‘Pop-up’ fabrication technique trumps 3D printing

sentinelblog

Source: KurzweilAI, January 2015

Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple new fabrication technique to create beautiful, complex 3D micro- and nanostructures with advantages over 3D printing for a variety of uses.

The technique mimics the action of a children’s pop-up book — starting as a flat two-dimensional structure and popping up into a more complex 3D structure. Using a variety of advanced materials, including silicon, the researchers produced more than 40 different geometric designs, including shapes resembling a peacock, flower, starburst, table, basket, tent, and starfish.

“In just one shot you get your structure,” said Northwestern’s Yonggang Huang, one of three co-corresponding authors on the study. “We first fabricate a two-dimensional structure on a stretched elastic material. Then we release the tension, and up pops a 3-D structure. The 2-D structure must have some place to go, so it pops…

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