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3-d Printing Produces Working Electrical… components

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For the first time, an international team of engineers led by the University of California, Berkeley has used 3D printing to produce working electrical components, including resistors, inductors, and capacitors. Mechanical engineering professor Liwei Lin says that came with some challenges since current 3D printers cannot print metal parts.

"So what we have done, is actually just do 3D printing of plastic material, together with wax. And then we remove the wax and add these silver particles as our metal. So it’s almost like liquid before you cure it. So you can actually put this one into any shape and cure it with time. The solvent will actually evaporate and then will solidify and has a good property like metal."

They tested the new technology by printing a wireless smart cap that was able to detect spoiled milk using embedded sensors.

"This is the first time we demonstrate a working device like a sensor out of this 3D printing process."

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