3D printing has taken a new gravity-defying platform with Mataerial, an innovation that allows the creation of three-dimensional structures without the help of any supports.
Traditionally, 3D printing involves printing in horizontal layers and requires a framework to support the structure. However, Mataerial is able to produce upright forms on a surface regardless of its angle or texture. Its robotic arm is able to produce and guide long polymer tubes in to natural, curving shapes.
This method of printing, called Anti-Gravity Object Modelling (patent pending), was invented by Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić during their internship at Joris Laarman Lab. Petr and Saša, both from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, felt that printing in layers, as 3D printers currently do, was inefficient and wanted to print with fibres instead.
Crucial to Anti-Gravity Object Modelling is the fact that it uses a different polymer than current 3D printing. Instead of thermoplastics, Mataerial uses thermosetting polymers. These tubes of plastic are able to remain standing because of a chemical reaction between two polymers. Upon being mixed together, the two liquid polymers react and harden, enabling the structure to stand on its own.
For more details, visit Mataerial’s site.