3D Printing of Liquid Metals at Room Temperature
Researchers at NC State have developed a way to print liquid metals into 3D structures at room temperature. The structures are stabilized by a thin oxide 'skin' that forms on the liquid metal. The approaches shown here represent new ways to direct write metals in 3D. In addition, the resulting components can, in principle, self-heal ( "Self-healing stretchable wires" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfAOEt1eNFU) and be ultra-stretchable ( "Ultra-stretchable wires" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlVuIK5wAj0).
The paper, "3D Printing of Free Standing Liquid Metal Microstructures," is published online in Advanced Materials. For more information, visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201301400/abstract.
The work was supported by the National Science Foundation.