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Could 3D-Printed Liquid Enable Shapeshifting Electronics?

Researchers in the US have discovered a way to print 3D structures made entirely of liquid. The all-liquid material could be used to construct electronics that power flexible, stretchable devices – potentially unlocking fresh opportunities for industries including wearable design and healthcare. Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California are using a modified 3D printer to ‘print’ lines of water into a vat of hydrophobic liquid silicone oil. To stop the water from splitting into droplets, a tubular vessel of “nanoparticle supersoap” surrounds the water to stabilise it and keep it contained. The threads of water are finer than a human hair and several metres long, and can be manipulated into elliptical or round cross-sections that remain stable for months. Although the research is a long way from incorporation into commercial products, it has the potential to redefine how designers use liquid materials. The team, led […]


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