This week we analyze how AM is broadening its own range of materials through innovative research and contributing to material research outside its own realm.
AM is greatly diversifying the choice of materials at its disposal, through material engineering or process improvements. New, super-stretchy polymers from SUTD promise a host of applications in flexible electronics and soft robots while a new microdroplets process from WSU allows for the manufacturing of structures with custom porosity and other properties. All the while, AM is the enabler of new bacteria processed, graphene-like materials.
As you can see, we’ve got a lot to cover!
New Elastomers Stretch 1100% for 3D Printing
Researchers have developed a family of elastomers that they believe are the most elastic to date [up to 1100%] and can be fabricated using 3D-printing technologies, making these useful materials more accessible for a range of applications from soft robots to flexible electronics. “The new elastomers enable us to directly print complicated geometric structures and devices–such as a 3D soft robotic gripper–within an hour,” said Qi Ge, an assistant professor at the SUTD’s DManD Centre, and a co-leader of the project.
Read more here.
Nanostructure 3D printing mimics bio-materials
[…] researchers from Washington State University (WSU) have developed a method which can print metal structures with complex 3D architectures, controlling details down to the nanoscale and closely mimicking the architecture of natural bio-materials like wood and bone. This technique is likely to find other applications in batteries, supercapacitors and biological scaffolds.
Read more about it at Cosmos Magazine.
3D-printed bacteria could make bespoke graphene-like materials
How do you make a bespoke material with graphene-like properties? By putting bacteria to work using a 3D printer. Such bacteria could create brand new materials. For example, if you could use bacteria to print a substance resembling graphene – the 2D material made of single-atom layers of carbon – the end product might have similar desirable properties.
Read more at New Scientist.
We were at AMUG this week, holding a roundtable on AM process management challenges and solutions. We are grateful for the opportunity to share ideas with so many interesting people!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and to come back next week for another weekly edition of the News-In-Review!