Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Late Winter Nanotube Dreams

I had a discussion with Larry James, proprietor of wulfdesign, concerning a simple experiment to integrate nanotechnology into user products. Larry owns a 3-d printer, a maker bot, and if you are not familiar with the culture and movement surrounding this then i suggest you look into it.

Basically, we talked about getting his 3-d printer to print nano-enabled products, particularly single walled CNT embedded in ABS polymer. After some processing considerations I realized that the best way to get the SWNT homogeneously mixed was to put nanotubes in solution into an ABS powder, or even have a solution of SWNT from which ABS polymerization reaction takes place. I also had ideas of nanotubes with organic complexes (polymers) at the ends that would help align SWNT while in solution with electric current... but thats a different story..

But like i was saying, processing considerations. It turns out that the 3-d printer only takes 3mm round rod feed, and we don't have the means to produce the 3mm rounds.
Larry came up with the idea of using acetone to dissolve the outer layer of finished produced and then brush on nanotube. This is an interesting idea, but the fact that we could not get at the total volume of the wire was getting to me. I'm sure there is something interesting to test with the painted tubes, but i believe that an investment this time in the ability to make 3mm round rod ABS plastic would be more beneficial for everyone at large. DIY polymer wire fabricator.

1 comment:

  1. Late Winter because we planned on doing the experiment sometime mid to late winter.