Virginia Tech researchers have discovered a novel process to 3D print latex rubber, unlocking the ability to print a variety of elastic materials with complex geometric shapes.
Latex, commonly known as the material in gloves or paint, refers to a group of polymers — long, repeating chains of molecules — coiled inside nanoparticles dispersed in water. 3D printed latex and other similarly rubbery materials called elastomers could be used for a variety of applications, including soft robotics, medical devices, or shock absorbers.
3D printed latex has been documented only a handful of times in scientific literature. None of the previous examples come close to the mechanical properties of the latex printed by an interdisciplinary team affiliated with the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII), the College of Science, and the College of Engineering. Through […]
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