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Soft gels assemble into hard plastic — and it’s recyclable

Microgels are printed into a blue Moai figure, left; then the microgels are regenerated and 3D printed again into a red boat.

A 3D-printed sculpture (left) depicts a statue from Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. The object can be degraded into its constituent microgel particles, which can be printed into a model boat (right). Credit: Alvaro Charlet et al./Small

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Nature 603, 204 (2022)



  1. Charlet, A., Hirsch, M., Schreiber, S. & Amstad, E. Small (2022).

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