CSIRO has claimed a breakthrough in 3D printable silicone resins with a collection of potentially useful properties.
According to the organisation — which is seeking partners to commercialise the work — the new family of resins are biocompatible, have tunable mechanical properties, are capable of being used to make intricate structures with thin walls, and even work as a superglue able to “affix glass and metal, opening up an entirely new market as a construction adhesive.”
CSIRO polymer chemist Dr Ke Du said the highly-transparent silicones “can be used with off-the-shelf printers, without the need for modification” and possessed “a suite of excellent attributes.”
The patented resins were compatible with digital light processing 3D printers (light wavelength range from 360-500 nm) and also likely to work in stereolithographic 3D printers “and perhaps with modification in other photocurable 3D printers such as inkjet and extrusion.”
Biomedical Polymer Chemistry group team leader Dr Tim Hughes added that there were applications in custom medical devices such as hearing aids and prosthetics.
“We believe the resins may even help fast track prototyping some of these biomedical devices,” said Hughes.
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