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​Bright Idea: 3D-printed Flower Blooms Under The Sun

Published on: 23-Aug-2017

We are pleased to share that Professor Chen Xiaodong’s research had been featured in The Straits Times.
 
This sunflower blooms like any other when it soaks up the sun’s rays, but it is far from being alive. It was 3D printed using a material that combines a shape-memory polymer and carbon black, a material that absorbs light and converts it into heat. It may appear to be just a pretty ornament, but its inventors from NTU say it represents the opportunities in the 3D printing field, where devices responsive to various types of stimuli, including light and humidity, can be 3D printed. Prof Chen Xiaodong, Director of the Innovative Centre for Flexible Devices at NTU, who led the research, said, “This could mean smart solar cells that turn automatically towards the sun.”
 
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Even after the 3D-printed sunflower is forced into the shape of a bud, it regains its original form in less than five minutes with a dose of ultraviolet rays
 
Our heartiest congratulations to the team on their excellent achievement!

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