A new generation of products can now be manufactured with recent advances in multi-material, multi-axis printer systems increasing the complexity and functionality of additive manufactured (AM) products across numerous domains. One group of emerging applications includes structural or 3D-printed electronics and the incorporation of research results in the areas of shape programmable materials and meta-materials for use across emergent 3D printed electronic applications including so-called 4D printed structures. Still challenges exist in terms of scale, cost, and efficiency of AM fabrication-based production, as well as limited product availability in support of more advanced applications.
In this presentation, the product development for a multi-dimensional build-platform technology is described as taking the planar build platform commonly in use today to 3-dimensions and beyond. For example, when used in conjunction with multi-axis printer systems, multi-dimensional build-platforms may comprise arbitrary 3-dimensional geometries enabling multi-material deposition and printed electronics components on curved surfaces mitigating significant time and cost associated with required support materials for fabricating objects with large overhangs or complex geometries. Further, the build platform itself incorporates a programmable surface construct that is addressable on a highly granular level that is CAD driven for manipulation of materials properties during the AM process leading the way to an efficient method for scalable 3D and 4D printed applications. An application will be illustrated where manufacturing time and cost is reduced by over 50% over traditional methods.