3Ders reports on the announcement of a target set by Russian researchers. By 2020, scientists working at Tomsk State University believe they will be able to release an ultrasonic levitational 3D printer.
This 3D printer will have the ability to levitate small particles in an acoustic field. This technology will be “useful for hot or chemically aggressive solutions and substances.” This new kind of “ultrasonic 3D printing uses levitation to lift small particles of foam plastic…the system will purportedly use an anechoic chamber covered with wave absorbers and emitters. A stream of acoustic waves (40 kHz) will serve to suspend the foam plastic particles in mid-air, while power levels will be able to be adjusted to increase the ‘number and size’ of the particles. Tailor made software will be used to move the levitated particles from side to side.”
This sounds incredibly innovative, “but it won’t be the first practical use of levitation for manufacturing purposes…but the TSU researchers don’t just want to perfect the art of levitation. Rather, they have some particular 3D printing applications in mind for their new technology: the installation of components on printed circuit boards, the handling of dangerous chemical substances, and potentially other uses too.”
The researchers at TSU have been “helped along by a generous grant from the Russian Science Foundation – to the tune of 15 million rubles ($266,000).”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3Ders