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USC researchers use 3D printing to help produce nanomaterials on a larger scale – 3ders.org (blog)

by • February 24, 2016 • No Comments

Feb 25, 2016 | By Andre
When approached to write an article based around on USC’s research on the manufacture of 3D printing aided nanoparticles, I figure it’d be most to do a little research on the subject.
What I discovered out was that they are microscopic particles with at quite least one dimension less than nm (or 100,000 times smaller in size than the width a human hair. I later learned that 1kg of particles of 1mm3 has the same surface area as 1mg of particles of 1 nm3; that they can seep through cell membranes without cavia molecular injure, and in addition that they don’t come bargain-priced.
Traditionally made in labs with quite limited production capacities, a gram of gold nanoparticles can run you $80,000 on the open market. For comparison’s sake, you can purchase a gram of pure, raw gold for a measly $50.

So why are nanoparticles so expensive? USC Professor Noah Malmstadt is the initially to admit that “It’s not the gold that’s createing it expensive. We can manufacture them, but it’s not like we can bargain-pricedly manufacture ta 50-gallon drum of them.” Thankfully, this team of scientists are doing their most to create additional nanoparticles at lower costs than at any time preceding with the assist of 3D printing innovation.
Instead of making the particles via traditional test tubes, flasks and beakers, the team led by Malmstadt has shifted their focus by 3D printing quite small 250 micrometer tubes in an take on to create and capture these nanoparticles at relatively breakneck speeds. “In order to go sizeable scale, we have to go small.” Brutchey has said.

After via stereolithography 3D printing methods to create an aligned network of these small 3D printed tubes, two non mixing fluids are pushed through them. Once the fluids escape on the other end of the 3D printed tubes, they smack against every other as small micro-scale droplets preceding transforming into nanoparticles in a quite predictable manner.
Each one of these tubes can manufacture maillions of copies of these small little droplets.

Renderings of 3D printed droplet generators and images of droplet formation process.

Whilst much like tube based approaches have been created in the past, these 3D printing aided nanoparticle making tubes have a various geometry that allows for a additional uniform distribution that in turn leads to fewer jams and a additional balanced particle.
So why all the fuss for these nanoparticles at all? In a much like style to why 3D printing companies are attempting to speed up the adoption of super material graphene, a speedier production of nanoparticles can lead to a excellent deal of breakthroughs. Their capacity to climb through cell membranes without cavia injure has excellent implications on regenerative cell research and as a deliquite process for medicine.
One other quirk characteristic of nanoparticles is that sintering can take place at lower temperatures in less time than with sizeabler particles. To my ready 3D print-centric brain I light up with excitement at the possibility of next-next generation SLS 3D printing equipment that fill their create trays with amazingly satisfactory, low-heat fvia, ultra swift laser sintering processs.
Even yet, for now, 3D printing and nanoparticles are just working together of a production point of view, the projected market for this synthesized matter is in the range of $12 billion by 2020 (up of $3.4 billion today). So giving a shot at being the swiftest out of the gate when it comes to making this potentially disruptive 21st century particle seems to be a worthy mission.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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