Working in a company that manufactures some of the world's most advanced 3D printers, it's a pleasure to ocassionally take 5 minutes away from my desk and have a look at what's printing on our machines. Today I happened to stumble upon this very aesthetic looking print session – a whole tray of 32 multi-tools all being printed at the same time on the Objet Connex500 – our largest multi-material 3D printer.
These multi-tools are all printed in Objet's ABS-like Digital Material - a very strong composite material that is unique to Objet's Connex range of 3D printers. The tools are created fully assembled and in their fold-up position. Once removed from the printer and washed, the tools can be unfolded and operated just like the real thing.
This is another great example of how 3D printing produces fully-assembled items in a single step. If you look closely in the video you can see the hinges and pins of the multi-tools all being printed in place - with the gaps carefully filled with the removable support material.