Mataerial is a 3D printer that breaks out of the box, literally.
The prototype unit is additive, like other 3D printers, but that’s where the comparison ends. Instead of piling up layers on a circumscribed bed, Mataerial uses a robotic arm and fast-solidifying material to create graceful, flowing curves on a variety of surfaces — horizontal and vertical.
It’s kind of like a large, robotic version of 3Doodler, the pen that enables users to sketch 3D objects with plastic filament.
Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, in Spain, and the Joris Laarman Studio, in Amsterdam, created Mataerial. They’ve come up with a lofty name for their fabrication method: “anti-gravity object modeling.”
Another promising feature: the color of the extruded material can be changed throughout the printing process by injecting color dye into the device.
The web site for this new technology is dramatic: the video of the unit in operation is hypnotizing. But details are scarce: no target delivery dates; no price points. Instead the goal seems to be to simply stake out this paradigm-shifting approach with a “watch this space” alert.
Consider us alerted!