Researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, led by Jang-Ung Park, a Professor of Material Science and Engineering, have developed a fine-resolution printing technology they call “electrohydrodynamic inkjet printing” capable of creating tiny 3D structures such as helix-like pillars which are thinner than a red blood cell.
At dimensions down to 0.001 mm, this 3D printing technology can work under normal room temperature limits and may result in a process which can be used with a broad range of materials and applications such as electronic circuits for wearable devices.
According to Park, the process will have obvious applications in the the electronics industry and allow for the production of 3D electronic circuits of more delicate designs, which have proven difficult to create using existing photolithographic technology. In doing so the industry could drastically reduce costs while miniaturizing components in a variety of applications. In a world where everyone seems to want thinner smartphones, TVs, and laptops, as well as more energy efficient, lighter gadgets, this research could have a major impact across the board.
“The existing ultrafine pattern production methods in semiconductor manufacturing procedure had difficulties in reproducing 3D patterns,” Park says. “But this new technology can realize those in high resolution. We believe the technology has set a new paradigm for research using 3D printing and wearable electronic devices.”
Part of what Park considers the breakthrough is the fact that these ultrafine patterns – thinner than 0.01 mm – have been difficult if not impossible to imprint on metallic or plastic materials. He says the process–as it works at room temperature–is superior, as photolithographic procedures must be done within a high temperature environment.
According to the Korean team, the maximum printing resolution represents an improvement of more than 50 times over the previous levels of object resolution. Park adds that the parameters of the process bring textile, fiber, plastic and even a variety of more exotic materials into the picture as substrates.
The research was published in Advanced Materials, and certainly has me excited as 3D printing may have just found numerous new applications.
Have you read about any other examples where electrohydrodynamic inkjet printing is breaking through boundaries in materials and 3D printing development? Let us know in the 3D Printing Thinner Than a Red Blood Cell forum thread on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
What is Metrology?
3D Metrology What is 3D metrology? Metrology is the science of measurement. It establishes a common understanding of units, crucial in linking and understanding human activities. When we apply metrology...
Interview with Mei Ogata of JTL America on Testing for 3D Printing
As we move from prototyping to production, testing is becoming more and more important. Crucial in qualifying parts and materials, but also in establishing QA or developing new materials, testing...
Fast Things 8: The Shape Game and Mrs. Incredible
Imagine the answer to life, the universe, and everything is: donut. In a world of Fast Things, 3D Printing is the logical production technology. With our technology, you can go...
3D Printing News Briefs: June 8, 2019
In this week’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about partnerships, new software and buildings, and a neat 3D printed miniature. Together, Evolve Additive Solutions and Evonik are developing materials...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.