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  • UW engineers have developed the first 3-D printed plastic objects that can connect to other devices via WiFi without using any electronics. The 3-D printed attachment above can sense how much laundry soap is being used — and automatically order more when the bottle is running low.
    Mark Stone/University of Washington
    UW engineers have developed the first 3-D printed plastic objects that can connect to other devices via WiFi without using any electronics. The 3-D printed attachment above can sense how much laundry soap is being used — and automatically order more when the bottle is running low.
  • The UW team also 3-D printed plastic scroll wheels, sliders and buttons that can wirelessly interact with computers, phones and other WiFi-connected devices.
    Mark Stone/University of Washington
    The UW team also 3-D printed plastic scroll wheels, sliders and buttons that can wirelessly interact with computers, phones and other WiFi-connected devices.
  • In this backscatter system, an antenna embedded in a 3-D printed object (middle) reflects radio signals emitted by a WiFi router (left) to encode information that is “read” by the WiFi receiver in a phone, computer or other device (right).
    University of Washington
    In this backscatter system, an antenna embedded in a 3-D printed object (middle) reflects radio signals emitted by a WiFi router (left) to encode information that is “read” by the WiFi receiver in a phone, computer or other device (right).
  • The 3-D printed gears (in white) and spring (blue spiral) toggle a switch (white box with grey surface) made of conductive plastic. The switch changes the reflective state of a 3-D printed antenna (gray strip) to convey useful data to a WiFi receiver. The shape of the gears and the speed at which they move encode the digital data.
    Mark Stone/University of Washington
    The 3-D printed gears (in white) and spring (blue spiral) toggle a switch (white box with grey surface) made of conductive plastic. The switch changes the reflective state of a 3-D printed antenna (gray strip) to convey useful data to a WiFi receiver. The shape of the gears and the speed at which they move encode the digital data.
  • The UW team also demonstrated how to use the magnetic properties of some 3-D printed material to invisibly encode static data in the objects above, which could be useful for inventory tracking or to help robots interact with them.
    Mark Stone/University of Washington
    The UW team also demonstrated how to use the magnetic properties of some 3-D printed material to invisibly encode static data in the objects above, which could be useful for inventory tracking or to help robots interact with them.
  • The research team. Left to right: UW electrical engineering doctoral student Vikram Iyer, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering associate professor Shyam Gollakota, and Allen School doctoral student Justin Chan.
    Mark Stone/University of Washington
    The research team. Left to right: UW electrical engineering doctoral student Vikram Iyer, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering associate professor Shyam Gollakota, and Allen School doctoral student Justin Chan.




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