3D printed hair is closest to the real thing
Everything is getting 3D printed, so why not hair too? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have managed to 3D print synthetic hair using a very simple trick. That trick being the use of a hot glue gun that leaves behind strands of fiber when you pull gun away from the surface hot glue is applied to. Very basic, but a very useful idea and the researchers have managed to create artificial hair which can be used in troll dolls, bristles, brushes and much more.
The process however is quite slow as printing 10 square millimeters of hair takes around 20 minutes. That being said, the result is very impressive as these artificial hair strands can be styled, trimmed, blow dried or cut just like real hair.
To 3D print these artificial hair, the team used a $300 3D printer which lays down successive layers of molten material used commonly in printing medium. The process begins by depositing small amount of molten PLA at the base on print bed. To simulate the action of creating the hair strand, nozzle and print bed draw apart from each other horizontally which creates a filament.
The end result is a surface filled with hair strands that look real. The technology is far from creating artificial hair for bald people or ones with receding hairline, but still these 3D printed hair have a variety of uses.