Monday, May 07, 2012

2D + water = 3D

'' Printed 2D Tissues Transform Into 3D With Water, Suitable For Blood Vessels And Robots 
Researchers have determined how to control the shape of a polymer system at the micro-scale with a technique akin to half-tone printing.

The polymer they use swells like a microscopic sponge when exposed to water, however printing 'resist dots' in the polymer substrate creates points that will not swell (1). When all resist dots in one area are the same size, the area undergoes uniform expansion and the structure remains flat (2). When the dot size changes, however, buckling occurs from the mismatch in growth from one area to another (3). With a proper half-tone pattern of resist dots, almost any 3-D shape can be achieved.'' [source]

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