The use of 3D printers has long been not limited to various experimental laboratory projects – they are becoming more and more closely involved in tandem with modern methods of construction, decoration and many other areas. Nevertheless, most of these printers can print only relatively small figures and products, which implies the need to focus on much more complex and dimensional models of 3D printers for the manufacture of truly large objects. However, a talented team of chemical engineering specialists from the University of California decided to do something different by introducing new magnifying material.
Simply put, why increase the size of a physical printer if you can make a product from a material that can be further enlarged? That is exactly what the research team did, using a special polymer foam using resin as part of traditional 3D printing – and the researchers needed a pretty decent amount of time to test all the possible chemical configurations of such a material and highlight the most promising one.
However, they succeeded, because preliminary tests demonstrated the high efficiency of this material. Using a standard 3D printer, specialists created a small sphere with slots using a standard 3D printer and, using third-party heating, managed to increase its size with this resin and polymer foam, since its chemical composition is transformed from solid to gaseous and again to solid, creating and restoring the previous form during the transformation. As a result, it turns out to launch a really interesting 3D material of expanding action.
Of course, at this point in time, this technology is still controversial in terms of its energy efficiency, as well as in terms of possible mass distribution in the near future – mainly because so far specialists use a wide number of not the cheapest polymers in such a foam. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that sooner or later they will be able to commercialize the project.