Additive manufacturing is expensive, time-consuming, and offers limited material options. That could change with the announcement earlier this week by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) of a novel 3D printer than can simultaneously extrude 10 materials in high resolution. The MultiFab system uses 3D-scanning technology to collect visual data of an object; it then prints around that design with microscopic polymer droplets applied via inkjet print-heads. The open-source system self-calibrates and self-corrects to maintain accuracy despite the inexpensive hardware. The team developed the printer using off-the-shelf components at a cost of $7,000—far below that of typical multi-material printers in use today, which can cost more than $200,000. The researchers can currently embed components such as circuits and sensors, but they hope to eventually print an array of functional materials. “We want to combine materials that have functional properties either mechanically, which is what we’ve demonstrated, optically, or semiconducting,” Javier Ramos, one of the team’s research engineers, told Wired. [CSAIL + Wired]

ICYMI: New Yorkers now have a tool for determining the potential energy-cost savings of adding solar panels to their rooftops. [ARCHITECT]

Algae can be used to produce light, clean the air, and serve as a source of biofuel. Its latest application, as a flexible foam, could have eventual use in the building-materials space. Marketed now for use in yoga mats and sporting goods, the material is expected to go to market in 2016. [Gizmag]

Solar panels are typically found on the roof—but what about the windows? Columbia, Md.–based manufacturer Solar Window Technologies developed a clear film that can be applied to glass and flexible plastics, allowing windows to capture UV rays and generate electricity while remaining transparent. [Designboom]

Philips is making smart lighting more user-friendly with the debut of a DIY kit for its Hue system. The $40 package includes white Hue lamps and a ZigBee remote that can be mounted rather than wired to the wall, making installing intelligent dimmers much easier. [Fast Company’s Co.Design]

Drones can help with site mapping and even transporting materials—but what about tracking workers’ progress? They’re doing that now, too. [MIT Technology Review]

Carbon3D, the startup that made headlines earlier this year for its novel and ultra-fast additive manufacturing technology, has secured $100 million in its third round of funding with Google Ventures among the investors. []