Stratasys has taken multi-material 3D printing one step further with their latest creation: a 3D printed multimaterial computer keyboard. One of Stratasys’ in-house designers, Arnon Gratch, is behind the keyboard design. The result, which was produced on an Objet Connex 3D printer, is made of both rigid and rubber-like materials and looks, feels and to a degree functions as a working keyboard.

What’s so special about this then? Haven’t we already seen the tiny car with different materials, both rigid and rubber-like. Well, in this case the cool as-pect is the individual moving keys and the single printing process. Using traditional manufacturing methods the keys would have been manufactured separately and then assembled. For this project — it was all produced in a single build on the Connex — no assembley required. And this is the crux of an important issue that Stratasys is pointing to with this demo piece — one of the great areas of potential for 3D printing for future manufacturing processes whereby they are streamlined and assembly processes eliminated.

Even though there is some way to go before actually producing a fully func-tional keyboard that you could just plugin to your computer with one 3D print-ing process, this showcase does point to the future and what is coming.

Source: Objet Blog