Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois have developed a new fabrication technique which generates complex and attractive 3D nano and microstructures. The technique imitates the way a children’s pop-up book works and provides a number of benefits when compared to traditional 3D printing technology.
The study reported in the Science journal, describes a flat two-dimensional structure which ‘pops up’ into a complex 3D structure. The researchers used advanced materials, such as silicon, in order to create over 40 geometric patterns including the shapes of a starfish, a tent, a basket, a table, a starbust, a flower and a peacock.
In just one shot you get your structure. 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 up.
The new technique is likely to find practical applications in the fields of electronics, sensors and biomedical devices as it outperforms conventional 3D printing methods in a number of ways. Huang further stated that the team’s future work will involve choosing the suitable design for specific applications. … (read more)