Chemists at Martin Luther Halle-Wittenberg University (MLU) have developed a method to introduce lifts directly into materials through the 3D printing process. This will allow, for example, the introduction of active medical agents into pharmaceutical products or luminous lifts to be integrated into products, which allows for the monitoring of damage. The study was published in “Advanced Materials Technologies ».
3D printing is now widely used for a range of applications. In general, however, the method is limited to materials that are melted through heat and harden after printing. If there are melting components in the finished product, they are usually added afterwards. This is time consuming and costly. “The future lies in more complex ways that combine several production measures,” says Professor Wolfgang Binder of MLU’s Institute of Chemistry. “That’s why we were looking for a way to introduce lifts directly into the material during the printing process.”
To this endeavor, Binder and his colleague Harald Rupp combined common 3D printing processes with traditional printing methods such as those used in inkjet or laser printers. Lifts are added drop-drop at the location you want when the base material is removed. This allows them to be integrated directly and into the material in a targeted way.
The chemists have been able to show that their method works through two examples. First, they integrated active ingredient into biodegradable material. “We were able to confirm that the active ingredient was not affected by the printing process and remained active,” Binder explained. ‘The body can break down slowly.They can be used after operations, for example, to prevent inflammation.This new process could make the production possible.
Second, the scientists incorporated a light liquid into a plastic material. When the material is damaged, the liquid leaks out and identifies where the damage occurred. “You could print something like this into a small piece of product that is exposed to very high pressure levels,” says Binder, for example, in parts of cars or planes that are under a lot of pressure. According to Binder, damage to plastic materials is difficult to detect so far – unlike metal damage, where X-rays can reveal micro-cracks, so the new method could increase safety. .
The combined process is also possible for many other areas of application, says the chemist. The team plans to use the method to print parts of batteries. “Larger sizes cannot be achieved in the laboratory with our establishment,” explains Binder. To achieve industry sizes, the process needs to be further developed outside the university. .
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