Sometimes you read a story about a new device or process, and you know the potential is mind-blowing, you’re just not exactly sure how. This is one of those stories:
Researchers have spent years developing a method of 3D-printing liquid metal at room temperature. The resulting paper, “3D Printing of Free Standing Liquid Metal Microstructures,” was recently published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The process uses a syringe needle to dollop tiny spheres of metal together. A thin oxide skin holds it all together and prevents the printed structures from just collapsing into metal blobs. It can be used to create extruded metal wires or put together tiny structures crafted from spheres.
The extruded wires are both flexible and stretchable, opening up possibilities for 3D-printing connections between electronic components.
I can’t wait to see what this makes possible.