Skip the sniff test with the smart cap, a new 3D-printed cap that can detect when milk has gone bad.
Created by a team at UC Berkeley, the smart cap was printed using a combination of wax and standard 3D printing polymers. Once the structure was complete, the wax was removed to create hollow tubes, in which silver was then injected and cured in order to create circuits. A capacitor and inductor were then added to the cap to create a circuit that was able to detect the electrical signals emitted by the increased levels of bacterial that accompany spoilage.
According to the developers, the cost of the 3D printing technology involved in making the circuits could eventually be low enough to allow spoilage sensors to be attached to an array of food products, offering an early warning system to consumers.
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