Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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a million polygons per square inch 3d printer

a layer of nkjet printed thermoshrinking polygons that shrinks but is edge connected with struts; plus an array of angles that directs the 3d aspect of the way the cured printed material curves plus forms
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I have read at Technology review that sheets of polymer that shrink when warmed are used to create microfluidic machines (link)

This technology uses three layers of shrinkable polymer nk jet printed on each other to create 3d machines

Noting that inkjet printers are above the 1k times 1k resolution or million dots per square inch I think that printing tiny blobs of these shrinking polymers as a kind of tesselated surface will give a plastic surface that when gently warmed or lasered creates a million polygon per square inch 3d map of a constructable object rather like a geodesic or paper building kit

the first layer is the polygons printed with a coefficient of shrinkage of one; the next layer of printing is to print connector struts between the polygons these connector struts have a shrinkage factor of two

thus we would create a little mesh of polygons that were edge to edge linked plus had struts reinforcing them

the third layer of printed polymer are V shaped compressive angles that change their angle with curing; as these shrink or grow they draw the polygons up n around rather like a geodesic or a contourable form

Now this is nifty as inkjet printers currently have more than 2k times 2k resolution or 4 million dots per square inch; having that resolution of 3d contour printing is of benefit

3 layers then curing process: thus a layer of polygons that shrinks but is edge connected with struts; plus an array of angles that directs the 3d aspect of the way the cured printed material curves plus forms

beanangel, Mar 13 2010

microfluidic machines from a popular shape changing polymer http://www.technolo...ofile.aspx?TRID=764
[beanangel, Mar 13 2010]

rather like this but with three layers plus nkjet technology printing different shrinkage quotient polymers http://www.technolo.../article/23263/?a=f
[beanangel, Mar 13 2010]


       combine with other ink experiments, including printing conductive traces and even low power batteries.
AutoMcDonough, Mar 13 2010

       Are your jets blocked? (sp. inkjet)
Dub, Mar 13 2010

       I like this idea quite a lot! Have a high-resolution 3D bun.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 13 2010

       Presume the polygons are printed onto a smooth backing sheet that is removed before / when baking?   

       I like the idea of the sheet popping out the printer into an IR-lamp-warmed out tray, and popping off the backing sheet and forming into a beautiful sculpture or engineering model.
pocmloc, Mar 13 2010

       i can haz problemz of scale.
WcW, Mar 14 2010

       I agree with WcW, the height transformation wouldn't be much. Pitching a tent only using a plane. A printer that squirted, relatively large, sticky platonic solids sounds good.   

       On second thoughts, A popup book works. Long chains of 'pulling ropes' would have to be formed independent of the wall surfaces.
wjt, Mar 17 2010

       I don't see a problem with height, and I don't see the need for "ropes" either. The force of the shrinkage can be quite substantial, allowing it to raise large "flaps" to the vertical. There are also thermally expanding (irreversible) materials, which could be used to oppose the shrinky ones, increasing the amount of bending force available.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2010

       What I'm confused about is squirting tiny sized droplets to produce 'millions' of popped polygons or droplets forming cm scale sheets making objects like that toy folding ball.   

       I suppose if the printer was flexible enough, it could print both.
wjt, Mar 18 2010


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