Concordia University researchers have discovered a manner to make use of sound to solidify liquid into plastic, a 3D-printing method that might be used to assemble medical implants straight inside an individual’s physique.
The researchers’ method, known as direct sound printing (DSP), focuses extremely high-frequency sound waves on a spot of liquid resin for less than a trillionth of a second, the researchers stated this week. It’s very transient however very highly effective, inflicting a tiny bubble to type that has sufficient power to set off a chemical response that solidifies the resin.
3D printing, whereas not as economical as mass manufacturing strategies like injection molding for plastic, has been catching on in some areas. That contains making prototypes, creating one-off merchandise like customized football helmets and constructing shapes which can be unattainable with standard strategies.
Sound-based 3D printing may add a brand new trick to the additive manufacturing trade. Solid supplies typically block mild and warmth, however sound can attain inside a physique or gadget. That may result in manufacturing an implant contained in the physique as an alternative of surgically including one thing made outdoors. The researchers examined the know-how working by 1.3 inches of pig pores and skin, muscle and fats tissue.
“DSP introduces the potential for noninvasive deep inside physique printing,” Concordia researchers stated in a Nature Communications paper. Some of the prototypes the researchers made embody ears and noses, however they did not assemble or implant something inside sufferers.
3D printing already is used for medical and dental procedures like alternative bones and tooth straighteners. Some docs even discovered a method to 3D-print a alternative ear out of the affected person’s personal cells.
Most 3D printing solidifies supplies utilizing mild or warmth. Sound affords a unique method to direct power to the fitting spot, forming a small bubble by a course of known as cavitation. There, temperatures attain strain about 1,000 instances that of air at sea degree and about 27,000 levels Fahrenheit — significantly hotter than the floor of the solar that is close to 10,000 levels.
That’s an intense surroundings, but it surely’s very small and really short-lived, so it would not have an effect on the encompassing areas.
The sound based mostly 3D-printing method additionally may work with mechanical repairs, for instance servicing in any other case inaccessible elements inside plane, the college stated.
The methodology works on different supplies apart from polymer resin, too.
“We proved that we will print a number of supplies, together with polymers and ceramics,” Concordia researcher Muthukumaran Packirisamy stated in a press release. “We are going to attempt polymer-metal composites subsequent, and ultimately we wish to get to printing steel utilizing this methodology.”