Magnetic 3-D printing from Northeastern could help newborns
The Boston Globe - 11/02/2015
A few years ago, researchers at Northeastern University invented a new way of 3-D printing strong, flexible materials in industrial quantities. Now, federal health officials are asking them to shrink the process down small enough to make custom medical devices for newborns.
The technology was developed in the lab of Randall Erb, an engineering professor at Northeastern. Erb and graduate student Joshua Martin figured out how to combine composite materials made of plastics and ceramics with a special magnetic coating.
That coating allowed the researchers to zap the liquid composite with a magnetic field, ensuring that individual fibers in the composite were in the strongest arrangement possible — and making the composites strong enough for industrial use.