3D printed components with ultrasonically arranged microscale structure

Llewellyn-Jones, T. M., Drinkwater, B. W., & Trask, R. S. (2016). 3D printed components with ultrasonically arranged microscale structure. Smart Materials and Structures, 25(2), 02LT01. doi:10.1088/0964-1726/25/2/02LT01

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0964-1726/25/2/02LT01

Abstract

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. To achieve this we have mounted a switchable, focused laser module on the carriage of a three-axis 3D printing stage, above an in-house ultrasonic alignment rig containing a mixture of photocurable resin and discontinuous 14 μm diameter glass fibre reinforcement (50 μm length). In our study, a suitable print speed of 20 mm s−1 was used, which is comparable to conventional additive layer techniques. We show the ability to construct in-plane orthogonally aligned sections printed side by side, where the precise orientation of the configurations is controlled by switching the ultrasonic standing wave profile mid-print. This approach permits the realisation of complex fibrous architectures within a 3D printed landscape. The versatile nature of the ultrasonic manipulation technique also permits a wide range of particle types (diameters, aspect ratios and functions) and architectures (in-plane, and out-plane) to be patterned, leading to the creation of a new generation of fibrous reinforced composites for 3D printing.

Video of the new printing process

In the News

http://theconversation.com/ultrasound-could-transform-3d-printing-for-a-future-of-smart-materials-53328

Composite materials printed with ultrasonic additive manufacturing system

New Ultrasonic 3D Printing Process Can Create and Print High-Tech Composite Materials

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s