Author Topic: Firsts in 3D printing: breakthroughs electronics & construct  (Read 129 times)

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Offline cadmodeling777

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Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing as it’s more commonly called, can create bespoke parts quickly and cheaply. Engineers send a computer-aided design to the AM equipment. Following those instructions, the equipment adds successive layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material to fabricate an object in 3D.



Now 3D printing has gone a step further. New research from Nottingham University has proven it can also work on the molecular scale, potentially increasing the use of 3D-printed devices in electronics, quantum computing and healthcare.
The details

The research, led by Dr Victor Sans Sangorrin from the Faculty of Engineering and Dr Graham Newton from the School of Chemistry, used photochromic molecules, which change colour when exposed to light combined with a custom-made polymer. Specifically, the photo-active molecule -- a nano-structured tungsten-containing polyoxometalate – changes from colourless to blue when irradiated with light, then back by exposure to oxygen from the air. This was printed as a composite with a polyoxymethylene polymer, a class of materials used as engineering thermoplastics due to their stiffness and low friction.

In the academic journal Advanced Materials, the researchers explain, “In theory, it would be possible to reversibly encode something quite complex like a QR code or a barcode, and then wipe the material clean, almost like cleaning a whiteboard with an eraser. While our devices currently operate using colour changes, this approach could be used to develop materials for energy storage and electronics.”


Other firsts: 3D printed homes

Meanwhile, the Dutch city of Eindhoven has announced that the world’s first habitable 3D-printed homes will be built, transforming the construction industry – 3D printing generates less waste in building materials while also making it easier to customise homes to individual needs. The homes will also solve the problem of a shortage of bricklayers in the Netherlands, which drives up construction costs.

The futuristic-looking houses are designed to be as much a work of art as they are functional. The goal is that the small community will resemble a sculpture garden.

As part of Project Milestone, five concrete houses will be printed later this year. The collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology and other partners will ensure that the houses meet living standards.

This won’t be the first time a 3D-printed house has been created, but those projects were prototyped or part of research projects.

The team plan to follow that up with multiple-story homes that feature three bedrooms, patios and balconies. Each subsequent house will be built by applying knowledge learned from the previous house. Parts will initially be printed at the university, but to reduce costs, the project team will work towards bringing the entire operation to the construction site.

Only the exterior and inner walls of the first of the new homes will be made using the printer. The hope is that by the fifth house, the drainage pipes and other installations will also be printed.
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The team already has another first under their belt when they created the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, now used by cyclists in the Dutch village of Gemert.





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