Typically, 3D printers can produce objects that are made of plastic or metal, but not plastic AND metal.
In addition, the traditional method of printing plastic structures with metal coatings is not efficient or environmentally friendly.
However, scientists at Waseda University in Japan developed a new hybrid method with two nozzles: one to extrude standard ABS and the other to extrude ABS filled with a palladium compound.
Electroless plating then produces a metallic coating that adheres better to the plastic, compared to the traditional method.
Metal-plastic 3D printing could be especially useful in 3D electronics (e.g. devices and robots in healthcare)!
For more information, read here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201005101542.htm