Public University of Navarre, UltraLeap, and the University of São Paulo researchers unveil LeviPrint, a robotic system that uses sound the levitate objects and let you build things with contactless fabrication. It allows you to manipulate small, brittle parts, as well as liquids or powders, and there is less cross-contamination, as the manipulator does not touch the material.
It manipulates objects using ultrasonic levitation, building upon previous methods of levitating small particles and droplets through carefully-tuned vibrations. Unlike other acoustic levitation projects, this one traps the levitated particles in position and a select orientation, thus allowing for contactless manufacturing of complex parts. For a 3D-printed human eardrum repair patch, you’ll still need the Phonograft.
The first time you levitate something it’s quite a magical experience, especially when your childhood is full of wizards or sci-fi movies. You start slowly moving the element around and observing it from all angles, like focusing all your attention on a magic trick. But you get used to it quickly, and you want to levitate more and more complex stuff and perform faster and more complex movements, searching for the limits of the system,” said Asier Marzo, a researcher at the Public University of Navarre.