We are living in a wonderful world where another day brings you another way of printing.
Scientists have found a way to print with sound. The new technology will help printers exert more precise control over the shape and viscosity of ink droplets.
Liquid droplets are used in many applications, from printing ink on paper to creating microcapsules for drug delivery. Inkjet printing is the most common technique used to pattern liquid droplets, but it’s only suitable for liquids that are roughly 10 times more viscous than water.
Thanks to gravity, any liquid can drip — from water coming out of a faucet to the century-long pitch drop experiment. With gravity alone, droplet size remains large and drop rate difficult to control.
Now, scientists have used sound to advance printing technology.
The researchers built a subwavelength acoustic resonator that can generate a highly confined acoustic field making in a pulling force 100+ times the normal gravitation forces (more than four times the gravity the surface of the sun) at the tip of the printer nozzle.
In the lab, scientists successfully printed microcapsules using a variety of liquid solutions, including honey, stem cell inks, optical resins and liquid metals.