We've got some boundary-breaking 3D printers and printing technologies in this slideshow, which includes several versions of multi-materials machines, two different composites processes including one at microscale, and two vastly different metals processes. As before, some of them come from countries outside the US.
Most of these are available now, some designed for prototyping and some for production parts. A few are new R&D developments that you won't be able to buy anytime soon, but with the potential to change the game down the line. That's probably true of all three microscale techniques we tell you about: copper microprinting, graphene-based supercapacitors, and microscale composites.
Click on the image below to start the slideshow:
Prototypes made with the Stratasys J750 can include a vast array of colors, materials, and properties in the same part, enabling prototypes that match products more realistically, like this 3D-printed plastic sushi. Product designers, engineers, and manufacturers can choose from more than 360,000 different color shades plus multiple material properties ranging from rigid to flexible and opaque to transparent. The new PolyJet Studio streamlines workflow, such as choosing materials, optimizing the build, and managing print queues. Compared to other PolyJet systems, new printheads speed up printing of production plastics like Digital ABS. A large, six-material capacity keeps the most-used resins loaded and ready for printing. The printer was showcased at the 2016 Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) in April.
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Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 28 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.