MIT has developed ink that can change colors like a chameleon


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The color of an article that is logical is selected and determined during its manufacture. And if we need to change the color, we just have to take the paint and manually repaint what we need. However, American engineers at MIT have developed a system that allows objects to be repainted several times by exposure to light waves. They created a special mix that can be applied to an object and then set the desired color for the object with a series of manipulations. In addition, the color can be easily replaced in the future.

To repaint something, colors are no longer needed

How can you change the color of an object without repainting it?

For a long time, there are so-called photochromic materials that change their color under the influence of light. The skin of chameleons is similarly arranged. However, if chameleons can retain their color for a long time due to physiological properties, photochromic materials will only retain a changed state when exposed to radiation. That is, once the photochromic material "stops glowing", the color of the object returns to its original state.

In 2018, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) learned to print objects on the 3D printer whose color can be changed with ultraviolet or visible radiation. There was only one drawback to this development – the topic must first be created from new material. For more than a year, experts have been working to develop ink based on their experience that can be used to paint arbitrary objects.

MIT researchers developed a solution containing three dyes: cyan, magenta and yellow. Each dye has photochromic properties and is activated by visible light of a certain wavelength. The solution can be applied in any way: with a spray gun, a brush and so on. Thereafter, the object must be placed on a rotating platform on which a special emitter radiates.

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The repainting takes place in two steps. First, the object to be painted is illuminated with ultraviolet light, whereby all dyes are activated. Thereafter, the emitter begins to shine on the object with waves of different lengths, giving each of the three colors (depending on the intensity and duration of the radiation) a particular hue. If the object has to be repainted, the entire process must be repeated: first "discolour" everything with ultraviolet light and then set new colors for the object by setting new parameters. Would you like such a color? Write about it in our chat in telegram.

The scheme of color change when repainting

It's worth noting that the experts at MIT made sure that creating software to repaint the items was pretty easy. They developed a plugin for Blender, a well-known program for 3D modeling. To assign the desired color to the object, you need a 3D model of the object. It simply superimposes additional layers from above, each of which can set its own color. Next, the installation will do it all by itself. The principle of the new technology can be seen in the following video.