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SELECTBIO Conferences Bioprinting & 3D Printing in the Life Sciences

Bioprinting & 3D Printing in the Life Sciences Agenda

The next generation of additive manufacturing: multiple materials and multiple functions

Shoufeng Yang, Professor, Chair of Additive Manufacturing, University of Southampton

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D printing, are designations for a family of recently emerged techniques in which complex shapes can be directly delivered on a platform by downloading a computer design file such as a CAD file. The components are assembled point by point, line by line or layer by layer without a mould and without machining. Current AM technologies still need to be improved in terms of part quality and part performance in comparison to traditional manufacturing. Part quality is being dealt with by greater machine control and by applying cutting edge high precision technologies while part performance can be boosted using multiple material systems. However, currently the printable material in 3D printing is very limited. Compared to tens of thousands of materials which are being used in our daily life, the 3D printable materials are only hundreds. Furthermore, most current commercially available AM systems have been designed to produce parts using single material. Very little attempted have been made to 3D printing multiple materials, for example with different materials at different location for various functions. In this talk I would like to review the state of the art of multiple materials additive manufacturing and discuss the feasibility application in wide areas.