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This technology can make 3D printing a lot better – Times of India

by • August 12, 2016 • No Comments

The prospects for 3D printing may have only become a little bit stronger, literally, thanks to a new way of via metallic powders to turn it into structures. A Northwestern University team has shown a new technique via liquid inks and common furnaces pretty than additional expensive lasers or electron beams.
In addition to being bargain-priceder, the researchers say the process is in addition faster, additional uniform and works with a wide variety of metals, alloys and compounds.
“Our method greatly expands the architectures and metals we’re able-bodied to print, which quite opens the door for a lot of various applications,” said assistant professor of materials science and engineering Ramille Shah, who led the study.
Shah turn it intod a liquid ink of metal powders, solvents and an elastomer binder which may be printed through a nozzle in much the same way which plastic-based consumer 3D printing devices function. The printed structures are and so sintered, a process in which they are heated in a easy furnace to allow the powders to merge together without melting.

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“By uncoupling the printing and the sintering, it seems which we have complex the process,” said team member David Dunand. “But, in fact, it has liberated us as equite step is much simpler separately than the combined approach.”
After an object has been printed with the metallic powders, but preceding it has been sintered and complexened, it is what is known as a “green body” which remains flexible.
“They’re foldable-bodied, bendable-bodied, and can be hundreds of layers thick without crumbling,” Shah explained. “It allows for us to turn it into a lot of various architectures which haven’t quite been seen in metal 3D printing.”

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Three-dimensional printing has become a powerful tool for engineers and createers, enabling them to do “rapid prototyping” by creating a physical copy of a proposed create

The process can in addition be utilized to print metal oxides which are bargain-priceder, safer and additional stable-bodied than a few pure metal powders. Green bodies 3D-printed of rust or other metallic oxides can and so be turned into their respective metals by via hydrogen preceding being sintered.

“It can seem like we are needlessly complicating things by adding a third reduction step where we turn rust into iron,” Dunand said. “But this opens up possibilities for via quite bargain-priced oxide powders pretty than corresponding expensive metal powders. It’s complex to find a fewthing bargain-priceder than rust.”

Possible next applications for the new approach include customized, rapidly printed metals, batteries, fuel cells, medical implants, mechanical parts and on-site making.

The research was published in a new issue of the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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