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It may seem like a small improvement, but the ability to 3-D print with more than one material greatly expands the utility of 3-D printing. Originally, 3-D printers were dedicated to one material: some for plastic, some for metal, etc. Most things we use, however, include several materials. In particular, being able to print conductive materials and flexible materials creates electronics that include buttons. The implication has less to do with the sophistication or simplicity of the product, and more to do with the dramatic decrease in transportation, warehousing, and waste associated with mass production. Just like books, items can be printed on demand. No need to fill land fills with unsold products that were stored for months after being shipped around the planet.

(Click on the photo for the link.)

“PrintPut Integrates Touch Sensors Into 3-D Products” – IEEE Spectrum

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