Novel Material Changes Stiffness in Light

Novel Material Changes Stiffness in Light
3D-printing may get an innovative new support system with a dynamic material that shifts from soft to hard when exposed to light.

The material was created by an international team and relies on inexpensive chemical compounds that include coupling molecules called triazolinediones (TADs) along with naphthalenes (found in moth repellant). This combination of chemicals will stay firm when exposed to green LEDs, while exposure to darkness causes them to break down. The process can be repeated simply by turning the light off or on, and the amount of light can also be dimmed to fine-tune its effects.

According to Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik of QUT, "With a light-stabilized dynamic ink used as a scaffold, you could 3D print under light, then switch the light off to let the scaffold ink flow away."

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