Multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing of composite materials

Nat Commun. 2015 Oct 23;6:8643. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9643.

Abstract

3D printing has become commonplace for the manufacturing of objects with unusual geometries. Recent developments that enabled printing of multiple materials indicate that the technology can potentially offer a much wider design space beyond unusual shaping. Here we show that a new dimension in this design space can be exploited through the control of the orientation of anisotropic particles used as building blocks during a direct ink-writing process. Particle orientation control is demonstrated by applying low magnetic fields on deposited inks pre-loaded with magnetized stiff platelets. Multimaterial dispensers and a two-component mixing unit provide additional control over the local composition of the printed material. The five-dimensional design space covered by the proposed multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing platform (MM-3D printing) opens the way towards the manufacturing of functional heterogeneous materials with exquisite microstructural features thus far only accessible by biological materials grown in nature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.