There are basically two ways to go about making multi-material objects with photopolymer resin-based 3D printing processes. One is based on material science and uses inkjet 3D printing technologies, such as Stratasys’ Polyjet and 3D Systems’ MJM, to release and instantly cure different materials in the same print job. Another is mechanical, which is what 3D Systems’ presented around this time last year.
This latest approach is similar to the one implemented by Reinout Holtrop, a student from the University of Twente, for his Final Bachelor Assignment in Industrial Design, to design, develop and build the first DLP-based multi-material 3D printer, which he named XZEED. Ultimately, the basic concept behind the machine is relatively simple: using five alternating petri dishes in borosilicate glass with a PDMS layer, on a moving vat carrier.
This is the key component in the XZEED machine. It is made up of two shafts with bearings which support a movable array with the round vats. Light is projected with a beamer via a mirror on the bottom of the vat. The build platform is then moved vertically by the z-spindle, while the the x-spindle moves the array to change the vat.Read more