Printable magnets are the new buzz word around engineering circles when the topic of magnets is brought up. A group called Correlated Magnetics are conducting research on how magnets will continue to form part of our world in engineering. The end result of this research is an invention they call 'polymagnets'.
Jason Morgan, head of engineering at Correlated Magnetics has indicated that what they are trying to do is reprogram magnets from the normal north/south magnet to a magnet that can achieve more than just a standard magnet. He says, "What actually happens is that you have the north and south on one face of the magnet. Instead of a long field that wastes energy, you have a tight field that is tightly controlled and have the force focused near the magnet."
In the video (see below) the company shows how it 'cuts' magnets of all sorts in what looks to be 3-D printers. It uses a technology called a Magnetic shear force transfer device to cut magnet pixels into magnets that cause the magnets to have new magnetic fields assigned to them. The printer is now called a MagPrinter
Ron Jewell, the vice-president of sales & marketing at Correlated Magnetics says: "We've invented a way to make magnets better. We make them stronger than the conventional magnet, we make them safer, we can make them behave as springs, we can make them behave as latches." All of this done with hardware and software to create what they call polymagnets, says Jewell.
"Polymagnets can be engineered with the same level of detail and care that every other aspect of a product is engineered," said Stephen Straus,another vice president of marketing at Correlated Magnetics. Straus also states that with technology like the MagPrinter you can now print magnets that are compatible with devices that would usually be damaged by contact with magnets.