Researchers Build Software that can 3D Print Hair-Like Strands

New "Cillia" software raises the bar in 3D printing.

6. 20. 16 by Charmaine Caparas
Tangible Media Group/MIT Media Lab

Going bald won’t be a problem in the future. Simply 3D print your hair if it won’t grow.

Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab built a new software platform called “Cilla” that lets users define the angle, thickness, density, and height of thousands of hairs, in just a few minutes.

Tangible Media Group/MIT Media Lab

The new software allowed researchers to design arrays of hair-like structures with a resolution of 50 microns — about the width of a human hair. They designed and printed arrays, ranging from coarse bristles to fine fur, onto flat and also curved surfaces using a conventional 3-D printer.

Is this the miracle that those who are follicle-challenged could be looking for?

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Researchers say yes, but it’s not the point of the experiment. The goal is to see how 3D-printed hair could perform useful tasks such as sensing, adhesion, and actuation.


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