Recently, I helped a student build a device known as an electrospinner. The purpose of this device is to make nanofibers. Nanofibers are just very small threads. Now what do I mean by “very small”? By very small, I mean that compared to a human hair the diameter of these nanofibers are about 250 times smaller. Which means that if we took the hair and somehow made it hollow that we could stuff almost 50,000 of these fibers into the hair!! That’s crazy small!
Anyway, here’s a video of the first test of the device. You can definitely tell that he’s quite excited that it worked.
Here’s a video of the fibers that come out:
Here is more video of the machine running.
Here are a couple of images of the fibers that were made. The first image is with a slow spinning drum while the second one is with the drum spinning at about 2000rpm (or about 5 meters per second at the edge of the drum). You will notice that the fibers in the second image are lined up while those in the first image look like silly string. That’s because the drum is collecting the fibers much more quickly in the second image and spooling them up on the drum. Cool!
So when you start using 3D printing to build things and the Arduino platform to animate them, you are only a few steps away from being the next Einstein or Edison or Tesla!