3D printing technology is becoming useful and applicable by the progress of information and communication technology (ICT). It means 3D printer is a kind of useful robot for additive manufacturing and is controlled by computer with human-friendly software. Once user starts to use 3D printing of soft-matter, one can immediately understand computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering (CAE) technology will be more important and applicable for soft-matter systems. User can easily design soft-matter objects and 3D-print them. User can easily apply 3D-printed soft-matter objects to develop new research and application on MEMS and robotics. Here we introduce the recent progress of 3D printing (i.e. additive manufacturing), especially focusing on our 3D gel printing. We are trying to develop new advanced research and applications of 3D gel printer, including GEL-MECHANICS, GEL-PHOTONICS, and GEL-ROBOTICS. In the gel-mechanics, we are developing new gel materials for mechanical engineering. Some gels have high-mechanical strength and shape memory properties. In the gel-photonics. We are applying our original characterizing system, named ‘Scanning Microscopic Light Scattering (SMILS)’, to analyze 3D printed gel materials. In the gel-robotics, we focus on 3D printing of soft parts for soft-robotics made form gel materials, like gel finger. Also we are challenging to apply 3D gel printing to start new company, to innovate new businesses in county side, and to create new 3D-printed foods.
Hidemitsu Furukawa, "3D printing of soft-matter to open a new era of soft-matter MEMS/robotics (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10167, Nanosensors, Biosensors, Info-Tech Sensors and 3D Systems 2017, 1016707 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 26, 2017; Published: 11 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261590.5427412103001.
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