Unique Method to Fabricate Freeform Structures of Thermoplastics in Microparticulate Gels

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SUTD – Rahul Karyappa and Michinao Hashimoto

SUTD researchers have developed a unique 3D printing approach of fabricating freeform structures of thermoplastics in embedding media – microparticulate gels capable of supporting the printed inks in 3D space – based on in situ immersion precipitation of polymer inks. The capability to fabricate freeform and overhang structures such as springs and coils, may find applications in rapid prototyping of actuators and antennas.

Concept of preform polymer precipitation (FPP) – A polymer ink is printed by a DIW 3D printer in Bingham plastic microparticulate gels as embedding media. The surrounding embedding media supported the printed inks and caused in situ phase separation by immersion precipitation.

Fabrication of 3D freeform structures of thermoplastics involving overhang (non-anchored) structures is successfully showcased by fused deposition modeling (FDM) and direct ink writing (DIW), yet limited in terms of applicable materials and conditions of printing. 3D printing of freeform structures requires support materials that enable printing of thermoplastics in non-anchored locations.

You can find more details at https://www.sutd.edu.sg/Research/Research-News/2021/4/fabricate-freeform-structures-thermoplastics

2021-09-23T23:23:50+00:00