First 3D-Printed Magnets Created

Posted: Oct 26 2016, 9:49am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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First 3D-Printed Magnets Created
A magentic cup-like shape, created in the 3D-printer. Credit: Image courtesy of Vienna University of Technology
  • Magnets can Now be Made with a 3D Printer

Apparently, magnets can now be made with a 3D printer. This might seem unbelievable yet it is true.

While magnets with a strong attractive pull can be made nowadays, to produce one with a permanent strength and of a specific shape is a hard job to accomplish. However, now 3D printed magnets are being churned out.

Magnets can be turned out in all sorts of shapes and sizes not to mention magnetic fields that are custom-designed for specific purposes. The special magnets that are needed in today’s complex technology were a difficult thing to make. Not anymore though.

The magnets were to be made in sophisticated geometric designs that were highly complicated. The latest designs of magnets are being made on computers.

All the requirements are being met including the magnetic field specifications. It is the imposition of a design on the raw material that is the ultimate crux of the matter.

Injection moulding was one option yet it fell short of the ideal method. Mould-making is a messy and costly method that is also very costly. Yet with 3D printers, the whole process has been simplified beyond belief.

The magnet printer employs special filaments of magnetic micro granulate. It is held together by a plastic-bonding substance. This substance is warmed by the printer and applied consistently using a nozzle.

The three dimensional object that is the end result consists of 90% magnetic material and 10% plastic. The finished material is not exactly magnetic when you come to think of it.

That is because the granulate is employed in an unmagnetized state right from the start. An extremely strong magnetic field is imposed on the material at the end.

This of course converts it into a permanent magnet. Some magnetic materials are processed via this method including the neodymium iron boron magnets.

Thanks to computers and computer science, which is the wave of the future, the future of magnets for various functions could be bright indeed.

3D printing is just a beginning. Maybe we would even move on to a reconstruction of reality in the times to come though it is a difficult proposition to believe right now.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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