MIT has developed technology that will allow for soft materials to be printed with a special texture that can change on demand. The material is composed of to separate polymer agents that have two different levels of stiffness. This is created by placing a harder polymer that is embedded within a softer polymer. When the shape of the softer polymer is changed such as through squeezing or another method, it can reveal the harder polymer in different patterns depending on the intended design process.
These incredible hard/soft materials can only be created by using 3D printing and computer simulations to understand how the softer polymer will deform. Researchers believe that this could lead to surfaces whose properties can be dynamically controlled and reversed at will. 3D printing is continuing to inspire innovation in the world and fields of science.
MIT Researchers Develop New 3D Printed Soft Materials That Change Surface Texture on Command.” 3ders.org. 3Ders, 11 June 2015. Web. 11 June 2015.