Mataerial by Petr Novikov, Saša Joki?, Joris Laarman Studio and IAAC is a 3D printing robot that instead of building an object layer by layer, draws forms from any surface out into thin air.
Working in the same manner as the “3D printing pen” except instead of your shaky hand trying to make a recognizable shape from an ooze of hot plastic cooled by a fan, this process uses two thermosetting polymers which set when combined by a precision robot actually 3D Printing in space. The team also state that CMYK colors can/could be combined in the same manner to create full color 3D printing using the same method. The same process could of course be used at a much smaller scale and theoretically multiple robots could 3D print different materials simultaneously onto any surface such as a conductive material and a non conductive material to create electrical pathways. This is definitely a technology to watch and hopefully their patent application is not so restrictive as to restrict its potential.
Mataerial is the result of the collaborative research between Petr Novikov, Saša Joki? from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. IAAC tutors representing Open Thesis Fabrication Program provided their advice and professional expertise. During the course of the research we developed a brand new digital fabrication method and a working prototype that can open a door to a number of practical applications. The method that we call Anti-gravity Object Modeling has a patent-pending status.