No matter where you turn, 3D Printing is the only technology everyone seems to be talking about. But despite it’s fan following, there are still limitations to it’s uses.
This limitation comes from the fact that up until now everything created through the process has been functional at best. To move beyond the functional and into the aesthetic, 3D printing needs to be able to create more intricate structures.
To make sure that this happens, a special program at MIT, called the Cilllia Project has just 3D printed extremely small-diameter hair structures, with each thread’s diameter as small as 50 micrometers each.
To do this, they used a specially designed software that generates bitmaps of the hair structures. This software lets the user adjust the various aspects of natural hair, such as thickness, density and angle of the threads.
All this can be done in one go, and in one bitmap itself. This bitmap can then be 3D printed to create a thick surface of hair which can easily be manipulated for different functions.
Some of these functions include the creation of finely detailed surfaces, touch-sensitive toys, mechanical adhesives resembling velcro and even actuating motors.
The uses of these intricate designs are limited only by the imagination of the developer. To showcase how vast the implications of this technology can be, MIT shared a video with some examples.