Special color-changing ink lets people customize objects as per their liking

Shazma Khan September 12, 2019
  • MIT researchers create a special color changing paint that lets users customize any object when exposed to certain lights.
  • The objects can be customized to any color or patterns and can be reversed back to the original one.
  • The team believes this will improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste.

Researchers have figured out a solution to make the boring white shoes turn into something funky by creating a special ink that lets objects change colors and patterns when exposed to specific lights, and come back to the original form too.

A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a special ink that allows different objects to change colors and patterns when they are exposed to certain types of lights. Also, the color change can also be reversed, making it ideal for infinite customization.

“This special type of dye could enable a whole myriad of customization options that could improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste,” said Yuhua Jin, lead author on a paper about this ‘PhotoChromeleon’ project. “Users could personalize their belongings and appearance on a daily basis, without the need to buy the same object multiple times in different colors and styles,”

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As per CNET, in order to make the ink, the researchers dissolved cyan, magenta and yellow dyes into a transparent lacquer, and then shone a UV light on the dyes to bring them to complete saturation. The team then previewed the desired color and patterns on 3D computer models of the objects they wished to transform. Later, they placed the real objects into a box with a projector and lights that activated and deactivated various colors through a computer program, and this gave birth to the custom, erasable, colored objects.

The paint can be sprayed or painted onto any surface. Whenever you wish to change the color of the object, just lather and rinse it to change it to the next one within minutes that too for unlimited number of times. So far, the paint has been tested on a car model, phone case, show, and even a toy chameleon, as per Digital Trends.

Though in early stages, Ford Motor Company has already shown interest in the technology. “We believe incorporation of novel, multi-photochromic inks into traditional materials can add value to Ford products by reducing the cost and time required for fabricating automotive parts,” said Alper Kiziltas of Ford.

“This ink could reduce the number of steps required for producing a multicolor part, or improve the durability of the color from weathering or UV degradation. One day, we might even be able to personalize our vehicles on a whim,” he added.


Video Courtesy: MITCSAIL/YouTube

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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