While many creators look at 3-D printing as a technology full of endless potential, designers Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić saw something with room for improvement.
“There is a variety of different 3-D printing types […] and no matter how they work, they all work with layers,” explains Novikov. Machines extrude plastic layer by layer until the desired shape slowly accrues. “We thought that this is strange because layers are not very efficient”: they require the presence of a support structure to prop up an object as it’s printed, which restricts the printing process to horizontal surfaces. Plus the technique can increase the printing time, the use of materials, and the risk of damaging an object when removing it from its support structure.
Novikov and Jokić, who were studying at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona last fall, wondered about printing with fibers instead of layers. Since then, they’ve worked to research, design, and patent a new method for 3-D printing called Mataerial, which squeezes polymers from a nozzle in a way that’s reminiscent of how bakers squeeze icing from a tube to frost a cake.
Via Lauren Moss