To date, the size of the items that can be printed on a 3D printer, limited by the size of the 3D printer (unless you design complex assemblies). Therefore, when the need arises to print a large object – for example, for aerospace industry – the manufacturer is forced to bond, weld or glue a variety of small parts. Of course, engineers around the world are looking for ways to solve this problem. One of them was developed at the University of San Diego (USA) – scientists suggest using the foam, which can increase in volume by 40 times.

The object of this rubber is printed in a conventional 3D printer, and then expands to desired size. According to the developers, this material will be particularly useful in areas such as architecture, Biomedicine, energy and aerospace industries. Also the lung is rubber you can use when creating floating devices and structures.

The authors published an article in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, in which he described the process of creating rubber print options and some mechanical properties. This is not the first attempt to use materials with variable structure in three-dimensional printing. But the method is still innovative, and retains great potential for further development.

Source — ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces