Radiophysicists are developing a new ultrasonic 3D printing method

11 January 2018

TSU’s radiophysicists have created an installation for levitation of small particles, in particular, foam plastic, in an acoustic field. With this technology, they will develop a new method of ultrasonic 3D printing by 2020 that can be used for chemically aggressive solutions or substances heated to high temperatures.

The TSU installation consists of an anechoic chamber covered with wave absorbers and emitters. The particles are suspended in a stream of acoustic waves (40 kHz), and depending on the power, their number and size can be increased. With a specially created program, the levitated particles can be controlled and moved from side to side.

- By 2020, we will develop a 3D printing technology. The first stage is a controlled levitation of particles, then based on this we will create a method of manipulating a group of particles to collect 3-dimensional objects from them. Upon entering the sound field and during the precipitation, the particles of the powdery substance are rearranged, fall along the required trajectories, and settle into a definite pattern. Layer after layer, particles will be deposited in any shape, - said Professor Dmitry Sukhanov, the project manager.

According to the scientist, now with the technology of contactless control of a group of particles working in a variety of countries, the best results are obtained in Japan and the UK. Researchers try to levitate substances in various environments – air and water. This technology will be used for the installation of components on printed circuit boards. Another option is to work with chemically aggressive substances, for example, acids or substances heated to high temperatures.

- We use our own gratings of ultrasonic radiators and develop a system for parallel control of emitters and software,- said Dmitry Sukhanov. To achieve this goal, we need a combination of digital technologies for the transmission and processing of large amounts of data, technologies for synchronous generation and amplification of multiple signals, and solutions for acoustic and aerodynamic tasks.

He stressed that the project most likely will involve chemists to select the optimal substances and temperature regimes for connecting particles to a three-dimensional object.