Multi-Material Printing Research

Project Type: PhD Research
Project Year: 2015
Project Team: Kostas Grigoriadis

Operating within the landscape of new materialism and considering recent advances in the field of additive manufacturing, this research investigates a novel method of designing with a new type of material that is known as functionally graded.

There are already various industrial research initiatives underway that explore ways that various materials can be combined to allow for the additive manufacturing of multi-material (otherwise known as functionally graded material) parts or whole volumes that are continuously fused together. Pre-empting this architectural-level integration and fusing of materials within one volume, the research proposes a process model that is based on an existing CFD simulation software that can be used in a standard laptop computer in order to design with functionally graded materials.

On the output end of this whole process, the main objective has been to convert the digitally generated multi-material into one that is physical. To achieve this, digitally fused materials had to be translated into gradient colours that were then converted into numbers, which were converted back into gradient colours, discretised into singular colour groups and output as discrete sub-material layers for multi-material 3D printing.