Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit:

Light waves allow scientists to 3D print with multiple materials

They hope the chemistry-based approach will make more complex objects possible.
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

kynny via Getty Images

3D printing can already create sensors for NASA rovers, rocket engines, safer football helmets, dentures. Name it, and it seems like it can be 3D printed. But the technology is still pretty limited, partly because most 3D printing systems can only make parts made of one material at a time. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have discovered a way to use light to 3D print with more than one material.

Today, most 3D printers that lay down multiple materials use separate reservoirs. This new chemistry-based approach uses a single reservoir with two monomers (the molecules that are joined together to create a 3D-printed substance). Then, either ultraviolet or visible light is used to link those monomers together. Depending on which light is used, the final product will have different properties, like stiffness. The researchers hope this single-reservoir approach could be more practical than using multiple reservoirs of material.

This isn't the first time researchers have used light to control 3D printing, and this concept still needs some fine tuning. At the moment, researchers have only achieved putting hard materials next to soft material. And it will take time before scientists know which monomers work together in a single reservoir, but they hope "wavelength-controlled, multi-material 3D printing" will make more complex objects possible.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Netflix’s ‘Space Force’ spoof starring Steve Carell arrives on May 29th

Netflix’s ‘Space Force’ spoof starring Steve Carell arrives on May 29th

View
The best games for Nintendo Switch

The best games for Nintendo Switch

View
Stadia Pro is free for two months starting today

Stadia Pro is free for two months starting today

View
The COVID-19 shutdown is making weather prediction more difficult

The COVID-19 shutdown is making weather prediction more difficult

View
The Morning After: Sony unveiled the PS5's DualSense controller

The Morning After: Sony unveiled the PS5's DualSense controller

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr