber
Unlike other 3D printers, the MM1 has interchangeable heads, and most of its other parts are modular as well, meaning it can be changed as the technology does. It's sort of the same idea behind the Google modular phone—you use the parts and features you need, and can upgrade them as necessary, rather than having to buy a new one whenever the tech becomes obsolete.

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