Printed Absorbent: Inner Fluid Design with 3D Printed Object
Using 3D printing technology, it is possible to design objects wherein different regions have different material properties. Recently, researchers started exploring methods to control material properties by using microstructures. For example, metamaterial absorbers have been used with light and acoustics. Research on methods to add functionality by structural design to 3D-printed objects has been widely explored, and we aimed to further these efforts by embedding programmable absorbability into 3D-printed objects.
Printed Absorbent is a novel concept and approach to interactive material utilizing fluidic channels. In this study, we created 3D-printed objects with fluidic mechanisms that can absorb fluids to allow for various new applications. First, we demonstrated that capillary action, based on the theoretical formula, could be produced with 3D-printed objects under various conditions using fluids with different physical properties and different sizes of flow paths. Second, we verified this phenomenon using real and simulated experiments for seven defined flow channels. Finally, we described our proposed interaction methods, the limitations in the design of fluidic structures, and their potential applications. (edited)