3D-printed flexible mesh structures

North Carolina State created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water droplets, giving them the potential to be useful as soft robots.

To create them, researchers made an “ink” from silicone microbeads, bound by liquid silicone and contained in water. The resulting paste was shaped into mesh-like patterns using a 3D printer.

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