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    Home > Chemicals Industry > Chemical Technology > The United States develops a new 3D printing process that can use a variety of materials to print car/aircraft parts

    The United States develops a new 3D printing process that can use a variety of materials to print car/aircraft parts

    • Last Update: 2022-07-06
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, uses digital manufacturing processes to produce light and strong parts without the need for special molds
    .
    In the past ten years, 3D printing has grown rapidly at an annual rate of over 20%.
    Metals and engineering polymers have been used to print aircraft parts, auto parts, medical and dental implants and other parts

    .
    Among them, selective laser sintering (SLS) is one of the most commonly used manufacturing processes.
    Lasers can be used to print micron-sized material powders into parts: the laser heats the particles to a certain temperature and then fuses them into a solid

    .

    According to foreign media reports, James and Sally Scapa Professors Hod Lipson, Department of Innovation (Mechanical Engineering), Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, said: “Additive manufacturing is the key to economic recovery, but the problem Yes, SLS technology can only print one material at a time: the entire part is made of one powder
    .
    So how many products are made of only one material? This limits the development of this process

    .
    "

    To solve this challenge, Lipson and his PhD student John Whitehead used their expertise in robotics to develop a new method to overcome the limitations of SLS technology
    .
    By turning the laser upside down and pointing it upwards, the researchers developed a method that allows SLS technology to use multiple materials to produce parts at the same time

    .

    Generally speaking, selective laser sintering (SLS) technology uses a laser directed downward to heat the print bed to fuse material particles together
    .
    A solid print is printed from bottom to top.
    A layer of powder is uniformly placed on the printer, and a laser is used to selectively fuse some materials in this layer of powder

    .
    Then, the printer deposits a second layer of powder on the first layer, and the laser fuses the new material to the material of the previous layer, and this process continues until the part is completed

    .

    If only one material is used when printing, the SLS process will work well
    .
    However, using multiple materials in a single print is extremely challenging because once the powder layer is deposited on the printing bed, it cannot be removed or replaced by another powder

    .

    In addition, in a standard printer, because the materials placed on each layer are the same, the materials that are not fused together will make people unable to see the object being printed until the printing cycle ends and the printed parts can be removed.

    .
    This also means that before the printing is completed, it is not always possible to find that the printing has failed, which will waste time and money

    .

    The researchers decided to find a method that does not require a powder printing bed at all
    .
    They set up multiple transparent glass plates, each coated with a thin layer of different types of plastic powder

    .
    Then, a printing platform is placed above one of the powder surfaces, and a laser beam is guided upward through the bottom from the bottom surface

    .
    According to the virtual blueprint, the process can selectively sinter some powder on the printing platform in a pre-programmed pattern

    .
    Then, the platform is lifted by the molten material, moved to another flat plate coated with a different powder, and the process is repeated

    .
    The whole process allows different materials to be combined into one layer or stacked together

    .
    At the same time, the old and used plates are constantly being filled with powder

    .

    The researchers showed a prototype of its printed product, using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) powder with an average layer height of 43.
    6 microns to create a 50-layer thick, 2.
    18 mm sample, and printed it with multi-material nylon and TPU with an average layer height of 71 microns Parts

    .
    This type of component not only proves the feasibility of the process, but also proves that a stronger and denser material can be created by squeezing a flat plate against the suspension part during the sintering process

    .

    Now, researchers are still experimenting with metal powders and resins to directly make more types of mechanical, electrical and chemical parts than those made with SLS systems
    .

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