Improving 3-D printing of plastic parts
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 03, 2018
Robots that can build homes, marathoners' running shoes and NASA's upcoming spacecraft all have one thing in common: 3-D printed parts. But as enthusiasm for 3-D printing continues to grow and expand across markets, the objects printed by the process can have weaknesses.
Now, one group reports in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces that using a simple modification to the manufacture of the starting materials improves the toughness of these printable plastics.
As the 3-D printing market not only expands but also becomes more affordable, it is finding applications in many different areas. But this versatility is limited by the strength and durability of the printed parts. Most of these objects are printed in layers, which inherently results in weak spots where the layers meet.
Thus, 3-D printed objects are not as strong as those made with current methods in which plastics are injected into molds. To create stronger 3-D printed parts, Miko Cakmak, Bryan D. Vogt and colleagues wanted to explore whether the starting materials could be changed to self-reinforce the printed parts.
The researchers made a structured, core-shell polymer filament in which a polycarbonate core acts as a stiff skeleton to support and reinforce the 3-D printed shape. An olefin ionomer shell around the polycarbonate core improves and strengthens the connection between the printed layers.
During testing, printed parts with the filaments could withstand impacts without cracking, unlike parts made without them. The new filaments bring 3-D printed parts closer to the strength of parts manufactured by current methods.
3-D printed food could change how we eat
San Diego CA (SPX) Apr 25, 2018
Imagine a home appliance that, at the push of a button, turns powdered ingredients into food that meets the individual nutrition requirements of each household member. Although it may seem like something from science fiction, new research aimed at using 3-D printing to create customized food could one day make this a reality. Jin-Kyu Rhee, associate professor at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, will discuss his new research and the potential of 3-D printing technology for food production at ... read more
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