The researchers coming from the University of Washington have recently developed a new way for the 3D printed plastic objects to transmit the information through the WiFi connection, without depending with any battery or electronic source to power them. They have also proved that this process can be done with any commercially available plastics and with WiFi receivers.
The primary goal of the researchers was to create a thing that can help the consumers to take a print out from their 3D printers at home, without the need to send out the useful information to other available devices, said a graduate student named Vikram Iyer, who works on this particular project. The most significant challenge which they faced is about communicating wirelessly with the WiFi by making use of the plastic materials. This is something that no one ever has tried to do with.
To complete the whole process, the team made use of things like the 3D printed springs, switches and gears that shall be used to translate the motion into an antenna transmitted information. For example, the team created an anemometer that shall measure up the wind speed and attached them to the gear.
As the gear starts to spin, the teeth shall connect with the antenna that is embedded with the object, and the antenna shall, later on, reflect the ambient WiFi signal, to be decoded by the WiFi receiver. The faster the gear spins, the faster the signals get transmitted between them. They have also created a new scale along with a flowmeter that can help the users to measure up the water speed.
The researchers have also developed smart objects; one is a detergent bottle that has an attached flowmeter on them to track the overall amount of detergent remaining in the container.