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Researchers are working electronic parts with 3D printer
Researchers from the University of Berkeley describe how to use a 3D printer to create electronic components. As a demonstration they made a cap for a milk carton that can detect if the milk is still good.
The researchers used polymers and was to make a kind of molds for the electronics. By removing the wax systems arose tubes, holes and surfaces in the plastic components, which they injected with liquid metal, such as silver. The resulting shapes of metal in the operation of the components. For example, scientists knew the resistors, capacitors, LC-circuits to make and rinsing.
That the components actually functioned, they showed by integrating the LC circuit in a cap for a milk carton. The milk carton they left unopened for 36 hours standing, wherein the component of the detected changes in electrical signal as a result of the increase in the number of bacteria. A wireless radio sensor, the researchers were able to keep an eye on changing. After 36 hours, they detected a shift of the resonance frequency of 4.3 percent, where the change of a carton of milk in the refrigerator is about 0.12 percent.
“The 3D printing technology can eventually create electronic circuits that are inexpensive enough to be integrated in the packaging of food, for warnings to consumers,” said Liwei Lin, of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center. According to him, customers can check their smartphone with the shelf life of products on the shelves.
His team is working on other health applications, such as implantable electronics that can measure blood pressure and muscle tension. The researchers describe their findings in a paper in Nature Microsystems and Nano Engineering .
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