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New Microscale Multimaterial 3D Printing Process

3DPrint reports on an exciting new breakthrough concerning microscale multimaterial 3D printing.  A team of researchers from Virginia Tech University created a new additive manufacturing process and published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

The team has dubbed their new process ‘method multimaterial programmable additive manufacturing with integrated resin delivery.’  In English, this means the team created a new process for mircoscale 3D printing “using in-situ resin mixing and robotics to 3D print multimaterial with programmed stiffness – without cross contaminating any of the properties.”

The researchers created this process to be used for a number of different “applications, such as actuation, aircraft wing structures, artificial muscles, energy absorption, flexible armor, microbotics, and protective coatings.”

This new process allows for “programmed morphing,” meaning it is now possible “to create specific modulus (flexibility) distributions in a build, which then allows for programmed shrinkage or expansion to take place throughout the material body.”

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Xiaoyu “Rayne” Zheng, who is also a member of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute, added: “this new microscale manufacturing system is also able to be up-scaled to centimeter levels…and levels above that.”

“We envision these programmable morphing material concepts will find applications in directional strain amplifications, actuations, flexible electronics, and the design of lightweight metamaterials with tailored stiffness and toughness. The new material design space offered by rapid fabrication of dissimilar material constituents distributed within a micro-lattice architecture opens up new dimensions of 3-D printing of multimaterials with a large degree of stiffness variance.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3DPrint

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