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Scientists develop new 3D printing technology

A group of South Korean scientists have developed a new technology to print three-dimensional nano-sized electronic tubes, the state-run institute said Monday, a finding that may contribute to the development of wearable technologies such as bendable electronic devices.

The team, led by Seol Seung-kwon at the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, developed the printing technology using a new nozzle to print highly conductive 3D carbon nanotubes.

(Photo courtesy of the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute)
(Photo courtesy of the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute)

"To achieve high-quality printing with continuous ink flow through a confined nozzle geometry, that is, without agglomeration and nozzle clogging, we design a polyvinylpyrrolidone-wrapped MWNT ink with uniform dispersion and appropriate rheological properties," the researchers said.

The KERI said the developed technique can produce many different desirable 3D microstructures, such as the small components necessary for wearable, bendable electronic suits.

"Existing 3D printing technology was limited in usage," Seol told reporters. "This latest method would enhance the versatility of 3D printing in the making of various components needed for future wearables."

The technology will facilitate the use of 3D printing and enhance the freedom of integration for advanced conceptual devices, the institute said.

Their latest findings were published in the international science journals "ACSNano" and "ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces." (Yonhap)

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