Jun 6, 2022

New type of 3D printing uses sound waves to build up objects

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

“Ultrasonic frequencies are already being used in destructive procedures like laser ablation of tissues and tumours,” said Prof. Muthukumaran Packirisamy, who led the study along with Dr. Mohsen Habibi and PhD student Shervin Foroughi. “We wanted to use them to create something.”

For instance, utilizing the technique, aircraft mechanics could conceivably 3D-print repairs onto internal components, without opening the plane’s fuselage. It’s even possible that implants could be 3D printed within a patient’s body, without the need for surgery.

Besides the PDMS resin, the scientists have also successfully used DSP to print objects made of ceramic material. They now plan on experimenting with polymer-metal composites, followed by pure metal.

3D printing typically involves depositing layers of molten plastic, laser-melting powdered metal, or using UV light to harden gelatinous resin. A new technique takes yet another approach, however, by utilizing sound waves.

Developed by a team of scientists at Canada’s Concordia University, the technology is known as direct sound printing (DSP).

In the current version of the technique, a transducer is used to send focused pulses of ultrasound through the sides of a chamber, into liquid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) resin contained within. Doing so produces ultrasonic fields, which cause rapidly oscillating microscopic bubbles to temporarily form at specific points in the resin.

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