3-D Printer Technology


Executive Summary


This novel 3-D print head technology allows for the addition of printing with multiple materials to 3-D printers. The technology allows both the deposition and removal of materials as well as surface property modifications in small, spatially localized regions.  This treatment can change the material’s physical properties, such as its adhesion to other materials. This technology enables localized addition of material at a level simply not possible with today’s material processing or additive manufacturing methods.


Description of Technology


This technology enables the integration of different materials into the same 3-D printed structure.  These materials could include plastics, ceramics, metals or glass, into the same part during the 3-D printing process. Some potential applications include:


Key Benefits

  • Print a metal line inside a plastic part (printing of a metal layer inside a printed part), e.g., an antennae inside a plastic part
  • Print a glass or ceramic structure inside a plastic part, e.g., a glass-lined channel through a plastic part for fluid flow, for use in microfluidics.
  • Treat a surface of a part, e.g., to make localized regions hydrophobic, hydrophilic, conductive, or adhesive.
  • Remove or etch the surface of a part to form channels or holes in a substrate



  • Electrical conductivity. 
  • Coatings that require 2nd or 3rd manufacturing operations.
  • Micro-level structural applications.
  • Interfacing of different substrates with different properties. 


Patent Status


Patent application published no. 20170067154


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Timothy Grotjohn


Tech ID: TEC2015-0054


Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
Timothy Grotjohn