Shape shifting objects can be easily created & developed with new 3D printing method
Are we bored with fixed objects present all around us? Certainly not but having some shape shifting object will certainly be a valuable addition at home or office without doubt. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in collaboration with two other institutions have been able to develop a relatively new 3D printing method which helps in creating shape shifting objects. This method helps in creating such objects which can permanently transform into wide variety of shapes when given to heat.
Using smarter technology in smarter way
The new 3D printed objected was made using the smart shape memory polymer also known as SMPs. Using SMPs was a smart choice as they have the ability to remember the shape they are in and change with ease to another as per the programming when heat is applied to it. So scientists were able to get the printed ‘objects’ to change their shape by making use of this smart polymer; which is not given much importance by many in the industry.
Researchers have stated that the current mechanical programming used in designing and manufacturing the products is quite time consuming and expensive affair. This new method of 3D printing will help in enhancing the overall printing time along with saving huge of materials.
The future application of this new 3D printing method
The lead researcher named Zen Ding has stated that they now possess the ability of creating such composite materials which acts differently at room temperature and changes dramatically when brought close to heat. In short they possess the ability to program the materials to change as per the need of hour by inducing response through heat. So in future scientists and technicians will be able to design composite components that remains stiff in shape but with the change in programming can turn into softer materials. Using the heat people will be to soften the stiff materials to soften by allowing it to release the stress present within and this will result in offering product in varied shape and size with ease.
On other hand the 4D objects can easily be created with the 3D printing in future which will help in adding new features to the products. Just imagine some products can be simply stacked flat or rolled up for shipping purpose and later on it can be expanded to the size expected by the consumers by heating them up. In other words we are going to get such a technology which can help in enabling the components in responding to the stimuli through programming.
This means component will be behaving in certain way when coming in contact with light, moisture or temperature. We can create or program the components to change their structure in very specific conditions or at very particular time using this technology. So this thing will find varied application in the medical devices, toy ranges, robotics and other structures like these all thanks to this 3D printing method.