Researchers Develop Method for 3D Printing of Liquid Metals at Room Temperature

Posted on July 9, 2013

3D printer liquid metal structure

Researchers at North Carolina State have developed a way to print 3D liquid metals at room temperature. The researchers printed 3D objects. They also printed tiny wires. CNET reports that a syringe needle containing a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium was used. The metal was held together with a thin oxide skin. The skin prevents the liquid metal from puddling.

Dr. Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work, said in a release, "It's difficult to create structures out of liquids, because liquids want to bead up. But we've found that a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium reacts to the oxygen in the air at room temperature to form a 'skin' that allows the liquid metal structures to retain their shapes."

Take a look:

The research paper, "3D Printing of Free Standing Liquid Metal Microstructures," was published here in Advanced Materials.

Photo: Michael Dickey


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