MultiFab: A Machine Vision Assisted Platform for Multi-material 3D Printing
We have developed a multi-material 3D printing platform that is high-resolution, low-cost, and extensible. The key part of our platform is an integrated machine vision system. This system allows for self-calibration of printheads, 3D scanning, and a closed-feedback loop to enable print corrections. The integration of machine vision with 3D printing simplifies the overall platform design and enables new applications such as 3D printing over auxiliary parts. Furthermore, our platform dramatically expands the range of parts that can be 3D printed by simultaneously supporting up to 10 different materials that can interact optically and mechanically. The platform achieves a resolution of at least 40 micrometers by utilizing piezoelectric inkjet printheads adapted for 3D printing. The hardware is low cost (less than $7,000) since it is built exclusively from off-the-shelf components. The architecture is extensible and modular -- adding, removing, and exchanging printing modules can be done quickly. We provide a detailed analysis of the system's performance. We also demonstrate a variety of fabricated multi-material objects.