A new 3D printing technology can print complex robotic organs in a single pass. Vision-Controlled Jetting (VCJ) allows objects to be printed with more materials, more detail and in less time than previous technologies. Combining several techniques, the VCJ printer uses a 3D vision system to scan each printed layer and create a depth map of the object. This allows the next printing process under the ink jet nozzles to smooth out any irregularities without the need for mechanical smoothing.
The VCJ printer can print with three different building materials simultaneously. A fourth print head uses a wax substrate, which is washed off at the end of the process. In the future, VCJ could be used to print multi-material robots or cell scaffolds for tissue engineering.