2012 Oxman, N., Firstenberg, M., and Tsai, E., Journal of Virtual and Physical Prototyping (VPP), Issue 7 Volume 4, Pp. 261-274
Functional anisotropic material gradients on multiple length scales and locations are omnipresent in natural systems. However, the vast majority of industrially fabricated objects, even those designed to augment, coexist and interact with natural systems, are homogenous or discrete in material composition. This paper presents an exploration into rapid fabrication with material gradients in the form of a variable property printing platform. A digital anisotropy approach and a variable-elasticity fabrication platform demonstrating the approach are presented. Prototype development methods and processes are presented and discussed in the context of its design applications. Current and future technological implications for functionally graded rapid prototyping across micro, meso and macro scales are reviewed and future directions discussed.