Self-healing and other smart properties of the products of tomorrow (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #108)

Material sciences is one of the greatest contributors for the awe-inspiring new papers that are being released in recent times. Not only are we discovering fundamental new properties of established materials, but new meta-materials are also shining a new light on the possibilities ahead. Coatings that are capable of self-repair after scratches or cracks, textiles that change the knitting density based on humidity and more. 3D printing is also playing an interesting part here because it is both player and beneficiary of these discoveries: in some applications, the materials are born out of 3D printing’s ability to combine different materials in one new compound, in others these materials solve some of the technology’s major hurdles, like overhand printing or structural performance.

 

Fluid-inspired material self-heals before your eyes

Engineers have developed a new coating strategy for metal that self-heals within seconds when scratched, scraped or cracked. The novel material could prevent these tiny defects from turning into localized corrosion, which can cause major structures to fail.

Read more about it here.

 

Using 3D Printing, Researchers Combine Graphene Oxide, Seaweed- Derived Material to Create Smart Hydrogel

Researchers from Brown University are utilizing graphene oxide to strengthen alginate—a natural material derived from seaweed—and create a unique hydrogel that will become stiffer and softer in response to different chemical treatments. This innovation could be used in several applications, including to make more robust smart materials that react to their surroundings in real time.

Read the full article here.

 

Smart fabric changes thermal properties based on environment

The new fabric being developed by University of Maryland scientists. Credit: Faye Levine, University of Maryland.

For the first time, scientists have devised a fabric that can dynamically alter its thermal properties in response to the environment. The automatic thermal regulation means people would no longer have to take off clothes when it’s hot or put clothes on when it’s too cold. The breakthrough lies in cleverly engineering the fabric with two different types of synthetic yarn — one absorbs water, while the other repels it.

Read more on ZME Science.

 

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AM, Enabler of Breakthroughs (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 33)

3D printing is opening doors for what were previously thought to be unfeasible projects, paving the way for breakthroughs in a wide variety of areas: The Cell3Dtor project, funded by the European Union, is aiming to bring to market solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), much more energy efficient and easily/cheaply manufacturable through 3D printing. Bioprinting is going further than medical implants, enabling tunable designs of biological matrixes to radically change drug testing. Graphene is also almost ready for mass-production as a new 3D printing method using Nickel and sugar makes it simple and efficient to produce.

Cell3Ditor uses ceramics 3D printing to improve production of energy efficient solid oxide fuel cells

A pioneering new project, Cell3Ditor, by the Catalan Energy Research Institute is now aiming to leverage ceramics 3D printing to help the environment more directly, with the production of new, more efficient solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Currently, manufacturing a SOFC requires more than 100 stages of production, with the different components being made separately and assembled with vitreous seals. This complexity greatly increases the costs of both production and initial investment, which is estimated at around € 4.8 million. 3D printing technology could change all this for the better, cutting down production time and costs as well as drastically simplifying the whole assembly process. 3D printing techniques also allow for an improved final product, as the cell could be made in one single piece.

Read the full article here.

Why Drug Testing May Be the Most Important Application of 3D Bioprinting

3D printed tissue is proving to be an effective means of testing new pharmaceuticals, meaning that drugs can be thoroughly assessed and brought to market more quickly, all without harming animal test subjects. A group of researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) recently published a paper discussing the development of a new type of bioink that enables the 3D printing of cells and other biological materials as part of a single production process. You can access the paper, entitled “Mechanically Tunable Bioink for 3D Printing of Human Cells,” here.

Read the article at 3DPrint.

Scientists May Have Discovered a Sweet Way to Mass Produce Graphene

Image Credit: Tour Group/Rice University

Nanotechnologists from Rice University and China’s Tianjin University have come up with a way to make centimeter-sized objects of atomically thin graphene that’s pretty sweet. The method is simple, can be performed at room temperature, and only requires sugar and nickel in a process called “3D laser printing.” Due to the printing method, the scientists were able to control the shapes to the level of the pore and make them 99 percent air — retaining graphene’s lightness. This is a landmark for the “miracle material” — composed of a single atomic layer of hexagonally linked carbon — which has paradigm-shifting potential due to its high strength (200 times stronger than steel) and conductivity.

Read more about the landmark here.

 

See you next week for another News In Review! Our Twitter feed will keep you updated on the latest 3D printing/IIOT news as you wait.

 

Engineering Bespoke AM Materials (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 13)

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

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

Wonder material: graphene

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!