Certain types of Salvinia water ferns present a highly water-repellent upper surface along their floating leaves. This is accomplished through the use of structured trichomes, which create hydrophobic and superhydrophobic surfaces. Particularly, there are four different types of trichomes found in Salvinia plants that present these characteristics. They are known as Cucullata type, Oblongifolia type, Natans type and Molesta type. However, these structures are characterized by very small sizes, along with complex shapes. With the advantages of high-efficiency, low-cost, fast-fabrication, and ability of producing microstructures, additive manufacturing (AM), known as 3D printing method, has brought lots of attentions to various academic fields. Herein, we apply a 3D printing method to create biomimetic structures designed after the trichomes on Salvinia. In this work, the hydrophobic properties of the four biomimetic structures were tested through the use of optical contact angle measurements after initial modeling through the CAD program Solidworks. Finally, an Optical Contact Angle measurement device was used to determine the hydrophobic properties of each structure. This study concludes that each of the four biomimetic structures based on the different types of trichomes of Salvinia have hydrophobic performance. In particular, the Natans type and Molesta type show superhydrophobic properties, with the Molesta inspired structure displaying the highest contact angle among the four types. These results suggest that future research into the trichome structures of Salvinia water ferns could produce biomimetic structures with enhanced hydrophobic properties and applications.

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