A Review of Multi-Material 3D Printing of Functional Materials via Vat Photopolymerization

Usman Shaukat, Elisabeth Rossegger, Sandra Schlögl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Additive manufacturing or 3D printing of materials is a prominent process technology which involves the fabrication of materials layer-by-layer or point-by-point in a subsequent manner. With recent advancements in additive manufacturing, the technology has excited a great potential for extension of simple designs to complex multi-material geometries. Vat photopolymerization is a subdivision of additive manufacturing which possesses many attractive features, including excellent printing resolution, high dimensional accuracy, low-cost manufacturing, and the ability to spatially control the material properties. However, the technology is currently limited by design strategies, material chemistries, and equipment limitations. This review aims to provide readers with a comprehensive comparison of different additive manufacturing technologies along with detailed knowledge on advances in multi-material vat photopolymerization technologies. Furthermore, we describe popular material chemistries both from the past and more recently, along with future prospects to address the material-related limitations of vat photopolymerization. Examples of the impressive multi-material capabilities inspired by nature which are applicable today in multiple areas of life are briefly presented in the applications section. Finally, we describe our point of view on the future prospects of 3D printed multi-material structures as well as on the way forward towards promising further advancements in vat photopolymerization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2449
Number of pages69
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 3D printing
  • cationic polymerization
  • chain-growth
  • grayscale printing
  • multimaterials
  • orthogonal networks
  • step-growth
  • vat photopolymerization

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