Aug 30, 2016

MIT’s 3D-Printed Shape-Shifting Objects Could Revolutionize Medicine

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cyborgs

Using light, a team of MIT researchers were able to print 3D structures that “remember” their original shapes. Even after being stretched, twisted, and bent at extreme angles, the structures sprang back to their original forms within seconds of being heated to a certain temperature “sweet spot.”

Beyond 3D-printed dinners, additive manufacturing has helped create artificial jaws, better prosthetics, and even brain tumors. Researchers at MIT have found a way to print 3D structures that remember their original shapes within seconds of being heated at a specific temperature “sweet spot,” paving the way towards developing tiny drug capsules that open upon early signs of infection.

Researchers often turn to 3D printing to fabricate shape-memory structures since the technology lets them to custom-design structures with relatively fine detail. The only problem is that conventional 3D printers come with size restrictions—the structures’ details can’t go any smaller than a few millimeters, and the restriction limits how fast the material can recover its original shape.

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