Multi-scale artificial structures inspired by Mammillaria spines, with optimized patterning for highly efficient water collection was designed and fabricated by 3D printing.
Bioinspired multi-branched spines was fabricated by the immersed surface accumulation 3D printing (ISA-3DP) process to reproduce the water collection of the spine array inspired by Cactus. It opens intriguing perspectives for designing artificial water collection surfaces based on 3D biomimetic microstructures. The water collection property of the 3D printed spines is related to the wettability, geometric shape, number of branches, and arrangements. The results would be helpful to further understand the effect of geometrical morphology of artificial 3D structures on the water condensation and transportation. As an environmentally-friendly device, the new energy-efficient surface with the optimized biomimetic multi-branched spines fabricated by 3D printing technologies has prospective applications in water collection, water transportation, heat transfer, and oil-water separation.
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