How to print a robot from scratch: Combining liquids, solids could lead to faster, more flexible 3D creations

A network of capillaries 3D-printed using a newly-developed technique. Credit: Hayes et al. 2022, Advanced Materials

Imagine a future in which you could 3D-print an entire robot or stretchy, electronic medical device with the press of a button—no tedious hours spent assembling parts by hand.

That possibility may be closer than ever thanks to a recent advancement in 3D-printing technology led by engineers at CU Boulder. In a new study, the team lays out a strategy for using currently-available printers to create materials that meld solid and liquid components—a tricky feat if you don’t want your robot to collapse.
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