Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to create structures from liquid metal.
It's eerily reminiscent of the T-1000 from Terminator 2 – though unlike the killer robot's "mimetic polyalloy," this gallium and indium alloy can't copy Robert Patrick's form and stalk around menacingly.
What it can do, however, is conduct electricity – opening up the possibility of bendable electronics encased in rubber. In principle, it can also create self-healing wires.
Liquid at room temperature, the metal is squeezed out of a syringe, developing an oxide skin when exposed to the air and allowing for the creation of structures. Converting a 3D printer to pump out the magical liquid shouldn't be too hard, but at around 100 times the cost of 3D printing plastic, it'll be a long while before we're creating our own flexible electronics.
[via New Scientist]