Recently the Complex Materials Group and Soft Materials Group at ETH Zürich, Switzerland,collaborated to develop a low-cost, recyclable and high-strength liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material for 3D printers.
Q:What are the primary focuses of the Complex Materials Group at ETH Zurich?
ETH Zürich: The Complex Materials lab at ETH Zürich focuses on processing routes to create materials with complex architectures at different length scales and on understanding their structure-property relations. These complex hierarchical structures have been widely used in biological materials, for example in the pearl layer and wood, which have produced excellent mechanical properties.
Q:What were the main aims of your LCP material research?
Silvan Gantenbein: The main purpose of this approach is to digitally design and manufacture rigid, complex shapes of lightweight polymers inspired by the intricate multi-scale structure of biological materials such as spider silk and wood.
Q:Can you provide a summary of other 3D printing related projects currently ongoing at the school?
Silvan Gantenbein: The lab is dedicated to a wide range of 3D printing materials and methods, from 3D printing soft robots to the printing of silicones to bacteria-containing functional materials to the printing of porous ceramics.