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4D printers will replace a 3D printers - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 December 2014 21:03

The first production 3D-printer was released in the late 80s of the last century. Since then, three-dimensional printing technology out of the laboratories and specialized companies and are now available for everyone. Currently printing devices provide a variety of things from contact lenses to weapons and buildings. And as materials used are plastics, ceramics, metal and even marmalade.

If an ordinary printer prints on paper in two dimensions, three-dimensional is of similar two-dimensional layers of three-dimensional figures. The team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers not dwell on it and add a fourth dimension - time.

Dan Raviv (Dan Raviv) and his colleagues are working on a new technology that will enable 3D-printing products change their shape after creation.

As reported in the online publication in Scientific Reports, used in the two materials with different properties. Specialists printed grid size of 38 by 38 centimeters, in which the elements of rigid plastic are connected with a substance that increases in volume by absorption of moisture.

During the experiments, they discovered that if the product put into water, the absorbent material is deformed and changing its shape grill. In this case, depending on the location and structure of the changing elements range of shapes with complex geometry can be very broad. For example, scientists have published a figure in which the abbreviation Institute of MIT eventually turns into letters SAL.

According to the authors work in the foreseeable future, this approach will produce things that can adapt to changing conditions in response to humidity or temperature. In addition 4D-print open the way an entirely new medical implants that can change their shape, size and functionality without additional surgery.

One of the main applications of the new technology could be the production of stents - small tubes that are placed inside the coronary vessels narrowed by atherosclerosis. Printed stents can be introduced into the vessel in the folded state, after which they become a permanent tubular shape and expand the affected area.

Now scientists are experimenting with shape-shifting structures as in smaller and on a large scale in order to adapt the technology to different spheres of human activity.

Raviv said that his team is in the very beginning and will require much more research before the four-dimensional printing is widespread. For example, the authors experimented with different materials. Currently used by them moisture absorbent material can withstand only a few cycles of change shape after which it loses its properties. Moreover, engineers and other factors determine the conditions that promote the deformation of the final product, e.g., a change in shape may result in exposure to light and temperature.


НАЖМИТЕ ЗДЕСЬ ДЛЯ ПРОСМОТРА ВСЕГО СПИСКА НОВОСТЕЙ О НЕОБЫЧНЫХ ЯВЛЕНИЯХ>>>

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