Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On January 4th 2021, a group of researchers at the National University Of Singapore announced that they had created a novel thin film that could use human sweat to power wearable electronics, such as watches and fitness trackers. In addition, they proclaimed that the film could absorb sweat 6 times faster and hold 15 times as much moisture as conventional moisture-absorbent materials like silica gel. Their research was published in the journal Nano Energy.

In addition, the film was found to rapidly release its absorbed fluids upon exposure to sunlight, which the team claimed enabled it to be reused more than 100 times. The film’s sweat absorbing abilities were successfully demonstrated on prototypes of a 3D printed shoe insole, shoe lining and underarm pad. The team also designed what they described as “a wearable energy harvesting device,” where a makeshift battery that used multiple films was made that generated enough electricity to power a light-emitting diode.

Another example of a 3D printed object that can turn a form of waste into electricity was unveiled by a group of researchers at Swansea University circa June 2019. Here, they unveiled a 3D printable thermoelectric device that worked at an efficiency that at the time had never been seen before. (Thermoelectricity refers to the conversion of heat into electricity and vice-versa.) Previous research had shown that tin selenide converts heat into electricity at a level unlike any other material, although it is expensive and energy-consuming to manufacture via conventional means. However, the researchers developed a significantly less expensive and 3D printable form of it, as well as a 3D printing technique to make a thermoelectric device with it.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Joakim Skovgaard – Drawing after Cast. A Foot, 1870s” is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer.