Technology is always improving and becoming more advanced. Since the first 3D printer was developed the implications have become almost limitless. There was even a fully-functioning heart created using a 3D printer recently. Qiming Wang, professor at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering, has come up with 3D printable rubber that is capable of “fixing” itself. With the help of three of his students and a professor from the University of Connecticut, he was able to achieve this with a kind of rubber developed from silicone. A self-healing rubber sole may soon be something we see in sneakers. The material can also be sued to 3D printed object such as toys and tires.

 

When the rubber is exposed to heat, a chemical reaction enables the material to fuse back together. The speed of repair is directly proportional to the amount of heat provided. It can happen at room temperature as well, it just will take more time. The first step towards developing self-healing objects is to structure it on a computer. The 3D model is sliced into 100 smaller images and projected onto a thin rubber layer. The rubber morphs to the shape of the original image and is converted into a solid form using projected light. The complete shape is then built up layer by layer until development is finished. Imagine having 3D printed shoes that just fix themselves when they are damaged.

 

Original Article: https://www.igyaan.in/182833/self-healing-sneaker/