Researchers at the University of North Carolina has developed a unique method of additive printing with silicone. Surprisingly, the whole process takes place in water. The approach is very similar to the principle of the construction of sand castles, because particles of silicone form a special bridges such as joints of wet sand.
How it all happened?
In the printing process are utilized as liquid and solid silicone particles. Researchers used to work a special material known as polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS. The particles are combined with water (the latter is used as a binder). The resulting structures can be very useful for Biomedicine, and soft robotics. Scientists claim that 3D printing with silicone will create a support structure directly into living tissue.
Head of the research team that worked on this project, Orlin D. Velev, says the simplicity of this additive method. There is no need to use chemical substances and reagents and expensive equipment. His team managed to find a simple method by which you can fill with a 3D printer two kinds of silicone and printing, even under water.
A real breakthrough in Biomedicine
Many researchers tried to find a way to print with silicone. But until that time all attempts ended in a fiasco. Mainly used for printing or the heating material, or special chemicals. The team also veleva was virtually impossible. Scientists have achieved success by using multiphase systems of only two materials.
After the silicone structure ekstrudirovannyy, they are exposed to heat. They harden at a temperature of 85 degrees. The end result is to produce flexible, porous structure, which can find extensive use in Biomedicine.