Technology

MIT has created ink that can change colors like a chameleon

The color of any item, which is logical, is chosen andis set during its production. And if we need to change the color, then we just need to take the paint and manually repaint what we need. However, American engineers from MIT have developed a system that allows multiple repainting of objects using irradiation with light waves. They created a special mixture that can be applied to an object, and then, using a series of manipulations, set the desired color for the object. Moreover, the color can be easily replaced in the future.

In order to repaint something, paints are no longer needed

How to change the color of an item without repainting it with paint?

For a long time there are so-calledphotochromic materials that change color when exposed to light. The skin of chameleons is similarly arranged. However, if chameleons can retain their color for a long time due to physiological characteristics, then photochromic materials retain an altered state only when exposed to radiation. That is, as soon as the photochromic material “ceases to shine”, the color of the object will return to its original state.

However, in 2018, a group of scientists fromThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has learned how to print objects on a 3D printer whose color can be changed using ultraviolet or visible radiation. There was only one drawback of this development - the subject must first be created from new material. For more than one year, experts have been working to create, based on their experience, ink that can be used to paint any objects.

MIT scientists create a solution containing threedye: cyan, magenta, and yellow. Each dye has photochromic properties and is activated by visible light of a certain wavelength. The solution can be applied to any item in any convenient way: using a spray gun, paint with a brush and so on. After that, the object must be placed on a rotating platform, on which a special emitter shines.

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Repainting occurs in two stages. First, the object to be painted is illuminated with ultraviolet light, due to which all dyes are activated. After that, the emitter begins to shine on the object with waves of different lengths, because of which each of the three colors (depending on the intensity and duration of the radiation) acquires a certain shade. If the object needs to be repainted, the whole process should be repeated: first “discolor” everything with ultraviolet light and then, setting new parameters, give the object new colors. Would you like such a paint? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.

The scheme of color change during repainting

It is worth noting that specialists from MITthey also made sure to create software in order to repaint the items was quite simple. They developed a plugin for Blender, a fairly well-known program for 3D modeling. In order to set the object the desired color, you need a 3D model of the object itself. Additional layers are simply superimposed on it from above, each of which can be set its own color. Next, the installation will do everything herself. You can see the principle of the new technology in more detail in the video available below.

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