A Material That Changes the Shape and Color of 3D Printed Parts

Smart ink has been created for the 3D printer. The 3D printer uses this ink to turn structures into objects. These objects can change both color and shape. Giving life to 3D objects it will pave the way for a new generation of printing.

Most 3D objects that are printed do not have molecular properties the smart ink is bringing the functioning properties to the world of 3D printing. Using the functional molecular properties the 3D printer can print many useful objects. The development of this smart ink will help to create objects that are macroscale and can be used in the medical field for bone replacement of the delivery of medicine.

The Technique Behind

Using various techniques the researchers could print objects to only one percent of the original size. The objects which had ten times the resolution could also be animated. The animation causes the object to expand and contract in size. This is done by the use of supramolecular pillars. Then using fluorescent tracked the object change colors simply by using light.

The smart ink if created using a polymer-based solution. The solution integrates intelligent molecular systems into a printable gel. Once printed the material does not harden but instead goes through more chemical reactions. These reactions block some molecular ingredients and cause the object to transform shape.

Reducing Price and Material

The objects changing shape has never been seen before. Being able to tell molecules to rearrange the shape of an object visible to the eyes has brought a new level to the area of 3D printing by being able to use this process on a smaller more affordable printer instead of the more expensive machine. This reduces the costs of printing objects.

3D printers can already create prosthetic limbs, food, and even houses. The new smart ink will expand on these capabilities. It will create a totally new style of 3D printed objects. This type of printing is being called 4D. People who already use the 3D printing are looking forward to a printer that offers a low-cost solution for parts in the energy and biomechanics sciences.

Researchers who are frustrated with the current process of printing hopes that the smart ink will help ease these frustrations as they look forward to more functionality in printing features.