Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, has accelerated the development of complex, multi-scale materials. These materials can be designed to exhibit special functional properties, such as sensing, support of living cells, sound or shock absorption, or controlled expansion/shrinkage. Therefore, they are highly relevant both from a scientific and a societal point of view.
In this talk I will discuss novel, droplet-based additive manufacturing strategies for metals, biological (living) materials, and cellular materials, in which micro-droplets or bubbles are used as modular building blocks that constitute the functional material properties. High-speed imaging proves a crucial step in the development of these processes, as it enables studying the dynamics of droplet ejection, deposition, and manipulation. Understanding these aspects is required to tune the shape, size, and constitution of the building blocks, which determine the functional properties of the deposited materials.