Manufacturing & Prototyping
'Replicator' 3D Printer Transforms Syrupy Liquid into Complex Objects
A 3D printer developed at UC Berkeley uses light to transform liquids into complex, solid objects. The research team nicknamed their device the "Replicator" after the Star Trek device that makes any object materialize on demand. The team formulated a syrupy liquid that hardens into a solid when exposed to a certain threshold of light. This 3D printing resin is composed of liquid polymers mixed with photosensitive molecules and dissolved oxygen. The new 3D printer works by shining changing patterns of light through a rotating vial of liquid, and a computer algorithm calculates the exact patterns of light needed to shape a specific object.