Search Box

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

3D Printing And Ultrasound

Ultrasound Could Transform 3D Printing for a Future of Smart Materials

Bruce Drinkwater | January 18, 2016

The advent of 3D printers supposedly means we can manufacture anything in our homes. But in reality most existing home 3D printers can only make things out of certain plastics, although there are industrial systems that can print certain metals.
What has so far been out of reach is a way to 3D print high-tech composite materials such as the carbon fibre composites that are used to build lightweight but extremely strong versions of things including tennis racquets, aerodynamic bikes and even aircraft parts. But researchers from my lab at Bristol University have now developed a way to transform existing 3D printers so they can also print composite materials.

This paper shows the first application of in situ manipulation of discontinuous fibrous structure mid-print, within a 3D printed polymeric composite architecture. Currently, rapid prototyping methods (fused filament fabrication, stereolithography) are gaining increasing popularity within the engineering commnity to build structural components. Unfortunately, the full potential of these components is limited by the mechanical properties of the materials used. The aim of this study is to create and demonstrate a novel method to instantaneously orient micro-scale glass fibres within a selectively cured photocurable resin system, using ultrasonic forces to align the fibres in the desired 3D architecture.

<more at; related links: (3D printing possibilities are beautiful but not limitless. April 28, 2014) and (Let’s stick together: composite materials, aeroplanes and you. May 29, 2012)>

No comments:

Post a Comment