Harvard University’s engineering school has developed a new printing techniw=que which fire and controls droplets from a nozzle at fast speeds using sound waves.
How does it work?
This printer will allow the researchers to print with liquids more viscous and thicker than ever before. Using these vibrations liquid metals, honey, and stem-cell-based inks can be printed fluidly. The vibration comes from acoustic techniques which were previously used by researchers to levitate liquids instead of printing with them.
If you want to read more about this new technique, it was published in the journal Science Advances on 31st of August.
According to Live Science, when sound waves crash into objects, they exert pressure on them. Previous experiments conducted by researchers included the pressure to be fine-tuned in order to pull and push on things, build tractor beams and levitate them. You can try it at home, but we think these experiments would be left in experts’ hands. In the new study, the pressure was used by researchers to precisely control the printer’s ink and widen the range of liquids it could use as ink and print with.
The goal of the experiment
According to Daniele Foresti, the lead study author and a research associate in materials science and mechanical engineering at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the experiment aimed to develop a printing system that would be independent of the fluid’s material properties and take viscosity out of the picture. Viscosity is the thickness of the liquid.
Based on information from the study, a printer would rely on gravity to deposit and form droplets of ink, under normal circumstances. Even though this might sound effective to you, it does limit the materials that can be used by a printer as one designed to deposit fast-flowing ink droplets would not do as a good job as expected if a slower-dripping pitch is used.