Mataerial is a robotic printer that can create free form shapes extending from any surface and without the need for any support structures. The machine prints with plastic that sticks to vertical, horizontal, smooth and irregular surfaces and solidifies quickly.
The device was created by designers Petr Novikov and Sasa Jokic from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. The patent-pending method, which they call ‘anti-gravity object modeling,’ is a new method of additive manufacturing. The process uses innovative extrusion technology to address the issue of gravity in printing. Mataerial uses thermosetting polymers instead of thermoplastics, which are used in the normal 3D printers. The thermosetting polymer solidifies as soon as it comes out of the nozzle.
The shape or design is created using CAD software and then transformed into 3D curves, which are converted into paths of movement for the robotic arm of the machine. The thickness of the curve printing can be adjusted by changing the movement speed of the arm. Colors can also be introduced into the nozzle in CMYK mode to produce a change in colors during the printing process.
Watch the video below to see Mataerial in action.