When it comes to making a 3D printed liquid-filled object, the proper thing is to inject the liquid after the object has been printed. However, thanks to the development of a new process, it will now be possible to carry out the printing of these objects in a single step, making this a technology with the potential to be implemented in different tasks.
Those responsible for the creation of this technology were a team belonging to the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg led by Professor Wolfgang Binder in conjunction with researcher Harald Rupp.
Regarding the technique, it makes use of a unique system that incorporates two heads of 3d print in which one is in charge of constructing the objects by successively extruding layers of molten polymer while the other is in charge of depositing tiny drops of liquid.
During a test carried out with the purpose of demonstrating the use of this technology, the team carried out the printing of capsules made of a biodegradable polymer, which were filled with an «active liquid substance».
Even after having overcome the heat generated by the printing process, the liquid still had its active qualities intact. This made it possible to verify the effectiveness that this system could have to be used in the manufacture of capsules that gradually release a medicine inside the body.
Another test carried out with this method allowed sealing a luminous liquid inside a plastic material, which was then subjected to a considerable effort that led to its rupture, causing the liquid inside to leak.
What can this technique be used for?
From this result it could be deduced that the best application scenario for this material would be in key areas of aircraft and cars.
In the future, it is expected that this 3D printing technique will acquire further optimization, so that it can be used in the creation of self-healing materials and even battery components.
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