Researchers from Germany presented a multidimensional printing method in which liquid is added to the process immediately. This will speed up the production of printed objects at least twice.
Chemists at the University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) have developed a way to integrate fluids into materials in a 3D printing process. This is how scientists could incorporate active medicinal agents into pharmaceutical products or glowing liquids into materials. The research appeared in the scientific journal Advanced Materials Technologies.
They explained that 3D printing has become very common, but this method is limited to liquefy materials when heated and become hard after printing. If the finished product is to contain liquid components, these are usually added later. It takes a lot of time and money. The researchers wanted to save time and combine several stages of production at once.
To do this, scientists have combined common 3D printing processes with traditional methods. Now liquid is added drop by drop to the right place as you print, allowing them to be purposefully integrated into the material.
Chemists have shown by two examples that their method works. First, they integrated an active liquid into a biodegradable material. In this case, the substance was not affected by the printing process. In the pharmaceutical industry, such materials are used in drugs that can slowly dissolve in the body. For example, they can be used to prevent inflammation after surgery.
The scientists also integrated the glowing liquid into a plastic material. When it gets damaged, fluid leaks out and shows where the damage happened. It will be useful in parts of cars or airplanes that are subject to heavy loads. Engineers will need less thorough research to discover the problem – this method will improve transport safety.