Water-based fabrication of biomaterial structures
Researchers at MIT have realized a technique for printing gel-based structures modeled after the principles of biological construction. The water-based additive manufacturing method is driven by a robotic arm, equipped with a pneumatic deposition apparatus composed of multiple nozzles and syringes, that enables precise control over a variety of material gradients. The system prints hydrogels and other gel-based composites with a viscosity range of 500 to 50,000 cPs (the equivalent of motor oil to ketchup), and various resins, pastes, clays, and polyvinyl alcohols may also be incorporated into the gel feedstock. The materials cure after printing, changing from gels to solids. This material transformation allows designers to produce flexible, macroscale architectural surfaces or wearable prostheses based on the heterogeneous cellular characteristics of biological structures.
Contact: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mediated Matter Group, Cambridge, MA, USA.
For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future