When we talk about heads-up displays, we generally think about glasses. How about HUDs on contact lenses? A few days ago this would be an impossibility. But now, with the invention of the world’s first 3D LED printer, you might be able to get your hands on a heads-up display contact lens. This might not be available any time soon, but it is still a step ahead towards the future development of the wearable device. What can you expect from this development?
Let us have a look to know how one technology can help in the creation of another amazing technology.
The Creation of the First 3D LED printer
Michael McAlpine led the team at Princeton University’s McAlpine Research Group to use its 3D printer successfully to print quantum dot LEDs. These LEDs are considered to be the next improvement over OLED. Quality LEDs use selenide nanocrystals and shine brighter at a lower power consumption rate with a purer color. These LEDs are flexible, ultrathin and transparent like contact lenses.
According to McAlpine, the traditional microelectronics industry can create 2D electronic gadgets easily. Gadgets like phones, TVs, etc, have a flat screen. But with 3D printing, a third dimension is added which makes it possible to create unimaginable structures.
The LED was printed in five layers. The metal medium for a mechanical circuit consists of a ring made of silver nanoparticles which is present on the bottom layer. The electrical current is supplied and transferred to the next layer with two polymer layers. The next layer is comprised of cadmium selenide nanoparticles, i.e. the quantum dots, which are placed in a zinc sulphide case. The cathode of the circuit is completed with the top and final layer. It is made of eutectic gallium indium.
The 3D LED printer took two years to develop and it costs around $20,000.
Yong Lin Kong, the study lead co-author, said that this is an additional way to incorporate electronics that can consider the 3D geometry of an item. He also added that the creation of the LED printer is the first example of the fully functional and fully 3D printed electronic device.
The potential applications of this technology include the creation of wearable devices. The HUD contact lens is one of the potential applications of the 3D LED printer. This could be created in the future if the team can find out a way to integrate an on-board power supply. For added functionality, the team is also trying to investigate the insertion of a 3D-printed transistor.
What’s your take?
Would you prefer a heads-up display on glass rather than contact lens? What do you think lies in the future of 3D printing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source – pagesay.com
Article Source – cnet.com