‘ Terminator’-inspired 3D printer turns liquids into personalised prosthetics
THE SHAPE-SHIFTING T-1000 was one of the most iconic villains in SF movie history. Now, a team from the University of North Carolina has used the character as the inspiration to create a 3D printer that creates fully formed objects from a pool of liquid.
Standard 3D printing technology works by building up materials layer by layer, fusing them together as it goes. But this new technique – dubbed CLIP, or Continuous Liquid Interface Production – works by using light and oxygen to solidify a liquid resin. It can create objects with a level of detail just 20 microns across: that’s less than one-quarter the thickness of a piece of paper. It is also 25 to 100 times faster than conventional methods, say its inventors. CLIP enables a wide range of materials to be used to make 3D parts with novel properties, including nylonlike, ceramic and biodegradable materials, expanding 3D printing’s range of potential applications.
Biodegradable coronary stents are one item which CLIP is ideally suited to producing