Dichroic glass displays are in use since the 4th century AD. They have always found their relativity because of their ability to display different colors depending upon how the dichroic glass is being viewed. A team of Dutch scientists has produced the same effect in a material that can be used for the sake of 3D printing objects. The applications are not limited to novelty but are also practical.
The team of researchers is based at Wageningen University. Their research began with regular polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) that is readily available. It is a polymer that is commonly used as a 3D printing medium. In the next step, the team added gold nanoparticles of different sizes to the polymer. Not much of gold was used, and in fact, the final material featured only 0.07% of gold in terms of composite material’s weight.
Using the gold-infused PVA, the team then proceeded to 3D printing different objects. If you are viewing the 3D printed objects with the light source is on the same side of the object as you; the nanoparticles reflect the light thus giving the whole object an opaque brown color. However, if the light source is situated on the other side of the 3D printed object, the light passes through the particles and as a result, the object seems to be translucent violet.
Once the material has been commercialized, it can be used by anyone to create such objects that change color based on the positioning of the light source. It could be used for the creation of amazing artwork and mesmerizing jewelry. However, that is not where its applications crease. It can also be used for manufacturing optical lenses that would allow certain colors of light to pass while reflecting the others. As of right now, scientists are refining the technology and studying the effects that can be imparted by making use of different kinds of nanoparticles and printing materials.
A paper on the research has already been published in the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology.