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The Mataerial 3D Printer

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!

DC Denison

DC Denison

DC Denison is the editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

The former technology editor of The Boston Globe, DC is also interested in ebook experimentation and content management systems.

One of the places where DC can be found online is Google+ (which I’m adding here only because I want to see if by adding “rel=author” and “rel=me” to those two links I can get Google to display my picture in its search results.)

Hey, it works!


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Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Wonder what’s the real speed for the material to solidify.
    That video looks like a stopmo animation big time, so I guess it’s really waaaaay slower.

  2. D.C. Denison says:

    Yep, you’re right. I read that the video has been sped up.

  3. joe says:

    reminds me of http://www.the3doodler.com/ exept instead of a robotic arm it’s a pen with an extruder on it which allows you to doodle in the air.

  4. David Rysdam says:

    I’m pretty skeptical of this. How is that stuff mounting to the wall? How are they getting so little sag? Even dry, a plastic rod that long and thin should be sagging.

    1. Jose Pedro-Bicing says:

      Magic, bro

      1. Mark says:

        Marketing, bro.

  5. wolfgang says:

    in this case you should name it 3d-plotter, instead of 3d-printer.

  6. It’s printing epoxy, which is headed to accelerate curing using the heat guns. (Note the two feed lines and the mixer nozzle.) So, it’s probably pretty expensive to print. Also, “target delivery dates”? Really? It’s using an industrial robot arm, if you have to ask….

  7. Don says:

    How about: 3D Robo-Extroodler

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