Most 3D printers print layers over and over again until a full object takes shape.
The machine uses a high-intensity laser that heats tiny silver nanoparticles to form metallic shapes.
The 3D-printing technique was developed by a team of Harvard researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The key to unlocking this new approach to printing metal was balancing the intensity of the laser and its proximity to the nozzle.
This kind of delicate metal printing is particularly useful because of its freeform capabilities.
The filament can be shaped into virtually any type of metal structure, which researchers expect will be useful in developing wearables, sensors, and even circuitry parts.