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In a world where 3D printing is applied to everything from Houses to rockets gunsthe question arises as to where manufacturing might head next.

A new device, called LeviPrint, adds a unique feature to the manufacturing process: acoustic levitation. By trapping small objects in high frequency sound waves, LeviPrint can be used to build a variety of different structures without touching any of the parts.

LeviPrint moving a small sphere with acoustic levitation.

UPNA

In a video posted by researchers from the public University of Navarre, or UPNA, in Spain, LeviPrint can be seen building a variety of different things, including a bridge, a hoop made of droplets of liquid glue, and cat’s ears.

leviprint-bridge

A bridge-like structure built by LeviPrint.

UPNA

Asier Marzo, a UPNA researcher, told CNET he envisions LeviPrint’s contactless technology may one day prove useful in the biomedical field, where cross-contamination could be an issue, or in manufacturing. of watches and phone cameras, due to their small size and easily damaged parts.

levitation-3

A representation of sound waves that LeviPrint uses to levitate and manipulate elongated objects.

UPNA

He also mentioned that its acoustic levitation could be useful in future 3D printers, but that more hardware and software engineering would be required before LeviPrint could be considered a member of the 3D printer category.


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To see LeviPrint in action, watch the video embedded in this article. And to read a preprint of the article, check out this link.