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3D Printing Technology Printed on the Skin

Date: 2018-11-09
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Researchers at the University of Minnesota have recently developed a breakthrough 3D printing technology that can print electronic components directly in real hands. This technology is expected to be used in the battlefield in the future, and soldiers can print temporary sensors on themselves to detect biochemicals. 

 3D Printing Technology Printed on the Skin

The new 3D printing technology uses a lightweight, mobile 3D printer that costs less than $400. Researchers say that in the future, soldiers can carry this 3D printer with them and print any sensors or other electronic components needed on the battlefield. This 3D printing tool will be the future all-in-one "Swiss Army Knife".


An important innovation of this new 3D printing technology is that adjustments can be made in real time based on the tiny movements of the body during the printing process. When printing on the skin, the human body produces tiny movements that are uncontrollable. The printer places temporary marks on the skin and scans them, making real-time adjustments through the tracking marks to ensure that the printed electronic components maintain the shape of the circuit.


Another unique feature of this new 3D printing technology is the use of a specially developed ink. This kind of printing ink made of silver can be stored and conductive at room temperature, while other similar inks can only be stored at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius, which will definitely burn the skin. To remove printed electronic components, simply tuck them with tweezers or wash them directly.


In addition to printing electronic components, the research team successfully used bio-ink to print biological cells directly on the skin wounds of mice. This success will help to promote new technologies for wound healing and dermatological treatment.

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